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 Midnight Messiah - The Root Of All Evil (2013) Album Review

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Midnight Messiah - The Root Of All Evil (2013)
Cold Town Records -- Running Time: 55:24


If you were around and listening to Heavy Metal in the early 1980's, like I was, then you might remember a band by the name of Elixir. They formed in 1983 and were part of the NWOBHM movement. At one point ex Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr was a member. As I have said so many times in the past about NWOBHM acts, they were a great band, but had a potted history and finally disbanded in 2012 after releasing a handful of albums.

Elixir founding member Phil Denton (guitars) and Elixir vocalist Paul Taylor (who joined the band in 1984) have now formed new band Midnight Messiah and 'The Root Of All Evil' is their debut album. Considering the album was released in 2013, you might be wondering why it has taken me so long to review it. Well, I saw the band live at last year's first Power & Glory Fest, which I reviewed, and they blew me away, but it's fair to say they were almost a completely unknown entity to me, other than the Elixir connection!

Anyway, I'm reviewing it now and 'The Root Of All Evil' is an absolute beast of a Classic Heavy Metal album, especially as Midnight Messiah remind me so much of my favourite band Saxon. I don't know why that comparison springs to mind so heavily every time I listen to it but Paul's voice is very much like Biff Byford with a bit of Doogie White thrown in for good measure and Phil's riffs along with very talented young guitarist Dave Strange (who looks and plays like a young Zakk Wilde) have put together a group of songs that could quite easily sit on many Saxon albums. For concrete proof of that listen to the superb 'The Evil One'. That's so Saxon they could have written it and given it to Midnight Messiah! They also have a song here called 'Destiny' that brings to mind 'The Eagle Has Landed'

Now all of this might sound to you that MM are nothing more than a Saxon rip off but that is far from true, in fact, of all the people that I have played the album to, I appear to be the only one who hears this similarity in such a big way so, here and now, I'm going to ask all of my many friends in the Saxon forum to listen and tell me what they think! Even if they all say I'm mad, I know every single one of them will love this! 'The Root Of All Evil' is fabulous from start to finish, brings the classic sound right up to date with a bang and I hope this is the first of many Midnight Messiah albums. Making up the band are bassist Alex Machell (although Dusty Miller played on the album) and superb drummer Darren Lee. There are no stand out tracks because every single one of the eleven hit the spot!

Perhaps I'm a little biased because I grew up on this sort of Metal and many younger people might find this not to their liking but this would easily have gone into my top albums for 2013. Having met the band at Power & Glory and again at the most recent Hard Rock Hell where they opened festivities I can also say they are a great and very friendly bunch of guys who thoroughly deserve some wider press coverage. Brilliant stuff!

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Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley:

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