Midnight Dice - Hypnotized
Self Financed
Traditional Metal
5 songs (21:37)
Release year: 2020
Midnight Dice
Reviewed by Ben

I guess I should thank Ashy Larry for this one. Midnight Dice first popped up on my radar whilst perusing bandcamp and it wasn't until now that I decided to bite the proverbial bullet and give em a shot. What can I say? This is pretty much exactly what I've been craving for in terms of classic, traditional, thick and meaty old school metal with soaring melodic vocals. Even the production values scream old fashioned. So, Midnight Dice is based in Chicago and an easy comparison to make would be a cross between early Riot and Iron Maiden with a vocalist who is a dead ringer for Geddy Lee from Rush in his prime. Like, All The World's A Stage Geddy. What really sells this EP to me is the sense of real excitement in the band that is all over every track. Granted, this is essentially a four track EP (yay unnecessary instrumental intro) but there are no duds, and even the presumed to be ballad, the epic length Lazer Tears, isn't. Keep in mind though, this isn't some out and out speed fest ala Raven or Exciter, but every song is full of high energy and they definitely play to their strengths. I really hope they don't have some backlog of ballads that they're just dying to release.

The title track is probably my favorite one. It has an intro that screams classic Accept and pretty much pummels through the entire length. There's a brief but impactful Maiden-esque harmony lead to bring us out of the solo that's cool to hear. Speed City is probably the most old school sounding and it could fit in easily on any number of Riot albums such as Narita or Fire Down Under. Despite the name, this isn't speed metal, more like say, Speed King - ish from Deep Purple. Even though I talked shit about the instrumental intro, it is actually ok. Except for the title. Starting an album with an instrumental intro called Farewell seems slightly unaware. In my overly opinionated view, it should have been a bit more uptempo and just tacked on as the hard intro to Starblind. Either way the full real song, Starblind, does a commendable job in preparing the listener for the burst of sweetness this EP offers. This is one of those things that you know right away whether or not it's up your alley. Anyways, this out of song order review concludes with the final track, Lazer Tears. As mentioned before I was expecting some kind of ballad ala The Lady Wore Black or something along those lines stylistically. Well, nope. This is pure mid tempo, crunchtastic, traditional metal ala Omen and is very heavy with USPM influences.

Midnight Dice have also put out another EP before this, a short three track release and from what I've heard of it, it's really solid just like this. I don't know how the pandemic might have affected this group and I hope they're still around and kicking. Fans of that old school style of playing and even production will find quite a bit to like in this release. Highly recommended.

Killing Songs :
Hypnotized, Lazer Tears, Speed City, Starblind
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