Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Feel The Midnight Heir

About a year ago I covered Like Vipers first EP release (available for your perusal here) and we're now privy to the next evolutionary phase of Josh Gallagher's retro odyssey. The new phase has evolved into a new moniker, shedding the previous life's skin and becoming Midnight Heir apparent.

On Midnight Heir's self titled debut the die set by Like Viper's has been cast asunder and re-imagined with a purpose that retains Like Vipers wonderfully rich energy and then expands upon these elements by giving them a more raw edge and further developing the emotionally involved melodic parts. As a result the five tracks presented are hugely diverse, possibly the most diverse of all the EP's of 2013, but one thing is for sure: it all works and it all ROCKS.

'This Is Vengeance' begins the adventure with synths and guitars rocking in glorious unison. The 80s homage is true and vibrant as instrumental elements are introduced in a manner that pushes all the right buttons and then takes things even further. Gallagher's previous work was always about the modern and vintage blend, often incorporating very opposing forces, however in this opening track we're treated to a hugely authentic 80s experience that is only really lit by more modern flavours in the sounds. The progressions and arrangements are golden and inspiring, melodies climb and the anticipation of where the music will take us becomes  an all powerful force the listener is unavoidably transfixed by.

The second track takes things even further into classic 80s sounds and emotions, complete with quality voice over samples. Leaning much more to the dramatic 'Badlands' is brutish in it's delivery but contains commanding rhythmic march that accents the melodies to great effect. The narrative development on Midnight Heir also displays a great deal of growth in the producer's ability to construct deep passages of heavily detailed synth action, never leaving you asking questions and instead leaving you asking for more.

Moving into the third track we experience Midnight Heir at his most modern. 'Battery' is a borderline Slash Electro vignette that bludgeons a path of shockingly powerful refrains before dipping into a more ambiant breakdown. The lead melody is archetypal in it's brutality and visceral energy. Punctuation marks constantly bring the frenzy back into a more controlled structure before regrouping for another all out offensive. For all it's ruthlessness there is also a sweetness to the story which serves up a delectable balance of savagery and wonder.

To say the next piece was a surprise would be a monstrous understatement as the chugging deliberation of synths and guitars stagger into view the familiar silhouette of Patrick Baker flashes against blackening skies as the millions in attendance scream for their lives. 'Tonight' is a dramatic and jaded deposition to loneliness and is told with Mr Baker's always inspiring vocal talents whilst the Midnight Heir conjures all manner of musical magic to keep the drained, running on empty vibe stumbling ever forward. Forward in a blind hope of some small sliver of returned emotions lurking somewhere in the darkened reaches of the horizon. It's a masterpiece of longing and desolation, and easily one of my favourite performances from Patrick Baker thus far.

Midnight Heir finishes on a high note that I was not emotionally prepared for and I still doubt I'll be able to fully understand it's wonder through many, many repeated listenings. 'The Singularity', simply put is, is one of the most incredibly vivid experiences I've had in all the music I've heard in 2013. Aptly titled, the single refrain that drives 'The Singularity' is explored in a manner so perfect and so refined that it's all I can do to contain myself upon experiencing it. The opening build segues into the most wonderfully absorbing passage of complete synthelation. The continuing journey lights up with such a triumphant brilliance that one must shield one's heart from the intensely passionate eloquence Midnight Heir commands.

By the time of the final act of this piece one is almost exhausted from the sheer exuberant beauty but then the most sumptuous guitar track is introduced to the experience. A nirvana-like plateau is attained that the listener is allowed to bask in, finally able to rejoice in the pure resplendent grandeur of what 'The Singularity' means. This piece of music is utterly flawless and it's fathomless depths nearly reduce me to tears upon each successive partaking. 'The Singularity' is akin to a religious experience via music for me; it's vastness is only eclipsed by it's beauty.

The journey across Midnight Heir's many moods and stories spans a time far greater than the year it has been between releases. The amount of diversity is incredible and each track stands on it's own as it's own individual idea and musical reality.

Midnight Heir presents his self titled debut EP on his Bandcamp page here at a frankly ridiculous 'nam-your-own-price' point. This is an EP you should give to, this is an artist deserving of your money. The pieces on this EP all feel like pieces of the artist himself and this emotional investment in one's creations is something none of us should take for granted or treat as a disposable commodity.

Midnight Heir's EP has effected me, it has made me feel new and intense things, in one four minute piece alone, Midnight Heir has shown me beauty and magic I can barely interpret. When it comes to the 80s inspired synth experience this delivers everything I could possible want, expect or dream of in one package. This is definitely a Synthetix Reference Experience of the highest calibre and something I hope you embrace into your heart and imagination; allow yourself to be enlightened to the refreshingly cool and ultimately rewarding Midnight Heir.

1 comment:

  1. I concur Rick , this mini album absolutely rocks !
    Took me by surprise - Highlight of 2013 by far.
    Had to donate twice to simply give him more of my money !