Painkiller Industrial Rock Long After Midnight Long After Midnight is an industrial rock project that was formed by Ross Morgan (vocals), Nicholas Heidt (guitar), and Mike Nolen (synths / programming) in late 2019. The trio originally began working on the song 'Brave New World' and after agreeing that the song was kick-ass, they decided to band together. Thus, their debut, self-titled and self-released EP was put out in July of 2020. Not ones to sit still for too long, however, Long After Midnight quickly gathered together another three track EP "Painkiller". As both the project's latest release and the subject of this review, let's dive into the EP. As it should be, the title track of the EP is the first to appear on the playlist. What I can immediately say about "Painkiller" is that the production is top notch. There is no surprise there as Jules Seifert of Epic Audio Media was behind the mastering. This is not to knock off the mixing by Mike Nolen; altogether, the sound is crisp and fulfilling. The title track is more of an industrial rock ballad than it is a song. It juggles between spine-tingling piano work and background electronics to hardened rock elements and slamming drums. Even the more acoustic guitar element around the three-minute and ten-second mark doesn't sound out of place; it comes in sweetly and gently. The only complaint I have about this song is that Morgan's vocals sound incredibly nasally and make me wince a little. 'Fear Hammer' follows a similar start-and-stop approach to 'Painkiller'. There is an underlying, crunchy bassline the song pours through my ears as a clever build-up to the chorus. A pretty decent industrial rock rhythm forms during the chorus with vocals from Morgan that fixed the complaints I had with the title track. His more aggressive tone, faster paced delivery, and even whispered delivery didn't have the same sound as on 'Painkiller'. The only thing that I did not understand was the sound that appeared around the two-minute and thirty second mark. When I was listening to this on my speakers, I thought it was just a notification from Snapchat as it sounded so familiar. To avoid distractions, I switched back to my headphones and replayed the segment. But the Snapchat-like notification sound appeared again...And again. It is an odd choice of sound, and even repeated itself a few times till the end of the song. The final track on the EP is 'Vanisher' and also happens to be my favorite. It's a slow track with menacing guitars from Heidt and pauses where Morgan sings over wicked analog-sounding electronics courtesy of Nolen. I loved the almost tribal sounding extended vocal notes and the effects placed upon them. However, I wasn't a huge fan of how 'Vanisher' ended. Rather than just kicking it clean after an incredible session of kick-ass industrial rock, they let the song slowly dissipate after a final sung out "You". It turns into what I can describe as a distant echo into a cave that lasts for thirty seconds. This was not something I wanted to listen to; on subsequent plays of the EP, I skipped to the next song on my playlist rather than waiting for the song to finish out. In the end, however, I do have more positive notes about the EP than I do complaints. While I do have my fair share of complaints on each of the songs, they are not enough to ruin my listening experience and I was more than happy to return to "Painkiller" throughout the week. If this is what Long After Midnight is capable of on just their second EP, I can only imagine what they'll start cranking out once their sound is more solidified and the trio knows where they want to head for a full-length album. This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page. 450
Brutal Resonance

Long After Midnight - Painkiller

7.0
"Good"
Released off label 2021
Long After Midnight is an industrial rock project that was formed by Ross Morgan (vocals), Nicholas Heidt (guitar), and Mike Nolen (synths / programming) in late 2019. The trio originally began working on the song 'Brave New World' and after agreeing that the song was kick-ass, they decided to band together. Thus, their debut, self-titled and self-released EP was put out in July of 2020. Not ones to sit still for too long, however, Long After Midnight quickly gathered together another three track EP "Painkiller". As both the project's latest release and the subject of this review, let's dive into the EP. 

As it should be, the title track of the EP is the first to appear on the playlist. What I can immediately say about "Painkiller" is that the production is top notch. There is no surprise there as Jules Seifert of Epic Audio Media was behind the mastering. This is not to knock off the mixing by Mike Nolen; altogether, the sound is crisp and fulfilling. The title track is more of an industrial rock ballad than it is a song. It juggles between spine-tingling piano work and background electronics to hardened rock elements and slamming drums. Even the more acoustic guitar element around the three-minute and ten-second mark doesn't sound out of place; it comes in sweetly and gently. The only complaint I have about this song is that Morgan's vocals sound incredibly nasally and make me wince a little. 

'Fear Hammer' follows a similar start-and-stop approach to 'Painkiller'. There is an underlying, crunchy bassline the song pours through my ears as a clever build-up to the chorus. A pretty decent industrial rock rhythm forms during the chorus with vocals from Morgan that fixed the complaints I had with the title track. His more aggressive tone, faster paced delivery, and even whispered delivery didn't have the same sound as on 'Painkiller'. The only thing that I did not understand was the sound that appeared around the two-minute and thirty second mark. When I was listening to this on my speakers, I thought it was just a notification from Snapchat as it sounded so familiar. To avoid distractions, I switched back to my headphones and replayed the segment. But the Snapchat-like notification sound appeared again...And again. It is an odd choice of sound, and even repeated itself a few times till the end of the song. 

The final track on the EP is 'Vanisher' and also happens to be my favorite. It's a slow track with menacing guitars from Heidt and pauses where Morgan sings over wicked analog-sounding electronics courtesy of Nolen. I loved the almost tribal sounding extended vocal notes and the effects placed upon them. However, I wasn't a huge fan of how 'Vanisher' ended. Rather than just kicking it clean after an incredible session of kick-ass industrial rock, they let the song slowly dissipate after a final sung out "You". It turns into what I can describe as a distant echo into a cave that lasts for thirty seconds. This was not something I wanted to listen to; on subsequent plays of the EP, I skipped to the next song on my playlist rather than waiting for the song to finish out. 

In the end, however, I do have more positive notes about the EP than I do complaints. While I do have my fair share of complaints on each of the songs, they are not enough to ruin my listening experience and I was more than happy to return to "Painkiller" throughout the week. If this is what Long After Midnight is capable of on just their second EP, I can only imagine what they'll start cranking out once their sound is more solidified and the trio knows where they want to head for a full-length album. 

This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.
Mar 14 2021

Off label

Official release released by the artist themselves without the backing of a label.

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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