Long After Midnight - Soul Grinder
Released off label 2022
Long After Midnight’s “Soul Grinder” EP has hit the market and is out now. The industrial rock trio seek to bring themselves together once more for a multi-media package, combining visuals with audio. Henceforth the reason they released the music video for ‘I Want To Believe’. “Soul Grinder” is full of downs and ups, both in lyrics, emotional content, and critical nature. While they have a lot going for them correctly, there’s a few flaws throughout the EP that scratch the otherwise well-polished surface.
The title track of the EP is a grudge song against the world and the variable aspects about it from drug abuse, debt collectors, family issues, riots, and so much more. Thumpy bass and somewhat noisy electronic samples form the basis of the track. While these aspects are well represented, I felt as if the guitar work on the track was rather lacking. It serves a purpose to give ‘Soul Grinder’ a harder edge, but it rarely ever achieves more than that.
The following song, ‘I Want To Believe’ continues the narrative present in the first song. With ‘Soul Grinder’, our protagonist lost hope. ‘I Want To Believe’ shows them regaining confidence and standing back up. The song is brought together mostly through heavy percussion; the other elements of the song serve as background support, including the guitar and electronics. And I’ve no problem with this; I feel as if having the percussion up front gives the track an emotional and raw output.
The final song in this trilogy, ‘Revival’, is a rebirth of our protagonist. Not necessarily in body, but in mind and philosophy. As expected, the sound is less rough this time around and more cathartic with brighter synths and optimistic beats. The final moments of the song, and thus the EP, ends with an amalgamation of guitars, synths, percussion, and vocals in one final jam session.
The last time I reviewed Long After Midnight, one of my main complaints came from Ross Morgan’s vocals. I thought that they sounded nasally and that has not changed on “Soul Grinder”. This was apparent the moment I first listened to ‘I Want To Believe’. It sounds Long After Midnight’s lead vocalist is singing through his nostrils. This occurs on all three tracks on ‘Soul Grinder’. Despite that, Morgan has potential. His growls are adequate for the genre, if a bit generic, but nonetheless they suffice. I think with a bit more training, and potentially a vocal coach, he could do even better.
“Soul Grinder” is by no means a bad EP, but it’s a middling one. It is not the release I would recommend to somebody if Long After Midnight came up in conversation; no, I’d rather tell them to go listen to “Painkiller”. In fact, if you’re new to this project that’s probably where I would tell you to go. As it stands, however, I give “Soul Grinder” a six-and-a-half out of ten.
This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.
Mar 14 2022
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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