The Midnight Chase is the third album by Swedish all female heavy metal/hard rock act Crucified Barbara. The album was released in 2012 and is the band’s first album since 2009’s 'Til Death Do Us Party, which is actually a shorter gap between albums than there was between their debut In Distortion We Trust (2005) and the aforementioned 'Til Death Do Us Party.
Crucified Barbara plays a kind of hard rocking traditional heavy metal which maintains much focus on the extremely dirty sound to the guitar tone. The band has kind of a fun-loving sort of sound going for them, but their lyrics on the album stay away from cheesy topics such as singing the praises of rock and metal music itself. The Midnight Chase is my first experience with Crucified Barbara but I imagine that their song-writing has matured a lot in the years since In Distortion We Trust was released simply by comparing the song-titles. Instead of including tracks with names such as Motorfucker, I Wet Myself and Bad Hangover there are consistently mature sounding track titles applied to music that maintains the fun factor but never allows me to doubt the seriousness behind the band’s music. I’m all for a bit of humour but some of their older songs bear names that strike me as being immature and aimed at a younger audience, meaning that people may out grow the music. Of course since I haven’t actually heard said songs this is all merely speculation. What isn’t speculation on the other hand is that Crucified Barbara have found a niche that marries their sound with maturity, giving The Midnight Chase much more lasting value.
The style doesn’t exactly break any new ground but that’s okay because The Midnight Chase is a very solid album. The girls show their diversity with the ballad Count Me In which slows the pace of the album down a fair bit which some may not like, but is a very well down piece, beautiful even, that I can’t help but applaud its inclusion in the album. Mia Coldheart has the perfect voice to go with both the dirty guitars that drive the bulk of the album and the melodic ballad. That’s about all you can expect in terms of variety during the album, but then again, deviating from the genre would actually hinder the flow of an album such as this rather than give it surprisingly twists.
Due to my personal interests in metal lying elsewhere the style that Crucified Barbara play isn’t a style I tackle often in my reviewing work, so while I wouldn’t call myself an expert in this style I don’t think it would be wrong to say that if you’re after an album in this vein, The Midnight Chase is a very good one to go for. The only other album in the hard rocking heavy metal vein I’ve encountered this year was the latest release from US act Bible of the Devil and between the two I think the Swedish girls got one up on the America guys here.
(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org) on 28/08/12)