Press Reviews


Heavy Metal Maniacs Festival 2014

Paul Taylor & Phil Denton
Picture by Rita van Poorten

"MIDNIGHT MESSIAH stands for high quality heavy metal. Two members of the band are from the cult NWOBHM band ELIXIR and these guys are the pillars on which this band will stand tonight for me. The other members have showed their skills already on their debut album “The Root Of All Evil”. If you already liked this marvelous album, then you’re in for a real treat. Almost without any breaks between the three songs, they open tonight with “Thirty Pieces Of Silver”, “Damned For All Time” and “Evil One”. And believe it or not, MIDNIGHT MESSIAH are making magic. This was an awesome start. The opener is easy on the ears and contains that well-known catchy ELIXIR sound, that makes it go down pretty easily. I think it’s one of the killer songs on the album and a perfect way to start your show. Goosebumps appear with the first ELIXIR cover “The Star Of Beshaan”. What a killer track!! You can hardly call this a cover of course, because almost half the band consists of ELIXIR members and with a jaw dropping performance of this ELIXIR classic, they prove that MIDNIGHT MESSIAH has got the same energy, the same drive and the same attitude as ELIXIR. With “Holy Angel” they have another surprise coming up. Phil takes the opportunity to go off the stage to join his fellow metal heads in front of the stage. Like I said already, this band makes magic happen, off and on stage. “Wise Man Of Roklar” and “Destiny” are on next and the band grabs a handful of songs from their new album. Dave Strange, the tandem mate of Phil, on guitar is from a different caliber than ‘Storming Norms’. He looks like a young version of Zakk Wylde and sounds a bit like Randy Rhoads here and there. But most of all, he is a capable guitar player that helps out Phil pretty well in the great guitar sound, that the band wants to create. Darren Lee proves to be a steady drummer, who forms a winning team with bass player Alex Machell. “Pandora’s Box” from the “Son Of Odin” album is on next. Talking about classics here?! It was written almost thirty years ago and still going strong. For two songs we return to “Root Of All Evil” with “You’re No Friend Of Mine” and “The Rock”. If you still don’t like the band by now, the MESSIAH will change this soon with two more covers from the ELIXIR era, namely “Treachery” and “Son Of Odin”. Especially this last track calls for some nice cooperation with the crowd, because the words ‘Son Of Odin’ are shouted out real loud. Fists are thrown in the air. Paul leads the way. He’s one of the finest frontmen of the NWOBHM scene in my eyes. What a voice! “King Of The Night” and “Midnight Messiah” are the last tracks of tonight’s show. You could hardly tell the difference between ELIXIR and MIDNIGHT MESSIAH. They have the same joy in playing live, the same high quality music and they are the same down to earth people, that are enjoying the great atmosphere at the P60. A real top act in my opinion and we were glad to meet up with singer Paul and guitar player Phil again. Both thumbs up, lads! It was good to have you back again after ten years and please come back again soon". Toine van Poorten, True Metal Fan

You can read the whole article here



Hard Rock Hell Helloween 2014

Mark Ashby of Planet Mosh wrote:

"Hard Rock Hell has a deserved reputation for bringing together classic acts with the best of rising talent, and openers Midnight Messiah ( proved this point right from the off, as they took to the stage at the seemingly unmetallic hour of 6pm on the Thursday evening…  Having arisen from the ashes of the legendary (in their own lunchtime?) Elixir, the London five-piece kicked off the weekend in fine style, with their updated, classic NWOBHM sound very much in the vein of Saxon – especially in Paul Taylor’s earnest vocals – delivering a generation-spanning set of pure, honest, straightforward metal enjoyment".

You can read the full festival review here.


Power & Glory Festival 2014

"I know that a festival is never a competition, still some shows you always like better than others. For me the first huge surprise of the day came in Midnight Messiah. I had their CD, but did not have the Elixir albums (quickly got them after the show as they were available on CD or vinyl) This band had a diverse show, great songs and they turned out to be a band that makes you wonder why did they not break big again? A band to follow closely, hopefully I can make it to Heavy Metal Maniacs in October".

Review by Erik Scholten.
29th August 2014.
You can read the full festival review online here


"I awaited the arrival onstage of Midnight Messiah. Now this band are another newish band, but unlike Toledo Steel they are not made up of young musicians. Vocalist Paul Taylor and guitarist Phil Denton are former members of Classic NWOBHM band Elixir. I loved Elixir back in the 80's but never got to see them live. They finally disbanded in 2012 but thankfully Midnight Messiah were born and this gig was a dream come true for me because the band had decided to put some older songs into the setlist which went down a storm. They didn't overshadow any of Midnight Messiah's own material though. Their debut album 'The Root Of All Evil', which Paul very kindly gave to me is a storming beast, reminiscent of Saxon and Demon and live they are a force to be reckoned with. Young guitarist Dave Strange is a real talent and 'The Evil One' is a song destined to become a metal classic. When they had finished their set you couldn't wipe the smile off my face!"

Review by Richard Tilley.
8th September 2014.
You can read his full festival review online here


Album Review - Global Metal Apocalypse

Midnight Messiah

'The Root Of All Evil'

It's always grand to see modern day bands playing the classic sounds of hard rock and heavy metal in such epic glory, whilst adapting it to their own taste. This is how exactly London quintet Midnight Messiah have gone about things, it is highly detectable on their debut album 'The Root Of All Evil' which sheds a brilliant sound in all of the departments. Clean and powerful vocals lead the front-line of this modernised version of Iron Maiden, whilst the guitars and drums deliver that all important blow that leaves the album in good stead as being a must own release for all those who prefer the old style of rock and metal. Make no mistake about it, 'The Root Of All Evil' is an album that will please many fans alike and is sure to give this band some well-deserved attention.

Download This: "The Evil One"

For Fans of: Iron Maiden, Van Halen, AC/DC

The album is available online from the label website: priced at £7 GBP.



Midnight Messiah Warm-Up Show

Midnight Messiah Warm Up Gig
Cart & Horses, Maryland

Friday 19th April

Hailed as the birthplace of Iron Maiden, it’s seems fitting that Paul Taylor and Phil Denton, the creative heart of Elixir, which at one time featured Maiden alumni Clive Burr on drums, should choose to debut their new outfit at the very same venue.

Billed as a warm up gig ahead of their upcoming headline show in Belgium and series of festival performances in both UK and Europe, this show could be looked on as a shakedown to iron out any bugs before the bigger shows.  A palpably nervous Taylor can be seen pacing the floor before hand, perhaps unsurprisingly as this will be the first time the five piece have shared a stage together.

Paul & Phil Cart & Horses, 2013

He needn’t have worried.  From the opening assault of Thirty Pieces of Silver and Damned for all Time, it’s obvious that the hard miles put in on the road over the years has paid off.  The rhythm section, featuring a be-shaded Dusty Miller on bass and Darren Lee on drums, hold down a furious beat, while guitarists Denton and young maestro Dave Strange trade licks with virtuosic abandon.  And as Taylor’s vocals soar through Holy Angel, Wise Man of Roklar and the epic Destiny, any worries the band may have had are put firmly in their place.

Darren Lee, Cart & Horses, 2013 Dusty Miller, Cart & Horses, 2013

Running through the rest of their debut disc with a hunger that outfits half their age would be hard pushed to match, it’s clear that this is a band who would give many of their more famous contemporaries a run for their money.  The question and answer soloing in You’re no Friend of Mine has the pub shaking on its foundations and King of the Night has glasses, and voices raised high in the crowd.  As the band head into the eponymous closing number, it is clear where much of this new found spark is from.

Dave Strange, Cart & Horses, 2013

The new energy brought to the band by the addition of Strange is perfectly illustrated in the revised approach to former Elixir favourite Midnight Messiah.  Faster, heavier and downright dirtier, the song is taken to a whole new level with a punch and swagger lacking in the original.

The band close out the show with a real treat for the assembled punters.  Son of Odin classics The Star of Beshaan and Treachery are run through with a power rarely seen before, Strange’s precision guitar work lifting the songs to a whole new level, and bringing down the roof on an evening which bodes well for the future of the band.


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