Sakada - 2005 - Black Lotus

Midnight image
Crimson Glory, Cookooflower>>MIDNIGHT [JOHN PATRICK MCDONALD JR.]>>Midnight, Cookooflower




History & Biography
Following the breakdown of Crimson Glory, Midnight came out of intermittent hiatus with his solo material including an acoustic EP. He was with the band until 1991 and also in the reformed line-up in 2005, 2006 and 2007. The man was arrested for drunk driving in 2007. He was asked to leave the group. Crimson Glory had just played a show at Rockwave Festival in Greece where the band was most popular. Wade Black soon replaced him. His solo work was aided by musicians like guitarist Ben Jackson, Monstrosity drummer Lee Harrison and Rhapsody keyboardist Alex Staropoli. The M release featured material recorded with Atheist’s Rand Burkey who would offer the songs on MP3.com thus invoking Midnight’s rancour. Midnight’s EP was apparently issued minus Rand’s material. This project was initially called Cookooflower. 2008’s All Souls Midnight was also distributed by the man on CDR.

He died following the bleeding of stomach aneurysm on Wednesday 8th July 2009 at St. Anthony's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.


Sakada is the full-length return of Midnight, one-time singer of Crimson Glory, to the music scene. The enigmatic singer had previously recorded a rare EP and appeared on albums as a guest, but Sakada is his most serious re-appearance since his last album with his former band.
Sakada fulfils and perpetuates the man’s esoteric image, but is not in line with Crimson Glory’s music or heavy metal. In fact, the album - either named after an actual girl or a TV character - is a mixing of psychedelia, heavy rock and generally offbeat or ethnic elements. Before dissecting the album by song, fans need to know that while Midnight’s voice is impressive and powerful he does not attain the same high pitches as his heyday. Whether that is intentional or a function of age remains to be seen.
The disc begins with one of its weaker track, entitled Incubus. Berber Trails follows, is stronger, has an ethnic flavour and is reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s Battle OF Evermore. Little Mary Sunshine is a little whacked; a little dull. War is a heavier song and begins with a scream whose pitch and tonality could belong to King Diamond. The song refers to America’s wars on mankind. Think Iraq, Vietnam and so on. As in life, War is followed by Pain, a song that reeks of very early Judas Priest. Midnight does a good job of finding the moods he wants. Sakada again is weaker, but is not as bad as Lost Boy, which actually mixes psychedelia and country music. Then again the underlying rhythm is all Led Zeppelin. The album ends with Cat Song that is a song with a country twang and cheesy lyrics to match.
Despite all the comparisons Midnight has essentially managed to put together an original and personal album by combining his influences. While the esotericism is brushed with Midnight’s technicolour dreaming people on drugs, whacked out from working in investment banking or similar moronic occupations, Led Zeppelin fans and Crimson Glory/Midnight devotees will appreciate the finesse of Sakada. - Ali “The Metallian”