After 1989: Album Reviews

A selection of reviews, in-depth analysis and reactions from the listeners.

In-Depth Full Album Reviews

Rosa Nadine Sánchez Xochimilco

“Minutes to Midnight’s album is magical and haunting, giving the listener a way to both experience and reconcile the horrors and joys of the past.

A journey of choices and consequences, a path of emotional growth. It is at once rock opera, gothic melancholy, family legend, and historical account, all blending together to create an album unlike any other.”

Rosa Nadine Sanchéz Xochimilco

“The direct and immersive narrative allows history to speak for itself without being preachy or forced. The artist gives us a unique perspective of an outsider who manages to observe a great deal of pain without being directly subjected to it.

Its themes are timely and human, and effortlessly connect with a modern audience. After 1989 is an immersive and interesting experiment in storytelling that will leave listeners meditating on its heavy themes.”

Indie Berlin
Berlin Sachsenhausen - Skinny Kid featured image
Sachsenhausen concentration camp today. Photo: Silvia Maggi


Eric Beall

“The project is very impressive both in conception and execution. I love the way you’ve chosen to tell the story, the visuals, and the juxtaposition of the two Berlin experiences.

It definitely reminds me a bit of Pink Floyd—both in the scope of the concept album but also the blues-influence that runs through the music and informs the whole thing stylistically. It seems like the kind of project that might be embraced by that same fanbase.

Again, congratulations on creating a work that tackles an immense subject and brings a great deal of emotional depth and insight into it.”

Eric Beall
Angry Baby Music Blog

Throughout After 1989, Simone uses archive material to accentuate the music and narrative, and the commentary speaks to our collective experiences of the last sixty years. 

Yet, you remain aware that the album is also a personal journey and one family’s history – the story and the music will stay with you long after the music finishes.”

Angry Baby
The Other Side Reviews

“[Minutes to Midnight] provides an experimental alternative-rock sound to share a narrative of real-life imprisonment and liberty. His debut concept album After 1989: A Trip To Freedom tells the story of his grandfather’s escape from Germany in 1945 using the perspective of a curious grandson.

Despite the tragedy involved in the tale, After 1989 offers a glimpse of hope for the listener.”

The Other Side Reviews, Keeping It Real

Single & Video: “Skinny Kid”

Skinny Kid official music video

Skinny Kid is a tender delicate number as Simone expresses emotional and harrowing themes through a bitter, icy piano and tense progressive soundscapes. With a steady beat pounding through weaving guitars and ominous rumble on bass, the track projects images of isolation and loneliness by means of sinister chilling twinkles and tender vocals.

The haunting backing vocals and lamenting pines on guitar have a chilling element as Simone portrays this harsh experience with sublime instrumentation and vivid musicianship.”

Indie Buddie
Nova Music Blog

Introduced by a melancholy piano full of bitterness, the track immediately conveys a pervasive sensation of isolation and solitude, which is impeccably underlined by the baritone timbre of Dan Ecclestone, sealed by the ethereal touch of Rachel Goodman’s vocals.

As the track continues, the images that ‘Skinny Kid‘ instills acquire more and more body and substance, vibrating on the blows of an inexorable rhythmic line, up to a stratification with backing vocals, guitars, synths and sound effects that return a sublime listening experience.

Deep and viscerally touching, ‘Skinny Kid‘ is a dark-colored narration where lyrics and music form a full-bodied and delicate sound balance, through which Minutes to Midnight makes us perceive, with mastery and in all its entirety, the bitter harshness, despair and oppression of the album theme. One of the most beautiful discoveries of this early 2020.”

Nova Music Blog

Single & Video: “Love Field”

Love Field official music video

“Love Field is another striking track from Minutes To Midnight. The video takes us through the arrival of JFK and his wife Jackie in Dallas before his infamous demise. Through a variety of black and white and colour video clips we see the joy, celebration and devastation created by one event as JFK is shot.

The entire video tells this story in an honest and emotional way. Simone fantasises about waving at Jack and Jackie, or leaning over the window of a sixth floor, or being Abraham Zapruder, standing still while everything changes.

Indie Buddie

Love Field is a powerful statement about the assassination of JFK by the band Minutes to Midnight.  This one will definitely get you thinking. Thanks for the history lesson.”

Indie Voice Blog

It really impacted me, I listened to the entire album which is something I rarely do with submissions.”

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Love Field is the new single from the After 1989: A Trip To Freedom concept album. Beautiful classic rock sounds with clear and expressive vocals and a video that takes us through the arrival of JFK and his wife Jackie in Dallas before he’s been shot. We see the change of people feelings from joy to sadness.”

Eat This Rock

Single & Video: “13 Days”

13 Days, official music video
Secret Eclectic

The song exists between two worlds. The inner and the outer. It starts in the outer world where the spoken samples and the lyrics get us in the mood and captures the tense of crisis from an external point of view. Then the song transfers us into the inner world, we are no longer an outsider but on the contrary, we are in the heart of the scene, where ”Helen stares at the window”. This change does not only happen through the lyrics. It is the chord progression, the melodies, the whole song itself, that moves between these two parallel worlds.

Secret Eclectic
Indie Buddie

“This striking number provides a gritty more groove rooted side to Minutes To Midnight’s sound. With stinging guitar melodies and a rooted bass line the track takes a sultry sinister turn as the bass coils around the drums allowing the vocals to glissade upon the velvety melody.

13 Days wriggles and creeps with a chilling sense of mystery as it builds to a heavier crescendo with a steamy guitar solo and punchy drums.”

Indie Buddie

Rock band Minutes to Midnight have released a new single from their concept album, After 1989

13 Days is a slow rock song with addictive guitar melodies and an interesting narrative. Not much of a head banger but will still rock hard at a live show. Add this baby to your playlist NOW.”

Berlin Sachsenhausen
Sachsenhausen concentration camp today. Photo: Silvia Maggi

Fans Feedback

Track after track, Minutes to Midnight takes us to a journey that is both personal and part of the shared history that shaped our lives and the current affairs. Each song is a unique blend of beautifully crafted sounds and samples from crucial historical events, delivered with the help of incredibly talented collaborators.

Silvia Maggi (review on Bandcamp)

This album is quite simply one of the finest pieces of storytelling ever put to sound.

Christopher Carvalho (review on Bandcamp)

What a ride! The album is definitely a trip, and a very satisfying one to boot. The words “concept album” may carry some tricky baggage with them: shall I listen very carefully not to miss the point? Will I be forced to slog through convoluted passages with no musical relevance, stuck there to serve the concept only?

Rest assured, none of this applies to After 1989 – A Trip To Freedom. Listened to it three times in a row. Flows perfectly, loved the unique voice of it all – and the Pink Floyd vibes here and there (the bass in Love Field, the “Waters-esque” feeling in Sachsenhausen)!

Also, The Logic just sends shivers along my spine all the times and makes my forearm hair rise when the sax kicks in. That would be enough for a five stars cum laude, methinks. Bravo!

Mattia Bassani, via Facebook Group

I love this concept. I’ve been really obsessed with history and WWI and WWII recently—reading nonfiction, memoirs, and historical fiction about the era made me kind of swear off dystopian fiction, because the real is definitely more chilling. I love applying this concept to music, and the music is great. Great guitar work!

EvaViaMusic (via Reddit)

I love your style. I was just saying to a friend of mine how it reminded me a little of The Final Cut by Pink Floyd. And from my perspective that’s a good thing, despite the mixed opinions on the album.

Calum Spense via Facebook

It’s a greatly inspiring album, where the sounds blend perfectly with the strength of the feelings evoked, all mentioned facts being part of our collective unconscious although personal for the artist.

Giuliana Graniti (review on Bandcamp)

It’s impossible to remain indifferent. It sounds great, everything is so clear and defined. The only thing that’s missing is a jam-packed theatre.

Paolo Clementi

Really enjoying the album, so much work has gone into it clearly, a great concept and realisation.

Dominic Hall-Smith