I guess the first question I have about the latest Midnight album concerns the crows on the cover art. Are they objecting to the zombie scissoring? Or are they there to enhance the experience? Corpse-y lesbianism aside ‘Sweet Death and Ecstasy’ has Ohio’s very own blackened speed metal darlings trading their ass-patched late-80’s cut-off mom-jean shorts for leather chaps and shit kickin’ NWOBHM glory. It isn’t enough that they’ve cranked out a 33 minute album of Warfare style Motör-punk speed metal with some Sabbat (Japan) feeling shredders, but they’ve tacked on a 12 song rehearsal disc that could probably please folks as a standalone. This newer, slightly more adventurous Midnight shows an ass-wagon load of promise.
One of my favorite albums in the post-Venom black/speed metal arena is Bulldozer‘s ‘The Day of Wrath’, an album that really just cranks the reverb on ‘Overkill’ riffs and tosses in a tard-load of blasphemy for good measure. Previous Midnight albums had some of that same spirit with the horny punkish rawness and satanic sleaze of ‘Power From Hell” era Onslaught thrown in for good measure. ‘Sweet Death and Ecstasy’ still has that creamy Midnight filling but the two tracks that bookend the album tread some new territory with longer tracks that remind me of Kvelertak more than any 80’s speed metal I could name-drop. It totally works and sort of lifts Midnight away from their retro-cheese banger status towards being -slightly- more memorable.
Who knew Midnight would actually rock a 5-6 minute song? “Before My Time in Hell” is yanked straight outta English Dogs freaking classic ‘Forward into Battle‘ and I kinda convulse every time I hear it. Beyond the end of the actual album I have to say I kept the 2105 rehearsal disc separate from the review score. It is a great bonus and a solid ‘greatest hits’ showing off their raw NWOBHM and punk inspired blackened speed metal style but I was pretty happy with the album by itself. I mean if you don’t know this band and didn’t give a shit before then you should spin the rehearsal disc first! At nearly an hour and a half of music altogether, you’re basically getting all the Midnight you could ever need.
|Released||October 15, 2017|
|BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp!||Follow Midnight on Facebook|
Desecrate them all. 3.5/5.0
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