Before we start I just want to say that I LOVE Midnight , I own all their records on vinyl, I always go see them every time they hit the Tri-State Area and I think their Debut “Satanic Royalty” is one of the strongest albums to come out in the last 10 years and that speaks volumes since there has a been a lot of great music in recent years.
So Sweet Death and Ecstasy – where to start? Hell’s Headbangers released a teaser track in advance of the album release about 6 weeks back, “Penetratal Ecstasy” and I have to say I was not all that impressed. I hated the guitar tone and didn’t think it was the strongest thing Athenar had written either hook wise.
So the album was set for a December 5th release date I believe but I guess HHR got their stock in early as I pre-ordered in in September expecting a long wait and mine arrived Friday afternoon, seems like most people I know who ordered it got theirs Friday or Saturday depending on where about you live in the country.
You can’t write an opener as strong as “Satanic Royalty” on
I have to say I put the album on with some trepidation, like I said I was not wholly impressed by the first “single” (side note: do people still call them singles these days? or is it more “album teaser” or what?) and..its a slow start. Sure you can’t write an opener as strong as “Satanic Royalty” on every album but the general school of thought when mapping out a running order for an album say versus a CD is you start with your strongest song on Side 1, followed by your second strongest as the intro to side 2, Lust Filth and Sleaze for example. (With cd running orders most bands just put all their strongest songs first with the album getting progressively weaker as it goes along , but that’s another story)
So yeah the first song “Crushed By Demons” is a slow chugging song. Initial knee jerk reaction is its a strange song to start your album with.Its a long song too taking up the majority of side 1 of the vinyl version.
Following up is Penetratal Esctasy, ok it all makes sense now the slow start and build up and now this song! That guitar tone I hated when I heard first heard this track? Forget it – I am loving it now.
Here comes Sweet Death is next, a classic fist pumping metal anthem followed by Melting Brain an instant Blackened Thrash Classic, short and sweet and that’s it Side 1 is over! Like I said the majority of Side 1 of the vinyl is taken up with Crushed by Demons, the opener.
So far so good – now let’s see what Side 2 has to offer us
Kicking off with Rabid! followed straight up with Bitch Mongrel , side 2 comes out swinging super upbeat catchy blackened thrash we all know and love. Poison Trash is awesome, frantic thrash almost with a Germanic feel to it – so good!
Final track on Side 2 Before My time in Hell – wow its that time already the end of the album, slower than the last couple of tracks – its super catchy and chuggy, easily the longest song on Side 2. Its a great way to round out the album.
Well what can I say – I went into this album with a closed mind, almost a negative attitude towards it but goddam it’s so fucking good. I need to jump up and flip it back to Side 1 again.
Make no mistake this is Midnight at their best
This album may take a while to grow on you (like it did me) but make no mistake this is Midnight at their best, a true metal masterpiece for 2017. Buy it now!
You can order the album directly from Hell’s Headbangers Here