Midnight – Rebirth By Blasphemy
Alright, guys. Let’s talk about black metal. You’re probably thinking about an angry Norwegian guy in corpse paint running around in a forest screaming over blast beats, am I correct? That’s what I thought. That’s of course not wrong, but what you’re thinking of is the second wave of black metal, the primarily Scandinavian movement that established what black metal was “supposed to sound like”.
Before that, we had the first wave of black metal. This was not as much a sound as it was an attitude and a musical rawness combined with an occult or satanic imagery in the lyrical themes. Bands could play heavy metal, speed metal, thrash metal or whatever and still count as black metal.
A band that really has succeded in keeping exactly that thought alive, is Midnight from Cleveland, Ohio. Formed in 2003, the first full lenght album “Satanic Roalty” was released in 2011 after several years of EPs, splits etc. Since then they’ve gained notoriety as one of the best newer bands in this vein of metal. I’ve been a fan for almost ten years and I must say mastermind Athenar rarely disappoints the fans with Midnight. The new record “Rebirth By Blasphemy” is not an exception.
Right of the bat when the brilliantly named opening song “Fucking Speed And Darkness” explodes, you feel from the very first second that this is everything you love about gritty old school speed metal. The guitars, the drums, the vocals and the overall sound is so much on point. With every time an “UHH!” is grunted you clench your fist victoriously and get reminded of why you love uncompromising blackened speed metal so deeply.
This really is a buffet of 80s extreme metal and a very charming homage to a lot of legendary bands, but primarily Venom. You can’t deny that this is very much a tribute to the forementioned English trio and everyone who has ever banged their heads to “Welcome To Hell” or “Black Metal” are sure to absolutely adore this. This is not just Venom worship of course, Midnight have lots of unique qualities as well, but you can’t accuse them of renewing the genre.
When it comes to the songs, it’s actually really hard to pick a favourite since “Rebirth By Blasphemy” is jam packed with killer tracks. Maybe the album’s strongest aspect isn’t diversity, so the songs may appear a bit similar, but the individual tracks are still very good.
With “Rebirth By Blasphemy” Midnight are in no way bringing something new to the table. They’re not innovating the genre or cotributing with something fresh, but honestly I couldn’t care less. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel and keeping true to tradition by playing old school metal like it’s always been meant to sound is a fine art that Midnight are well on their way of perfecting.
Maybe not the number one album of the year, but a very strong record filled with kick ass riffs and tons of attitude.
Pure satanic rock and roll!
Title: Rebirth By Blasphemy
Label: Metal Blade Records
Date of release: 24/1-20
Stand out track: Warning From The Reaper