Hailing from Cleveland the black-thrash force Midnight has been on a rampage since their inception back in 2003. Guided by the extreme metal spirit of the ’80s, the band led by Athenar has released two excellent records in
Satanic Royalty and No Mercy for Mayhem. However, regarding the revival scene of the ’80s black-thrash style, Athenar shrugs it off saying “there was never a revival for me… good genuine music will stand the test of time no matter when it was recorded. Just like Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard were considered part of the rock ‘n’ roll revival of the late ’60s/early ’70s, then they were legendary rock ‘n’ roll hall of famers! So motherfuck a time period!”.
Direct and relentless, Midnight lead a condensed assault of proto-black metal glory, filled with catchy lead work, larger-than-life vocals, and spiky groove. The trifecta will soon be complete with the release of
Sweet Death and Ecstasy, the band’s latest record, from which we are thrilled to present the predatory opening track “Crushed By Demons”. Sweet Death and Ecstasy contains all the aggression and sleaze that we know and love from Midnight’s music, presented fantastically through Joel Grind’s (Toxic Holocaust) touch on the mixing and mastering front. When asked about his decision to work with Joel, Athenar explains that the two have “lots of musical and personal things in common” and he was someone that understood completely the sound he was after, saying that “[Joel] knew exactly the way I would like [Sweet Death and Ecstasy] mixed, with me giving him very minimal input”.
“Crushed by Demons” is a slightly unusual offering from Midnight, as the track surpasses the six-minute mark, making it double the length of the usual Midnight ripper. Athenar suggests the track had “an early Manowar-ish idea with the dropped tuning” while at the same time he wanted to “make a streamlined version of side one of [Venom’s]
At War With Satan“. The mid-tempo groove is sickening, absolutely hooking you in from the second the first drum hit arrives, while the sharp riffs influenced by the first Bathory record merge with a hard rocking attitude as noisy leads appear, all the while Athenar channels Cronos’ trademark hellish delivery, diving further into the primitive side of extreme metal.