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Midnight - Rebirth by Blasphemy Award winner

Midnight
Rebirth by Blashemy
by Eric Poulin at 09 January 2020, 6:27 AM

MIDNIGHT is black/speed metal band based out of Cleveland, Ohio in the United States that was formed back in 2003. Essentially the project right now is a one-man band with Athenar handling all musical duties. The band is currently signed to Metal Blade Records and this is their 4th full-length album entitled “Rebirth by Blasphemy”, that will be released on January 24th 2020. My first encounter with this project was last year when they opened for OBITUARY and ABBATH and I was impressed by their presence on stage, they have the power and the energy of MOTÖRHEAD, combined with the anger and violence you would expect from a pure black metal band. Needless to say, I was very enthusiastic at the prospect of reviewing their newest opus.

The album begins with “Fucking Speed and Darkness” wastes no time with its straight-ahead 1980s NWOBHM guitar melodies that leave you hanging until the angry echo-filled shrieking vocals hit their mark. The band’s style just sends shivers up my spine, it has a warm feeling in the guitars, yet just pure hate, akin to the greatest punk-inspired bands of the glory days of thrash metal. The title track “Rebirth by Blasphemy” that follows uses a bit more melody than the first song, but don’t let that fool you, even if the song is a bit slower, it pulls you in just the same. It blows me away how a band can have catchy IRON MAIDEN guitar melodies covered in vomit-covered vocals. The imagery might be a bit strong here, but the vocals are about as harsh as you will ever hear in a 1980s speed metal influenced band. I don’t mean that as a negative whatsoever. This actually adds a very necessary layer to the band’s style and has become their strong suit.

“Escape to the Grave” is a great throwback to the almighty gods of dirty rock and roll MOTÖRHEAD and the vocals here I find are more akin to VENOM than the other songs so far. A great headbanger that should become a key piece of their live sets when promoting the album. “Devil’s Excrement” is a rapid-fire number that is well orchestrated kick to the nuts that reminds me a lot of their early material in the early 2000s. The pounding drums and the simple structure of the song make it another great candidate for their live performances. A nice guitar solo included in this one as well! “Rising Scum” has a bit more basic drum pattern that immediately brought me back to the early years of ANTHRAX, it has a tribal feeling to it because of the slower tempo and has that album closure feel to it, as on some of the older TESTAMENT records.

If “Warning from the Reaper” does not get your bloom pumping, I doubt anything will. High-pitched guitars, rapid fire drumming to start and then a nice old school punk layer. The song also puts a lot of emphasis on vomit, how can you go wrong ? Another standout is “Cursed Possessions” which really captures the 1979 sound that made IRON MAIDEN so popular, the song is covered in dirt and catchy repetitive guitar patterns. Overall, there is a not one single weak song on the album, no filler whatsoever. You have some faster numbers that bring the speed metal side to the forefront and some slower songs as well, that are just as violent and intense. I you enjoyed their previous releases, you will love this album as well and what I really enjoyed about it was the live feel the recordings have, which has become a rarity in this day and age !

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Fucking Speed and Darkness
2. Rebirth by Blasphemy
3. Escape the Grave
4. Devil's Excrement
5. Rising Scum
6. Warning from the Reaper
7. Cursed Possessions
8. Raw Attack
9. The Sounds of Hell
10. You Can Drag Me Through Fire
Lineup:
Athenar - Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade Records
     


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