Midnight – Hellish Expectations Review

Midnight's Raw Power: A Punk/Metal Hybrid Masterpiece...

Metal

Metal Blade Records

Release Date – March 8th 2024

 

Line Up:

Athenar – Everything

 

Tracklist:

1 – Expect Total Hell

2 – Gash Scrape

3 – Masked And Deadly

4 – Slave Of The Blade

5 – Dungeon Lust

6 – Nuclear Savior

7 – Deliver Us To Devil

8 – Mercyless Slaughtor

9 – Doom Death Desire

10 – F.O.A.L

 

I vividly recall the initial encounter with “Midnight,” a moment of revelation where I thought, “This is exactly what I’ve been searching for.” While I acknowledge that the music may not appeal to everyone, to me, it epitomizes a profound sense of coherence. “Midnight” embodies the musical prowess of Athenar, also known as Jamie Walters, initially conceived as a side project from his band Boulder. Drawing inspiration from the best (or perhaps the worst, depending on your perspective) elements of Motörhead and Venom, Athenar infuses his own warped perspective, resulting in an unapologetically rough, raw, filthy, and downright nasty punk/metal hybrid – and I absolutely love it!

The opening track, ‘Expect Total Hell,’ lives up to its name, forcefully captivating with its intensity and speed. The instruments are not merely played but rather abused, producing a cacophony that exudes the atmosphere of a dimly lit, booze-soaked studio. ‘Gash Scrape’ kicks off with feedback before Athenar ruthlessly assaults the guitar, bass, and drums, delivering a performance that is simple, direct, and right in your face. ‘Masked And Deadly’ introduces a sinister blackened death metal vibe, thrashing vigorously before transitioning into the rabid punk/metal energy of ‘Slave Of The Blade.’ Athenar, unapologetically, delves into themes of the most base and devious sexual antics with ‘Dungeon Lust,’ providing a soundtrack that sparks vivid imaginations. ‘Nuclear Savior’ ventures into hardcore territory, delivering an auditory assault before ‘Deliver Us To Devil’ returns for a second round, attempting to knock your senses with relentless pummeling. ‘Mercyless Slaughtor’ turns the bass up to eleven (spelled that way on the sleeve!), producing a mighty groove that is undeniably headbang-worthy – a pure embodiment of evil! ‘Doom Death Desire’ inflicts pleasurable pain, while the final uppercut of ‘F.O.A.L’ introduces a Motörhead groove coupled with a Venom-esque vocal.

Athenar revealed that these songs were written in a single weekend, a creative burst following his dissatisfaction with the results of his previous recording. He decided to ‘trim the fat’ off these cuts – with none exceeding three minutes – and opted for a straightforward approach. The outcome is nothing short of remarkable. While some musical purists may turn up their noses, a closer examination reveals that Athenar has truly crafted something extraordinary. It may not be pretty, lack a pleasant aroma, and certainly isn’t polished, but it is precise, direct, raw, and honest. The energy emitted is off the charts! Can it be considered a classic? In my opinion, absolutely.

 

Written by: Smudge

Ratings: 10/10

 

 

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