Album Review: Midnight - Rebirth By Blasphemy

Artist Midnight

Album: Rebirth By Blasphemy

Genre: Black Rock n Roll/Thrash Metal

Review by Steve Jenkins

Just as the song says, "Cleveland Rocks!" But I defy you to find another band right now that rocks just as hard or harder than Cleveland's very own force to be reckoned with, Midnight. Known for being one of the main pioneers behind the blackened speed metal movement with their satanic imagery, confronting artwork, wild lyrics and incredible live performances. It's clear that Midnight tip their hat in a major way to legendary bands such as Venom and Motorhead, and they do an amazing job reinventing and recreating those old school sounds.

Believe it or not, Midnight consists of one man and he goes by the name of Athenar, making the music you hear sound even more impressive. The multi-instrumentalist records the vocal, guitar, bass and drums all by himself like some sort of evil genius. When it comes to performing live the "one-man-band" reigns supreme along with the midnight mistresses and those shows are a sight to behold. But let's talk about Midnight's brand new album titled 'Rebirth By Blasphemy' which is his 4th full-length album among an impressive catalogue consisting of EP's, demos and splits.

The album starts off like pure mayhem with the track "Fucking Speed And Darkness" which is the perfect way to sum up Midnight in just a few words. It's a full throttle assault with filthy riffs, fast drumming and harsh, gritty vocals. It's almost like stepping back in time and being part of the very first wave of black metal, and holy crap it sounds just so damn cool. It makes you want to stand up, chug down a few beers, and kick over your chair right before you storm off and start sinning all over the place. Title track "Rebirth By Blasphemy" is a highlight on this release, the guitar is infectious, the chorus is super catchy (almost anthem-like) and there's also some pretty neat solos as well. Right in the middle of the album we get a bit of slower track called "Rising Scum" which is pretty much the only track that isn't as full-throttle as the others. It divides the listen up nicely and makes for a really solid mid-tempo offering from the sleazy shred lord himself.

I'd say Midnight has gradually leaning more toward the black 'n' roll sound as opposed to say that speedier, more thrashier side of metal as time has gone on, but that's not to say the levels of savagery and energy aren't at an all time high. Most of the tracks you'll hear are very upbeat and show a lot of passion, it's definitely a party album. Previous release, 'Sweet Death & Ecstasy' showed a bit more variety in terms of slower tempos and being a little less savage. But on 'Rebirth By Blasphemy' is sounds like Midnight is back to being the satanic master of blackened rock and roll that every metalhead should definitely check out.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Rebirth By Blasphemy is out January 24th via Metal Blade Records.

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