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Midnight- Hellish Expectations LP (Sangria Vinyl)

Midnight- Hellish Expectations LP (Sangria Vinyl)
Midnight- Hellish Expectations LP (Sangria Vinyl)
Midnight- Hellish Expectations LP (Sangria Vinyl)
Midnight- Hellish Expectations LP (Sangria Vinyl)
Midnight- Hellish Expectations LP (Sangria Vinyl)
Midnight- Hellish Expectations LP (Sangria Vinyl)
Midnight- Hellish Expectations LP (Sangria Vinyl)
Midnight- Hellish Expectations LP (Sangria Vinyl)
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Band/Title: Midnight
You can earn 33 AYP PUNK ROCK POINTS on this product!
Price: $32.99
Product Details

01. Expect Total Hell
02. Gash Scrape
03. Masked and Deadly
04. Slave of the Blade
05. Dungeon Lust

06. Nuclear Savior
07. Deliver Us to Devil
08. Mercyless Slaughtor
09. Doom Death Desire
10. F.O.A.L.


The notorious and prolific Cleveland cult, Midnight, have been slaying the metal/punk underground with their own, highly addictive brand of lust, filth, and sleaze dating back to the band's inception in 2003. Filthy, belligerent and obnoxious, Midnight make music to start fights to. One-man-band, Athenar, has been churning out an ungodly racket, dropping countless demos, splits and EPs, and in 2024 he returns with Midnight's sixth full-length, 'Hellish Expectations.'

Athenar says about the album: "It's a knuckle dragger with a fat cutoff. Pure testosterone meat. Probably the most concise and straight to the point Midnight album to date, and all written in a weekend. The album was written on pure reaction upon leaving the studio after listening to raw tracks from the previous album 'Let There Be Witchery.' The final mix of that album was good, but at the time of laying it down in the studio, I didn't like what I was hearing and demanded a new leviathan of an album to be written that weekend."

Screaming back for more after the release of 2022’s Let There Be Witchery, solo musician Athenar, under the name of Midnight, has returned with another blessed offering of black rock n’ roll in the form of their sixth full length record, Hellish Expectations. Now, the previous record from Midnight left me feeling a bit wanting. It was good, as is the majority of Midnight’s work, but it lacked a certain oomph and pizazz that all of the preceding records contained. Upon hearing the first single that dropped ahead of this album, "F.O.A.L.”, I was certain that this would be a true return to form, and to my complete and utter joy I was correct.

Hellish Expectations is a true return to the quick, dirty, remorseless black n’ roll of Midnight’s earlier work. Its got a ton of variety, but all of the songs are bathed in this repulsive layer of filth and grime that hearkens back to the Satanic Royalty and Shox of Violence days of the band. It feels like the kind of music that would play both in a sticker-bombed bathroom with the riskiest toilet seat you’ve ever seen as well as a pothole-ridden highway that leads straight into the bowels of Satan’s anus. A song like "Gash Scrape” in particular really exudes that disgusting vibe that Midnight’s earlier works contained.

Athenar’s vocal style is still just as great as it ever was, remaining full of piss and vinegar and spittle and pus, just foaming at the mouth with ravenous hunger for the flesh, blood and bone of mortals. I love how much power is in his voice and how he enunciates certain words with an edge of insanity. I find his vocal range to be somewhere in between that of the typical thrash metal yell, a hardcore punk shout, and a black metal rasp, all of which are mixed into a blender to create this vocal approach.

The riffs really dig deep into that good ol’ rock and roll vibe established by legendary bands like Motorhead and further refined over the years. Some people say that Darkthrone’s crust era is like a modern day Motorhead, while others point to Matt Pike’s work in High on Fire, but I say that Midnight is the truest and most honest continuation of that sound, just with a harsher edge for a modern audience. I really love how the bass weaves its way into the whole mixture and really gives each guitar riff the heavy thud that it needs to be as heavy as it is. In fact its the presence of the bass in these tracks that gives the whole album much of its grimier aesthetic and atmosphere.

The drums aren’t overly complicated and are relatively simple and to the point, as this music demands. Athenar knows he doesn’t have to be over the top and flashy for the kind of down-to-earth rot n’ roll that he’s writing. Instead they focus more on driving the music forward at a consistent pace, either fast as fuck or slower and plodding like on the track "Dungeon Lust”. I will say that the track "Nuclear Savior” felt a bit too similar to "Frothing Foulness” from the previous record, which made the song a bit distracting, but other than that the drum playing here is ideal for this style of heavy music.

The production here is also better than it was on Let There Be Witchery. I don’t want to sound like I’m coming down on that record too much but after Rebirth by Blasphemy it felt like a misstep into territory that was a bit too death metal influenced for what I expect from Midnight’s work. The production here on Hellish Expectations feels much more in line with what I want from this kind of music. It’s loud and in your face and vile and disgusting, but most importantly it’s fucking raw. The instrumentals aren’t given this grandiose importance. They’re treated like the raw expression of anger and lust that they’re supposed to be. Noah Buchanan did an excellent job on this album.

Midnight have really come back in a big way on this album, digging back into their earlier material for the sound that built their fanbase in the first place. The more NWOTHM-style influences that cropped up on their previous two records are still there, but they’re paired next to vile and gross songs that feel like they could belong on the band’s earliest demos. This is exactly what I want from Midnight. In a way you could say it was indeed a Hellish Expectation.

Final Verdict: 9/10

(Where Strides The Behemoth? Review)


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