MIDNIGHT "Rebirth By Blasphemy"


"Rebirth By Blasphemy"

The twelfth bell has sounded and MIDNIGHT has moved up the ladder to Metal Blade Records. An underground phenomena for almost 20 years, Athenar and his hooded henchmen are out of the basement and breathing some rarefied air now. MIDNIGHT is the kind of band that should be crawling in the basement of the metal world where they thrive, but is "Rebirth By Blasphemy" the ticket to...gasp...respectability?

There are no real major changes here, long time fans will be happy to know. The trio still specialize in a punked up kind of speed/thrash metal that has very recognizable roots in sheer, unadulterated rock n roll. That hasn't changed. But the sound here is noticeably cleaner and slicker than what we heard from MIDNIGHT during the Hells Headbangers days. Not to the point where it sounds like GHOST or DISTURBED, but you can tell the difference. The voice of Athenar to me seems deeper and more raw on "Rebirth By Blasphemy", as if to make up for the slightly more polished sound. First track "Fucking Speed and Darkness" tells you what the primary interests of MIDNIGHT are, with catchy thrash/punk, and the following title track and "Escape The Grave" keep the frenzy high. "Rising Scum" slows things down to an anthemic level and if you ever wanted to really hear just how rock n roll MIDNIGHT is, "Cursed Possessions" and "The Sound of Hell" will drive it home. This last song sounds almost breezy in an evil kind of way and is surely the most hook-laden song the band has ever done.

They stretch themselves a bit with "You Can Drag Me Through Fire", where they experiment with more melody than usual and the result is frankly uneasy, but MIDNIGHT wisely doesn't stray too far off the brimstone path of the past. If you've heard underground mumbles and whispers of MIDNIGHT in the past without actually experiencing them, then this will give you the opportunity.




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