Midnight made waves in the metal/punk community with their brilliant debut LP Satanic Royalty. I’ve owned it since it came out in 2011 and I’m still not tired of it. If you can, track down the copy which comes with a DVD. It’s worth the price to see some of the interview and live footage of the band. They call Cleveland, OH home and although I’ve never been there, I’ve heard it’s a shit stain of a city which explains the grimy, dirty punk/metal these guys spew forth.
Made up of Athenar (Vocals, Bass, Guitar, Drums, Commandor Vanik – (Guitar), and SS (Drums), these fellas play balls to the wall metal. Take the straight forward punk songs (three chords), shout along choruses, Lemmy-style vocals, and the tuning of Venom, early Slayer, and you have Midnight. That alone should get your attention.
The album starts with an ominous intro which leads into “Evil Like a Knife”. The chant of “Evil! Evil! Evil!” takes me back to the Slayer song “Evil has No Boundaries” from Live Undead. The immediacy of this album hits throughout as one song after another pummels your brain. The pacing of this album is great too. You can actually envision these guys playing this album from front to back in a live setting kicking it off hard (“Evil Like a Knife”), slowing it down a touch with “Prowling Leather” and “No Mercy for Mayhem”, picking up the pace a bit for “Degradation” (my favorite track), and wrapping things up nicely at the end with “Aggressive Crucifixion”. It’s not only the song order, but the production that makes these feel so raw and live. If you shut your eyes and cranked this to 11, you’d swear they were right in front of you.
My only gripe is I want more! The album is around 30 minutes long and while that’s long enough for many bands to outstay their welcome when playing this type of music, Midnight keeps you salivating for more. I’ve listened to this 3 times in a row (getting ready for a fourth). It’s that addictive and that good.
This release should really put them on the metal map as one of the great acts of the last few years. Other bands try this style and comes off as either too punk, too metal, or they simply can’t write songs this catchy. I didn’t think they could top Satanic Royalty. Midnight has achieved what I feel to be an instant classic in No Mercy for Mayhem and thankfully proved me wrong.
The LP comes out 8/19/14 on Hell’s Headbangers. Details and format information (along with ordering) can be found here: http://shop-hellsheadbangers.com/midnight-no-mercy-for-mayhem.asp