I don’t think I’ve ever heard a single note from MIDNIGHT until their new album Sweet Death and Ecstasy (out now, Hells Headbangers) landed in my wheelhouse recently. They are a volatile cocktail of metal-meets-punk and their songs certainly hit hard and kick ass all over the place. That was my first impression only two songs in. My second thought was, “How the fuck did I miss these guys?!?” Band mastermind Athenar sounds pissed and ready to kill throughout this whole thing, which I love. And who knows? Maybe part of that anger comes from living in Cleveland. I’d be ready to fuck shit up if that’s where I was from, too.
As far as the songs go, there’s some good, raw stuff to be found. The whole record clocks in at a mere 32 minutes with only eight songs, but believe me, that’s effective enough. The disc is bookended by tunes that both break the six-minute mark in opener “Crushed By Demons” and closer “Before My Time In Hell”, and not coincidentally they happen to be two of the best on the whole thing. “Penetratal Ecstasy” is another winner, and it’s definitely my favorite of the bunch. “Melting Brain” is a series of quick jabs that doesn’t even go a full two minutes, while “Rabid!” goes in for the kill from the very first note.
“Bitch Mongrel” is a pretty cool cool tune, but “Poison Trash” is an absolute showstopper from the word go. “Here Comes Sweet Death” was a grower; I didn’t quite feel it at first, but it’s definitely not bad. Quite the opposite. Like I said earlier, I knew nothing of MIDNIGHT when Sweet Death and Ecstasy crossed my path. But I’m certainly glad I know them now. This band is the sonic equivalent of a quickie: they get in, fuck you real hard real fast, then get out, leaving you stewing in your own juices. If you like that shit, then you’ll love these guys!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Penetratal Ecstasy”, “Rabid!”, “Poison Trash”, “Crushed By Demons”