Midnight – ‘Hellish Expectations’

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Metal Blade Records

Release Date – March 8th 2024

I can still remember the very first time I heard Midnight. It was one of those ‘that’s just what I’ve been looking for moments’. I will admit the music is not for everyone but to me – it makes a whole load of sense. Midnight is the musical ‘talents’ of Athenar – aka Jamie Walters – and was originally a side project from his band Boulder. Taking the best (or worst – depending on your view) bits from Motorhead and Venom and adding his own deliciously warped view into the mix you get the roughest, rawest, filthiest, nastiest punk/metal hybrid – AND I LOVE IT!

Opener ‘Expect Total Hell’ does what it says and drills you into submission with its power and speed. The instruments are not so much played but abused to produce the sounds. It’s fast, loud and raw and you smell the dingy, booze and sweat-soaked studio coming through the speakers. ‘Gash Scrape’ starts with feedback before Athenar bashes the living daylights of guitar, bass and drums! Simple, direct and right in your face! ‘Masked And Deadly’ brings some evil blackened death metal that thrashes hard before the rabid punk/metal of ‘Slave Of The Blade’. Athenar has never had a problem writing songs about the basest most devious sexual antics and ‘Dungeon Lust’ is a perfect example – you can imagine all sorts going on to this soundtrack. ‘Nuclear Savior’ goes hardcore and gives you an aural battering before ‘Deliver Us To Devil’ comes back for the second round and attempts to knock your block off with a pummelling grind. The bass is turned up to eleven on ‘Mercyless Slaughtor’ (that’s how it’s spelt on the sleeve!) and what a mighty groove it gives us. Try not banging your head to this – it’s also pure evil! ‘Doom Death Desire’ is another rattler that inflicts pleasurable pain before the final uppercut of ‘F.O.A.L’ brings a Motorhead groove and a Venom vocal.

Athenar has stated that these songs were written in one weekend. He had just recorded his previous record and wasn’t that happy with the results, so he trimmed the fat’ off these cuts – only one of which goes over three minutes – and just went straight to the point and boy what a great job he does. The musical snobs will turn up their noses but when they get to the actual nuts and bolts of this record Athenar truly has created something special. It is not pretty, doesn’t smell too good and doesn’t expect polished. It is precise, direct, raw and honest and the energy is off the charts! A classic? I think so.

Track List –

1 – Expect Total Hell

2 – Gash Scrape

3 – Masked And Deadly

4 – Slave Of The Blade

5 – Dungeon Lust

6 – Nuclear Savior

7 – Deliver Us To Devil

8 – Mercyless Slaughter

9 – Doom Deat

h Desire

10 – F.O.A.L

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