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Midnight – Hellish Expectations

midnight – hellish expectations


Over the course of the last, let’s say, ten years Midnight is one of Heavy Metal’s most revered rising stars. Not only has Midnight perfected its formula of sleazy Heavy Metal, and cemented their name as one of the best live acts of the century, even more so they have managed to connect the dots of various different (extreme music) genres. That did not only result in a impressive series of great records, it also unites fans of all these individual genres – something that translates into their live audiences. The band’s latest triumph comes in the form of their sixth full-length player…

Well, full-length… Although none of the band’s albums clocked much over 35 minutes in total, Athenar must have thought that he could even be more efficient – truly sporting the “less is more”-kind of fashion – this newest instalment barely lasts 25 minutes. But, besides me personally being a fan of short(er) players, I think the album actually benefits from this even more limited playing time. The short and sharp shocks we have come to know the band from, do even feel sharper and more to the point. So, while the playing time for many will feel like an EP’s length, Midnight is offering their followers more than enough for their money’s worth.

It might be all too obvious that Midnight is not serving you with anything remotely new or different from what you would expect, the band’s core business will always remain the same. Yet, when you compare the band’s earliest output with what is on offer here, it is clear that over the years Midnight has increasingly been leaning more onto the Heavy Metal pillar of their original musical concept. Even compared to 2022’s ‘Let There Be Witchery’ there is way more sleazy Punk and Rock-‘n-Roll in here. These increasing amount of catchy melodies and ear worming sing-along refrains go to the expense of the more or less Black Metal basis that the band was built on. There is still some Venom and Darkthrone in here, but the majority of the music on ‘Hellish Expectations’ is clearly focussed on stuff like The Dwarves and GG Allin and some more Rock-‘n-Roll infused Heavy Metal bands like Motörhead and Tank.

The musical direction might have changed a little over time, I think the vast majority of those who loved ‘Satanic Royalty’ (2011, Hells Headbangers) will still be able to enjoy the band anno 2024. In the end, the differences between the individual records are only marginally and perhaps only identifiable for the careful listeners or analyst nerds. Thinking of that now, who cares about all these details anyway, ‘Hellish Expectations’ lives up all of our, indeed, hellish expectations.