mercoledì 7 giugno 2017

Midnight - "Shox of Violence" (Hells Headbangers Records, 2017)

Band: Midnight
Title: Shox of Violence
Genre: Black/Speed Metal
Year: 20th February 2017
Time: 71 min
Rating: 65/100

The sleaziest metal (one-man) band from Cleveland, Ohio, is back with its 4th compilation, the second one released by the infamous Hells Headbangers Records! The new compilation of Midnight, the creature founded by the multi-instrumentalist Athenar in 2003, is titled "Shox of Violence" and has the same name of the EP released in the end of 2016. It comprises even 25 tracks per 71 minutes where you will find not only the entire "Shox of Violence" EP but also a bunch of old stuff yet edited in the past years. More specifically, you will be crushed, for example, by the demo versions of old songs by Midnight then appeared in their debut album "Satanic Royalty" (2011), live tracks and an incredible quantity of covers also unthinkable that you will discover very soon. Thanks to them, it's possible to understand the various influences that have brought Athenar to create the unique sound of his creature. Curiously, I have to say that Hells Headbangers Records is recently releasing compilations of some its bands, as in the case of "Metal Massacre 31" of October 31 (reviewed on these pages some months ago) and the interminable "Cadaver Traditions" of Deceased.

So, "Shox of Violence" starts with the 4 songs of the still fresh "Shox of Violence" EP. This one show Midnight in their faster version due to a very raw black/speed metal where the drummer SS hit the ground with a non-stop assault while the riffing is strongly close to the rock'n'roll (especially in tracks like the initial "Death Scream") and Athenar seems to be a twin brother of Cronos with his typical shouts helped by some gang choruses. The various songs are structured in a very simple way with no tempo changes and presenting the classic guitar solos here and there, very '80s refrains, an average lenght of 2-3 minutes and, sometimes, the riffing is incredibly influenced by Hellhammer, as in the conclusive "Groin Gripper". Hence, DON'T expect strong variations from this forma mentis because every track of the compilation is filthy and raw in the now classic Midnight-style. And I am saying this also because the production, if in the EP is good, is totally low-fi in the live tracks like "Unholy and Rotten" (and you have to listen to also the last 2 minutes of pure delirium of this song because they have no connections with the played music!)

Ended the EP, there is another fast number of Midnight. It is called "Sadist Sodomystic Seducer", appeared for the first time in the 2015 split with the labelmates Shitfucker, another band of perfect perverts.

And then, there is the first cover of the compilation, the ultra-obvious "In League with Satan" of Venom but made in a very effective fast version, a sign that Athenar is able to personalize very well the covers played, also if, anyway, many of them are true to the original, as "Breakout" of Taipan. So, you will listen to covers that ranges from the NWOBHM of Venom, Girlschool ("Watch Your Step"), Crucifixion and Scarab to the heavy metal of cult bands like the US Mistreater and Taipan (an Aussie band that played in 1982 a kind of hard mid-tempo thrash metal in songs like "The Cellar"), or from the carefree Californian metal of Quiet Riot (the famous "Slick Black Cadillac") to the punk rock of Pagans and The Spits (band present even with 4 covers!). But the funnier thing is that Midnight have covered also a classic of 1965 called "The Witch" by The Sonics, an irreverent mid-tempo with abrupt fast tempos played exactly as the original. Finally, there is "TAP", a menacing mid-tempo focused in practice on just one riff that, appeared for the first time in the LP version of "Satanic Royalty", is essentialy a cover of a very obscure heavy metal band called Black Ax but don't waste your precious time by searching it through Internet because this band isn't into Metal-Archives!
The compilation ends with the two longer songs of it, that are the demo versions of the fast "Vomit Queens" and the mid-tempo "Cross Held High". This last one is more interesting because it last almost 5 minutes and contains even a strange (for the Midnight's standards, of course!) slow melodic tempo with arpeggios perfect for a ballad...but it is just a temporary illusion because we are talking about a track of Midnight, not "Love Hurts" of Nazareth!

The absurd thing is that I written very much for a compilation that, in the end, is interesting for me only for the "Shox of Violence" EP because this last one is very useful to understand the recent (good) condition of Midnight in view of a possible third album of them. In fact, I don't consider necessary this compilation also because it has some fillers. Anyway, it is perfect for the most crazy collector fans of the band and, surely, they are ready for a destruction of even 71 minutes guided by a sleazy, raw and obscene black rock'n'roll characterized by a sullen and punkish simplicity!


1 - Death Scream
2 - Who Gives a Fuck?
3 - Ready for Destruction
4 - Groin Gripper
5 - Sadist Sodomystic Seducer
6 - In League with Satan (Venom cover)
7 - Too Loud for the Crowd (Venom cover)
8 - The Witch (The Sonics cover)
9 - Breakout (Taipan cover)
10 - Hells Fire (Mistreater cover)
11 - TAP (Black Ax cover)
12 - When I Die (Pagans cover)
13 - Unholy and Rotten (live)
14 - ...on the Wings of Satan (live)
15 - Slick Black Cadillac (Quiet Riot cover)
16 - Nuclear Bomb (The Spits cover)
17 - Black Kar (The Spits cover)
18 - Rat Face (The Spits cover)
19 - Shitty World (The Spits cover)
20 - Death Sentence (Crucifixion cover)
21 - Wicked Women (Scarab cover)
22 - Eyes of Satan (Pagans cover)
23 - Watch Your Step (Girlschool cover)
24 - Vomit Queens (demo)
25 - Cross Held High (demo)


Athenar - vocals/guitars/bass
SS - drums (surely in the 4 first songs, at least)

Hells Headbangers Records:

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