Ohio’s underground warrior, Midnight, returns with his 4th full length studio album. That album is called Rebirth by Blasphemy and it is out now, via Metal Blade Records.
Midnight was formed by Athenar, while he still was in the band, Boulder, as a solo side-project. Initially he only ever planned to release EPs and splits, which he kept to for the first eight years of the band’s existence. He formed Midnight way back in 2003 and has an impressive back catalogue of 5 EPs, 6 split releases, 2 live albums, multiple collaborations, multiple compilations and now his 4th full length studio release. Not bad for a one man band who also finds time to perform live with masked musicians known as Midnight Mistresses.
“Rebirth By Blasphemy is a rebirth,” states Midnight’s sole driving force, Athenar. “It’s a change in life and it’s a rebirth of doing whatever the fuck you want and seeing what happens after that. It’s about saying yes, taking opportunities, taking a fucking chance.”
Rebirth by Blasphemy is 10 tracks long with a total length of around 34 minutes. If you have come hoping for lengthy epics, this isn’t really the place. We are in for 2 to 4 minute blasts of heavy metal all the way through. Metal that has a traditional edge with a raw production, predominantly blazing away at speed in the thrash/death genre.
That’s not to say there isn’t plenty of variety though. There is. It comes mostly in the form of switches in tone and pace though. We start straight off at breakneck speed with Fucking Speed and Darkness. Possibly a solid review of the album as well in that title. It is a fast and heavy blast of metal with quick drums and snarled vocals. It does manage to almost instantly raise my expectations for the whole album too. That comes mainly from the catchy riff and the absolutely brilliant ascending guitars in the verses. A little moment of genius right there. Strong start.
The next two songs keep the speed coming but backed with exceptional riffing and lead guitar lines. Title track Rebirth by Blasphemy has a good pace that drops to a bit more groove in the simple but effective chorus. It also has a wicked little solo. Escape the Grave adds a little extra touch of darkness to the vocals while the pace moves at 100 mph. The sort of song that demands a mosh pit. Devils Excrement is another short blast track with stand out drumming and wicked screeching guitars in the simple chorus before an insane solo takes control of your neck. Brilliant.
Rising Scum switches things up next slowing things down to a steadier pace and a lower tone. Drawn out, dropped notes over a big booming drum beat really gets the neck muscles working. The vocals really suit this style too, they sound absolutely vicious. The whole song packs so much groove as well as another banging solo for good measure. It quickly becomes my favourite of a good bunch so far. Warning From the Reaper drags us out of our groove and straight back to punishing speed. It has a fiery start and then cleverly drops all the guitars suddenly for the verses. They come back in acting as punctuation marks at the end of each line before all jumping back in with force for the expert chorus.
Cursed Possessions is next up and stays quick and a little more traditional, hitting us hard with a punchy riff and quick but not too quick pace. Raw Attack does what it says on the tin, hitting hard, fast and relentlessly. I really like the slightly cleaned up vocals in the chorus and absolutely love the solo. The Sounds of Hell is our penultimate track and has a real rock rhythm to its start, switching to a heavier edge once the verses kick in. The guitars are brilliant again in yet another song that quickly hooks itself into your mind. A little guitar harmonising is lapped up before we head into a short but fiery solo.
This leads us into our album closer You Can Drag Me Through Fire. A perfect intro melody jumps into life with an explosion of drum rolls. The verses are great with a nice pace, big guitar chords and strong vocals. The chorus is solid with a little added backing shouting and ends into a banging solo.
That brings Rebirth by Blasphemy to a close. It all happened so fast, it is a bit of a blur really. 34 minutes passed in seconds mainly because it is so damn good to listen to. I really enjoyed this album. It is fast, dark and heavy, or Fucking Speed and Darkness, as Midnight himself may say. It has a raw edge to it but it isn’t amateurish in any way. The guitars sound fucking amazing, The songs have loads of variety too. Despite the hails of speed and brutality, that isn’t anywhere near the whole story. In fact there are plenty of mid tempo songs and songs with groove and progressive edges. It is just simply a damn good metal album.
Grab yourself a copy from Metal Blade, here.
Rebirth by Blasphemy by Midnight (Metal Blade Records)
The Final Score - 9/10