Metal Massacre XV (Metal Blade Records 2021)

The fifteenth installment of Metal Blade Records’ popular Metal Massacre compilation series takes the stage.

It all started in 1982 at the very beginning of the storied label. The first Metal Massacre compilation had some incredible artists contribute to it including Cirith Ungol, Avatar, Bitch, and Metallica. The anthology was an annual event for many years until the end of the 1980s when the new ones started to come out only sporadically. It is nice to see the fires lit again for the first time since 2016.

Here is what is on the new compilation. 01. Midnight, “Masked and Deadly” (exclusive), 02. Poison Ruïn, “Demon Wind,” 03. Fuming Mouth, “Master of Extremity,” 04. Many Suffer, “The Trees Die Standing” (exclusive), 05. Temple of Void, “Leave the Light Behind,” 06. Ripped to Shreds, “撿骨 (Bone Ritual)” (exclusive), 07. Rude, “Omega,” 08. Midnight Dice, “Starblind,” 09. Smoulder, “Warrior Witch of Hel,” and 10. Mother of Graves, “In Somber Dreams.”

As you can tell from the contributor list, there is quite a range of music here from straight up heavy metal to punk to death metal to doom and all points around and in between. It is worth noting that a few of these tracks are exclusive to this release (marked above), at least for now. That’s a good reason to check this album out along with the rest of the solid tunes.

Metal Massacre XV is out on Friday May 21st through the label at the link below. Recommended.

Links.

Metal Blade Records, https://www.metalblade.com/metalmassacre/

Metal Massacre XV (Metal Blade Records 2021)

Review of “Rebirth By Blasphemy” by Midnight (Metal Blade, 2020)

Rebirth By Blasphemy is the new release from Midnight, out January 24 from Metal Blade Records, and it’s a scorcher.

I have always thought of Midnight’s music as Punk first and Thrash second, probably because the early Eps made a big impression on me, and because of the attitude of the that music. It was very Punk. Maybe labeling really doesn’t matter all that much, but it does you give you some idea of what you’ll hear if you are new to the band, or in this case, the person. The force in Midnight is Athenar, who has been the face (typically shrouded) of the underground band for almost twenty years, writing all the songs and playing on the instruments on the studio recordings. Along with a seemingly endless string of Eps and splits, Midnight has risen out of the shadows in the last decade, propelled by their full-length releases Satanic Royalty (2011), No Mercy for Mayhem (2014) and Sweet Death and Ecstasy (2017) on Hells Headbangers Records. Rebirth By Blasphemy is their fourth long play.

The album starts out howling with “Fucking Speed and Darkness,” a song filled with heavy guitars, rough vocals, and undeniably catchy hooks. The title track is next, and it has an anthem-like twist – everybody will be singing along with this one at the live shows. By the time you get to song #3, “Escape the Grave,” you’re hooked. The musical structure has all the heavy elements fans of the earlier albums will be looking for: speed, growls, short lead breaks, and memorable choruses. Over the years the songs have gotten longer, and have moved away from Punk a little toward the thrashy metal corner of the spectrum. Rebirth By Blasphemy has a lot of old school metal in it, and it works in as an intoxicating blend of intention and execution with a primal sensibility. It is heavy music from front to back and a welcome follow-up to Sweet Death. Recommended.

If you can’t wait for the whole set to drop, head out to the launch party Friday January 10th at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. It is open to the public and it is going to be a wild evening. Look for Midnight on the road – they are playing several dates here and there including Decibel Magazine’s Metal & Beer Fest in Philadelphia in April and the Northwest Terror Fest in Seattle in May. Their Facebook page (link below) has more information on their live shows.

Links.

http://totalmidnight.webs.com/ (mainly an archive site last update in 2016)

http://midnight-ohio.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/midnightviolators/

https://www.instagram.com/midnightviolators/

Review of “Rebirth By Blasphemy” by Midnight (Metal Blade, 2020)