Rating 7 out of 10

There’s a kick-ass thrash/retro-black metal project from the Cleveland, Ohio area called Midnight.  The project is the work of the black hooded Athenar who handles vocals and plays all the instruments on most of their releases.   Midnight just released a fine piece of work called Sweet Death and Ecstasy. The one-man band’s 3rd full-length album features 8 kick-ass thrash metal songs with an additional 12 previously released songs played during rehearsals. While the production on the rehearsals is quite murky and barely listenable, the 8 new tracks are great. Midnight is simply a throwback to the days when you would go to the record store and discover the brilliant new work from bands like Venom and Bathory. The musicianship and production on Sweet Death and Ecstasy is more accomplished than the aforementioned bands making for a maniacally fun listen. The album is loaded with kick-ass riffs, leads, pick scraps speed and doom. What little I know about Athenar is that he is a true fan and collector of all things hard rock and metal and all of these great influences are present on Sweet Death and Ecstasy. Highlights are “Penetratal Ecstasy”, “Melting Brain”, and “Bitch Mongrel”.

Hopefully, Midnight will return to Chicago soon. The Mayhem stage at Chicago Open Air would be a perfect fit for this band.

This album review was written by Joe Becht.  Follow him on Twitter @JoeBecht



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