Midnight – Let There Be Witchery (Metal Blade)

We hope that Lemmy, Philthy and Fast Eddie are painting the afterlife red… and knocking back bottles of jack like it’s going out of fashion.

And we hope that the latest soundtrack to their revelry is this piece of blackened rock ‘n’ roll savagery.

Yep, Cleveland’s Midnight – aka mainman Athenar – has pulled the Ace of Spades out of his pack on Let There Be Witchery.

His fifth album doesn’t quite top 2020’s incendiary Rebirth by Blasphemy.

But by Christ, it’s not far off.

Primal metal, venompunk and an Iron Fist full of motörriffs combine on this raw record, which swaggers into your ear canals, jacked up on speed and swigging bourbon.

As soon as opener Telepathic Nightmare storms into the fray, powered by a d-beat engine and bristling with demonic power chords, you’ll know that Athenar hasn’t smoothed out his rough edges… thankfully.

Indeed, the man who brought us anti-anthems like Fucking Speed And Darkness and Rip This Hell, demonstrates his total command of satanic songcraft.

There’s not a dud on this record.

Nor a moment where you can shelter from the shower of tar-laced spittle.  

Devil Virgin deals in classic, mid-paced Kilmister sleaze, with a guitar tone many Midnight wannabees would kill for, Snake Obsession ups the tempo and revels in its proto thrash excesses and the low slung More Torment lurches like a pissed up lucifer in a back alley.

Then there’s the beauty of Frothing Foulness.

There’s so much gristle in Athenar’s vocal delivery that you might want a wash afterwards…

Villainy Wretched Villainy might just take the crown though.

It’s simple, unrefined, ass-kicking heavy metal.

It’s NWOBHM played with a Young brothers strut.

It’s fucking brilliant.

And like the rest of this record, it reminds you of why you got into this music in the first place.

Wait ‘till the Midnight hour? We’ll have it now thanks.