Written by Carcassbomb
- Rebirthed By Blasphemy
- Speed Metal
- Ohio, USA
- January 24, 2020
- Via Metal Blade
Fucking speed and darkness! What else is there to say about Midnight? They set up a simple premise and stick to it with mastery. If you aren’t familiar with Midnight then I’d best describe them as Gwar sped up with black metal and sex thrown on it. I first became a fan after hearing Sweet Death & Ecstasy which I promptly paid out the ass to get on cassette shipped to Australia. How does this one compare? It’s not bad, that’s for sure but it feels more straight forward. At its worst it’s more of what fans love, so that’s pretty valuable and something veteran bands need to achieve in order to maintain longevity.
The studio record has Athenar as the sole member doing vocals, guitar, bass and drums. The instruments take a back seat with the core focus being on lyric delivery through his vocals which are fantastic on both accounts. The instruments fulfill their purpose but I reckon getting some more musicians involved could have helped spice it up a lot, even just getting someone to come in to do solos like Iron Flame did on their upcoming album would add so much flavour. The themes of the songs are awesome as well as the vocal pacing, there’s some positive messages in there.
“Escape The Grave” is my favorite. From what I can tell it carries an anti-suicide anti-depression sentiment, particularly with lyrics like:
Fight the urge to sink in your tomb
Never be buried alive
Strength in evil carries me though
Take back the need to survive
Never be buried alive
Which carries a very positive note for what is often seen as a genre transfixed on death and negativity. It’s not grimm, it’s empowered through Satan and it’s epic. The speed element is way stronger than the black n’ roll aspects, which I remember being the inverse on Sweet Death & Ecstasy. There’s some similarities to the song flow of glam/heavy metal on slower songs. It’s all about those catchy choruses and shouting awesome shit like “DRAG ME THROUGH FIRE”. It’s good, it’s god damned infectious, but it’s also missing the dirt factor. It needed a rawer mix than it has.
The guitarwork had some great bits, I noticed a new lick or two that sounded like it belonged in a video game and I loved that. Unfortunately it didn’t occur quite enough and regressed back to pretty basic speed metal riffs and power chords. The solos weren’t very good either, they sounded quite flat and lacking in imagination. Like I said, this is where guest musicians could have brought an extra level of flair to the album. The level that Midnight are at, they could basically have anyone they could ask for so it’s kind of bizarre to see no collaboration.
Rebirth By Blasphemy is a record that will do well because it’s more of what fans love and I more or less got what I expected. Some of the tracks really stand out and can easily become stuck in your head. The emphasis on the lyrics is a take I’m not entirely used to and it changes how a song is structured a lot compared to death and black genres. There’s a level of acceptable cheese that mingles with personal meaning, it’s a good balance. A worthy addition to the 2020 release calendar but not entirely a competitive one.
7.7/10 though from what I hear it’s a 10/10 live show.