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MIDNIGHT - Rebirth By Blasphemy

Release date January 24/20 (Metal Blade)

2017's Sweet Death & Ecstasy was a solid enough affair, but a tad too laid back for what I was expecting from the mighty Midnight. The blow-back-your-hair intensity seemed to be missing, coming across as a little tired. So, I approached their latest, Rebirth By Blasphemy, with a little bit of trepidation.

First listening session had me grinning, the band absolutely laying on the gas pedal throughout, there only being one mid-tempo stomper (think early Venom) amongst the ten tracks of Motorhead-on-speed offered. However, I was left a little befuddled after the initial listen in that only a few tracks stuck out, despite the obvious up-tick in intensity. Had the band over-corrected and supplied fans what they wanted/expected at the cost of originality?

Ten listens later, I laugh at my initial fears/misgivings, realizing that Rebirth In Blasphemy is simply so overwhelming that multiple listens are necessary to ingest its charms. This is one of those albums best consumed with brown bevies and the stereo turned up to maximum, inciting singalongs and horn salutes throughout. A frikkin' hoot of a black/speed outing that puts Midnight back on the rails to hell. Can't wait to catch 'em live supporting this.

Note; Highlight tracks for me would be the OTT rock'n'roll of "The Sounds of Hell", the razor sharp "Raw Attack", the wall-of-sound title track and the absolutely crushing "Fucking Speed and Darkness". Beware!

(8.5)

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