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(Album Review) MIDNIGHT - Hellish Expectations (Metal Blade)

Written by: Joe B.

Before I delve into Midnight’s newest release, Hellish Expectations, it must be highlighted that Athenar and his band just finished a mini tour of China. That’s correct, CHINA. I have stated for years that heavy metal and hard rock could accomplish world peace more than any politician or religious leader. I stand by this statement and will debate anyone who disagrees.

Hellish Expectations is Midnight’s 6th full album, and 3rd release on Metal Blade. The last 3 albums were absolutely stellar, with Rebirth by Blasphemy being by far the best album of 2020. Midnight’s 2022 follow up, Let There Be Witchery is almost as great, therefore, the newest release has an extremely high bar to match.

Athenar once again plays all of the instruments on the new album and he is also influenced by a plethora of heavy metal and hard rock bands. Hellish Expectations leans more on pure thrash in the vein of one of Athenar’s favorite bands, Bathory and also early Venom. Stand out songs are "Expect Total Hell", "Slave of the Blade", the very Bathory-esque "Dungeon Lust" and the album closer "F.O.A.L.". Hellish Expectations has 10 songs which clock in at 26 minutes. Just by doing the math, the listener will know the songs are fast.

The new album is quite good and every metal fan needs it in their collection. Hellish Expectations falls short because Athenar’s previous 3 albums are pure excellence. He set the bar too high. Then again for some fans, maybe not. I can see where a part of the Midnight Violators may prefer the shear thrash of the new album over the previous ones. (Ed: Include me in that category!)

3.5 out of 5


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