Midnight is back. The blackened heavy metal punk thrashers have returned with a new release care of Hells Headbangers called Shox of Violence. Shox of Violence features five new tracks and a host of live and/or unreleased tracks that includes Venom, Quiet Riot, and The Spits covers amongst others. This is a compilation and not a new full-length release. If that prompts you to think that this won’t be a fun headbanging ride then you’re sadly mistaken. Midnight knows fans are salivating for new material from the band after the release of No Mercy for Mayhem, and fan-favorite and critically acclaimed album, Satanic Royalty. Shox of Violence features some new material, and the rest of the album is as enjoyable as any you’ll find from a band’s compilation of b-sides. The truth is that Midnight is one of the best bands in the business, and they do nothing but rock, thrash and punk out twenty-five short but catchy tracks of live-take violence.
The new material is spot on, and the album is non-stop no-frills fun. Midnight don’t do ambient music, breakdowns, or noise. They rock three chord punk progressions harder than any band on earth, and the solos are almost too good to be true here, as Midnight once again mix first wave black metal, punk, heavy metal, and thrash to sublime perfection on Shox of Violence. This is Hells Headbangers banner act now, and they deliver the mayhem and destruction expected of a band with that distinction.
Clearly, the band is whetting appetites with this new release, and we can only hope that Midnight releases a new full-length album soon. Meanwhile, fans can turn back the hands of time to the Venom era with covers of “In League with Satan” and “Too Loud for the Crowd.” The band scores high on a slightly off kilter track called “The Witch.” Also, Midnight’s covers of Scarb track, “Wicked Women and Pagans’ Eyes of Satan” are rendered superbly. If I’m not mistaken label-mates Deiphago are also guilty of covering the aforementioned Pagans track, but the members of Midnight clearly know their old-school punk and metal. Their covers don’t sound like covers at all, and a listen to Shox of Violence will not be the last time you destroy the play button in anticipation. This is addictive, and if you call yourself a metal fan, no time machine can bring you back through time with any degree of accuracy to enjoy what this band weaves together in a cacophonous web here.
Midnight can do no wrong. Even the cover of obscure punk band Girlschool’s “Watch Your Step” prompts headbanging harder than you’ll ever enjoy on most metal albums by similar bands. Correction, no band rocks it like Midnight. There was Venom then, and there is Midnight now. And, now that Midnight exists, no band makes this maelstrom of elements sound better. If you stop short of wrecking your speakers blasting this, get the fuck out now! No way. No how.