"Satanic Royalty"

By Dr. Abner Mality

When the clock strikes twelve, prepare to rock all the way down to HELL! And it's about fuckin' time, too! I've heard the name of Midnight whispered in hushed tones for the last few years now, but there's been little to show for it except some 7" and splits. Well, now darkness finally descends for real, with "Satanic Royalty", the first full length from Midnight.

This was the sound of black metal circa 1985. Imagine the rockier Venom mixed with an evil Motorhead, with just a touch of Mercyful Fate and sinister NWOBHM tossed in. It's not really thrash, certainly not death metal and definitely not black metal in the Norwegian style, but it gives praise to the goat with a primal blast that would have Pope Benedict throwing the horns! Athenar, the brains behind Midnight, knows exactly what kind of sound he's after and achieves it here. The title track kicks off with a surprisingly mid-paced catchy stomper that still reeks of degeneracy and from there, each cut on the album has its own distinct feel. "You Can't Stop Steel" kinda sounds like Midnight's take on Motorhead's "Overkill" with its driving beat and multiple guitar outbursts. "Black Damnation" is where the Fate influences show up, with a more gothic and classical touch. No King Diamond shrieks, though...Athenar keeps his vocals raw and throaty, like a more accessible Cronos. "Violence ON Violence" has Midnight cutting loose with pure neck-breaking thrash...the fastest and heaviest cut!

"Satanic Royalty" is remarkably consistent, as there are no duff tracks. With all the retro Swedish death metal and angry sludge I've been hearing lately, this dose of nefarious speed rock comes across as most welcome. WORSHIP OR DIE!