Released: 2014, Hell’s Headbangers Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Now more than ever, there is a breed (high in numbers) of bands that simply do not give a fuck about being original. They want to make music that they like, and that sounds like all their favourite old bands. Now, a bit of shameless self-indulgence is all well and fine, but is it also well and fine to dismiss these bands for somewhat of a lack of creativity? If so, we have a lot of bands to dismiss. One of these bands is Midnight, from Cleveland, Ohio. Still hot of the high heels of 2011’s underground success, Satanic Royalty, US metallers MIDNIGHT have returned for their follow up, No Mercy For Mayhem. However, before I even press play on this album, I ask the question, was another album actually necessary?
With a mix of styles that grind down to form a punky, dirty heavy metal grit, it’s perfectly understandable why MIDNIGHT can headline Live Evil Festival in London, and why they can appeal to a broad range of fans, especially by underground metal standards. However, despite all the essential ingredients being present; crunchy riffs, raspy vocals, and straight-up drumming, by “Prowling Leather” there is a notable absence. What is missing is that untouchable, X-Factor magic that made Satanic Royalty a hit even amongst cynics. It is only the catchy chorus and memorable bluesy guitar touches in the title track, “No Mercy For Mayhem” that save this album from being a total, face down flop.
Influences are obvious, Motorhead’s fuzz, strains of black metal found in Athenar’s vocal delivery, and NWOBHM heavy choruses- which actually serve as this album’s most admirable feature. However, with “Try Suicide” and its late night feel, it also feels like the end of this album has come too late. With this one dimensional formula of song writing, just eight tracks would have served plenty, making these headbangers an act much more suited to the EP format.
Unashamed and offering nothing but face value, it would be unfair to criticise MIDNIGHT too much, for their short comings certainly do not include pretentiousness or a claim of being anything they are not. However, this ideology of “no shits given” was so much better represented in their debut album, that it would be a failure to note that this record is notably a couple of notches down in quality. Unless you became a fanatic with Satanic Royalty, this LP is probably worth overlooking, but as a band, this three-piece will always plenty of followers, looking for a mean riffs and a rough ‘n’ ready drum beat to thrash around to!
Review by Jarod Lawley