Finally, another new track taken from Midnight’s eagerly awaited LP, Sweet Death and Ecstasy. “Crushed By Demons,” the album’s opening song, is a crushing new piece of music that wastes no time showing off a more dimensional sound for the band’s infamous go-for-the-throat attack that Midnight has mastered by now. It’s presence is deliberate and flattening.
Check both new songs out immediately below. The first part of an ongoing interview is posted below, as well. Be sure to look that over if you haven’t already.
Over the months, I’ve spoken with Midnight’s helmsman, Athenar, about the activity involving the band during 2017. Cleveland, OH’s Midnight doesn’t really need much of an introduction. Earlier this year the band was tapped to participate in the 2017 annual Decibel Magazine Tour in North America. Sharing a billing with metal icons Kreator and Obituary introduced Midnight’s trademark sonic sleaze and debauchery to thousands of unsuspecting metal fans across the country, no doubt adding yet even more numbers to their already robust, maniacal hordes around the world.
Midnight has cultivated a highly impressive following and reputation with relatively small amounts of traditional ‘promotion’. While talking about touring and it’s employment as a utility of self-promotion, Athenar says ”Yeah, that’s why I haven’t really done a whole lot of it.” He doesn’t have an aversion to live performances, he’s just not real into the concept of the whole self-promotion thing. It has to make sense. Fair enough. Midnight signing on to the 2017 Decibel Magazine Tour—coming at a time immediately following the Shox of Violence EP release and only months before the release of their third LP—,made sense.
The worldwide release of Midnight’s Sweet Death and Ecstasy is set for December 15th. It’s the third studio LP and it’s primed to be their finest collection of carnal depravity yet. Check out the first in a series of conversations with the one and only Athenar.
How did the tour go?
Everything was good. Maybe it was too good! When I came back I was waiting for something to go wrong somewhere because everything was great on the tour. I felt good, the van ran well, the shows were good, so I was wondering, “What’s the catch?”
So you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I guess everyone on the tour got on with each other without any major drama?
Everyone was great, no drama to be had. Kreator did their own thing, everything was smooth there. The Obituary guys were always just down to earth dudes. Horrendous were cool. They’re young guys. We definitely had a lot of fun, they’re just dorks like us. It was great, everybody had a good time.
The new album, Sweet Death and Ecstasy, has been finished for a long time now. Was there anything left to do once you got back from the tour? Did you get to work preping the finalities for the new album?
Yeah, but that didn’t really take very long. It was maybe an evening or something like that. It was just a matter of getting together with Eric, from Hells Headbangers, and going over the layout and stuff like that. It was like, “That looks good, that looks good, take that out, change this to blah, blah, blah.” I did start recording some new a new album…
Another new Midnight album?
Yeah. I kinda got ahead of the game around the time No Mercy for Mayhem came out. That album took a long time to come out. It should’ve come out a year before it did. I wasn’t happy with the way the mix sounded so I kept mixing it, and mixing it, and mixing it, and mixing it. Then, finally, it just came to a point where I knew it wasn’t going to be much different anymore. I would take a mix and sit with it for a month or so, then I would take forever trying to change things around and sit with that for a month or so. That kinda dragged on for about a year, but in the meantime I was writing new songs, so that put me ahead again.
I remember you telling me about the material back when we first spoke a long time ago. That’s the material you’re releasing now, Sweet Death and Ecstasy.
Then I pretty much did the same thing with this album. It’s been done for a while now. I’d got everything recorded and the record was ready to go, but then some things happened and I didn’t even feel like putting it out after that. Sometime went by and I was like, “Oh yeah, I’ve got that album.” I got sidetracked, I guess.
Just to be clear, you’re saying that you’ve got yet more, newer material for a release to follow Sweet Death and Ecstasy.
The songs are written, the music’s been recorded, maybe some vocals are all that’s left.
Obviously you’re not looking to release another album right away, like back-to-back full-lengths. Do you have some kind of two, three, or four year plan mapped out? What’s going on?
Actually, I thought “I could put out something like Physical Graffiti or Exile on Main Street, do a double album,” but I really don’t think it’d fly. Maybe I could put it out right after Sweet Death and Ecstasy. I could do something like Sweet Death and Ecstasy II: The Positive Side. Not really, but who knows?!
With all of the time you had there and the constant writing, I’d imagine you left a few off of this new release for some reason. Maybe to rework or to save for another release at another time?
No, it’s like 31, 32 minutes long, just like the other albums. There are a couple of tunes on there that are a little longer then usual, they run past 6 minutes. Maybe I got into an early Manowar kind of phase, I don’t know. The two longer songs I probably my favorite ones in the new album.
What is it about those two new songs that you really like?
I think it’s because they have some good hooks in them. Not the hokey hooks like you find in a lot of choruses, I just think they’re really catchy. I like the lyrics in those songs, also.
Without going into a cheesy, romantic ‘analysis’ of the musical trajectory, would you say that you might’ve expanded upon Midnight’s sonic presence, where your personal expectations are concerned?
That’s a good way to put it, yeah.
To be continued…..