Midnight – Complete And Total Hell (2012)

Midnight - Complete And Total HellNot to be mistaken with Complete And Total Fucking Midnight, Complete And Total Hell is the most recent compilation (out of 3) that Midnight have released and is the most complete of the lot, taking 20 (21 including a instrumental introduction) of Midnight’s best and most worthy material (i.e. all) from the Farewell To Hell and White Hot Fire EP’s as well as the original Midnight demo. What this coalesces in is the best introduction to the lust, filth and sleaze that is fucking Midnight. Songs like Endless Slut, Vomit Queens, Black Rock N Roll are perfect indications of the type of raw Black/Speed Metal that is present here. Midnight’s influences are worn on their sleeve throughout the material presented here; Motorhead, Venom, Abigail (who they have done splits with) and Hellhammer to name the most present, however what frontman Athenar has managed to do is take these influences and warp them into his own no nonsense, perverted and raw style of Blackened Speed.

The production quality is low-fi, raw and adds a level of fuzzed out atmosphere to the album, which the drumming aids while the tones of the guitar and bass spew forth a similar style to the first wave Black Metal pioneers such as Venom. Anthenar’s vocals again invoke such similarities to the ugly, grimy and no fucks given vocals spewed out by Cronos and Quorthon (especially on Bathory’s thrashier albums). In addition, the guitar rips out addicting riffs and grimy solos that in combination with everything leaves the listener with this type of Punk ethos Metal that one would find being played in a dingy, filthy bar to a small group of greasy, trashed leather wearing metalheads; it’s disgusting, it’s ugly, it’s raw, it doesn’t give a rat’s arse about you and it’s fucking cool.  The lyrics the songs feature here fit the above description as well; sex, hell, satan and fucking heavy metal.

This biggest issue with this album isn’t the low-fi production quality, although people new to this style of music can potentially be turned off by it, nor its unapologetic, no fucks given attitude and lyrics but the fact that this compilation clocks in at just under an hour and a quarter. This sort of Black/Speed just doesn’t have the dynamics nor the sheer staying power to hold someone’s interest for that long (although getting absolutely trashed does help); you’ll be thrashing and headbanging at the start but it drags on near the end. Granted this issue is less prominent on the double LP version than on the CD, but that’s just differences in format (all the more reason to get into vinyl guys), but this music was made to get you thrashing for 20-30 minutes before leaving you with the faint smell of booze, sex and puke.

Despite that, all these songs are killer, no filler and this compilation is probably the best place to start for anyone who is new into Midnight and will leave them addicted, or as Athenar sings: “I gave my soul to sell so I’m gonna… take you to Hell!”