“Unfiltered, savage and animalistic.” That’s how Midnight main-man Athenar describes his second long player for Metal Blade Records (his fifth studio record overall), and I for one, think he’s hit the (nine inch) nail bang on the head with that description, because ‘Let There Be Witchery’ is indeed, a total beast of a record.

From the blistering opener ‘Telepathic Nightmare’ (which sounds like Discharge jamming with Hellhammer) through to closer (and perhaps one of the album’s most “commercial?” tracks) ‘Szex Witchery’, what you get is a set of songs that are, without question, Midnight’s strongest to date. You can forget the comments I made when reviewing their last album – ‘Rebirth By Blasphemy’ – for RPM that Midnight might be about to do a Ghost and break through to the mainstream, because the ten tracks contained here are a massive middle finger to anything even remotely resembling compromise.

Working once again with producer Noah Buchanan (who had worked on ‘Rebirth By Blasphemy’) is perhaps Athenar’s master stroke this time around, largely because when saying he wanted his new record to “sound like a cross between ‘Raw Power’ and ‘Apocalyptic Raids’,” the pushback he got from the man behind the desk was “those records already exist, let’s make it sound like Midnight.” This advice proving to be very wise indeed as tracks like ‘Nocturnal Molestation’ and ‘Snake Obsession’ simply ooze Midnight malevolence. Likewise, ‘Villainy Wretched Villainy and (the superb) ‘In Sinful Secrecy’ plough a now familiar Midnight groove in the same way Motorhead did through much of their back catalogue. Well, if it ain’t broke, eh? 

Elsewhere, ‘Let There Be Sodomy’, ‘More Torment’, ‘Nocturnal Molestation’, ‘Frothing Foulness’ and (the hypnotic) ‘Devil Virgin’ all sound like they have been taken straight from a Black Metal giallo movie soundtrack, albeit one that’s playing out in Athenar’s (hooded) head. There really is no let up as the (one man) band who pride themselves on producing music to start fights to turn in one metal suckerpunch after another, making the experience of listening to ‘Let There Be Witchery’ not unlike being constantly coshed around the side of the head with an aural battering ram.

“I always want it to be loud and nasty,” admits Athenar. “That kinda thing never gets old with me. How funny will that look to see me at age 77 – if I reach that point – sitting on the porch blasting Hellhammer?” Well, with ‘Let There Be Witchery’ it’s a job very well done indeed, as this 55 year old is listening to this and feeling like I’ve just discovered Venom all over again back in my early teens.

There are not many bands out there right now as brutally honest as Midnight, and ‘Let There Be Witchery’ really is the boot in the bollocks the metal world needs in 2022.

11 out of 10. Absolutely essential!!!!!!

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Author: Johnny ‘Satans Little Helper’ Hayward

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