As night follows day the last few years have been peppered with album releases and UK tours from the mighty Cleveland noisemakers known as Midnight. such is their output and the quality of it I feel like a kid at Christmas waiting, knowing it’s coming. The album drops and I get the cans in the fridge and prime the stereo because the unholy racket is a coming. You know already that before you’ve clapped eyes on the artwork it’s going to tickle your pleasure receptors and have you nodding like head bobbler on an F1 car with your bullet belt and leather gloves on it’s time to give in and offer up your undivided attention because Athenar and the gang are on the stereo. Beelzebub is ying the bellows for some ‘Hellish Expectations’ and enough fast as fuck punk/metal to tide you over until the apocalypse or next years release and tour.

2003 was the year that Satan belched these bad boys out on an unsuspecting world all looking for a fix of Motorhead, Venom and Tank fuelled noise. Filthy, belligerent and obnoxious, Midnight makes music to start fights to and drink beer until you can’t physically carry on its slayer for scum. Athenar has been calling the shots for this ungodly racket, and ‘Hellish Expectations’ won’t disappoint – there are no curveballs, no letdown and plenty of life-affirming noise.

‘Hellish Expectations’ is blunt force trauma set to music – no nonsense, no mucking about just pure fuckin’ hell and some. Imagine all the previous albums thus far rolled into one concise record – Ten songs equally noisy and all as intense and rapid as the last.

Athenar alleges these songs were all written in a weekend after being pissed at the demos of the last album ‘Let There Be Witchery’ (Don’t be hard on yourself mate that album was a belter). Opening track ‘Expect Total Hell’ (Obviously, what else would we expect?) not so much creeps out of the speakers but builds up a head of steam sounding so raw and vital you can feel the head on your back as the chopper your on spews out of the ground as you burst out of Hell. The first thing you notice is how live it all sounds it has the feel of a one take deal and the energy is spot on. The song titles have long since had me properly laughing out loud and ‘Gash Scrape’ is no exception as Cronos must be looking over his shoulder upon his blackest stallion wondering how Venom at their peak never sounded so fuckin’ vital. As you get comfortable ‘Masked And Deadly’ has already been and gone before the old school ‘Slave Of The Blade’ has you windmilling in a pool of sweat.

Side two is underway with ‘Nuclear Savior’ is going through the gears and we’re just warming up never mind a tipper sticker this should carry a government health warning. It’s brutal, raw and insanely addictive like fentinal audio crack.

My heart pacemaker was put out of sync after the last tour and almost caved in my chest so loud was the PA I’m now turning this bad boy past 11 on the stereo as ‘Mercyless Slaughtor’ grinds my ears into submission before ‘Doom Death Desire’ has the Lemmy like a wall of noise hit me like dropping a breezeblock off a ten story building onto my chest but wait, there no time left except to thrash like fuck as ‘F.O.A.L’ races to the finish line and we’re done. It’s not long enough, clocking in at a ‘Reigning Blood’ length album. I mean one song on Venoms ‘At War With Satan’ is almost the length of the entire ‘Hellish Expectations’ album some will complain but I accept it for what it is pure fuckin armageddon in a nutshell and besides the music is top fuckin notch, that’s a given the artwork has two pencil drawn demon women with 70s bushes and a nun swinging from a Bell Midnight at truly Satanic Royalty and have to accept their place at the top of the Black heavy metal/punk ranking. They have no peers and as well as being in a league with Satan nobody can touch them. Vital album right here, buy and F.O.A.L. because you’re worth it.

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Fact 4 – THE DWARVES have recorded for visionary independent labels including Sympathy For The Record Industry, Epitaph, Fat Wreck Chords, Sub Pop, Bomp!, Amphetamine Reptile, Man’s Ruin, Recess, Theologian, Glitterhouse, Burning Heart, White Jazz, High Voltage, No Balls, Zodiac Killer, MVD, Midnight, Reptilian, Riotstyle, Burger and Greedy Worldwide. Some of them even paid royalties.

The Dwarves Are Young & Good Looking (1997); Must Die (2004); Born Again (2011); Invented Rock & Roll (2014); Take Back the Night (2018) and the compilations Lick It (1983-1986) and Free Cocaine (1986-1988).
And the rest of the unique Greedy Records catalog:
Penetration Moon (1993); Earl Lee Grace (1996); and Candy Now (2007).
Socials:Dwarves Website: http://www.thedwarves.comBlag Dahlia Website: http://www.blagdahlia.comFB:

The band Midnight’s alter ego tribute to Motörhead! is a 10-track monster. Midnight makes no apology for paying tribute to one of the greatest loud Rock and Roll bands ever. Think Bomber think Ace Of Spades think the classic trio of Kilmister, Taylor, and Clarke this could be the album they never made but should have.

If you’re on board with all things Midnight, and you know what a talent Athenar is then you’ll not have any doubt about how good this album is. With song titles like ‘Leatherbound Glory’, ‘Below The Law’ and ‘On The Loose’ you know where this is coming from. Its NWOBHM with bite, its denim nut huggers and leather gloves its stripped down and loud – fuckin lovely!

‘Thundercharger’ is the opener Charger wish they had in their arsenal. Riff hard recycle used old school riffs and middle eights the odd drum fill that you think you’ve heard before (you have) and always raise a fist and yell for Lemmy when you thump the four string low end make it distorted and punchy but always remember to Roll with your Rock. that’s Whitespade.

‘Below The Law’ is the tip of the hat that the classic Motorhead deserve its an absolute beast and proves that Athenar has the chops and has the suss to deliver this with a tonne of authenticity and make it sound essential listening like he’s invented Hard Rock.

There isn’t a bad track on here from front to back it’s a banger. ‘Fast Lane To Nowhere’ slows things down to a ‘Metropolis’ speed where the tempo is more of a groove and is a great tune in the middle of the set.

Of all the tracks ‘On The Loose’ is a familiar riff as is the riff of ‘The Strangler’ but that’s the deal it’s a tribute to how Motorhead used to do things back in the late 70s – God, it’s been a while over forty years, maybe the time is right for a resurgence of hard n heavy Rock n Roll and if this is the benchmark then bring it on. Let’s have a new Tank and Warfare push through. They did save the best til last but holy moly ‘Leatherbound Glory’ is the jewel in the crown an absolute stone-cold champion of a track from the lick to the breakdown all the way to those lyrics, Greasy and slick! fuckin right it is and Lemmy, Phil and Fast Eddy would all have got it and been touched with the tribute. Now don’t delay get over to Bandcamp and pick up a copy on whatever format is left.

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Author: Dom Daley

Monday night metal comes to Bristol, and The Exchange is celebrating by serving up not only a stellar three-band bill showcasing some of America’s finest underground bands but also (if the chalkboards outside are to believed) a black metal brunch too.

Sadly, local scene legend Big Jeff isn’t around to sample either tonight as he’s in hospital over in Swansea recovering from burns sustained during a fire in his flat. His image still looms large over all proceedings though thanks to the Banksy-like image of him painted on the outside of The Exchange, and raising our glasses high, everyone here at RPM would like to wish Jeff a speedy and full recovery.

Once inside the venue, it’s left to Sadistic Force, who are all the way from Austin, Texas, to kickstart proceedings and give those of us in early doors a lesson in what American blackened speed metal is all about. Taking elements of eighties thrash and adding a more modern extreme vocal twist via guitarist James Oliver and bassist Blaine Dismukes, the younger elements of the crowd (and it really is fantastic to see the teenagers in attendance getting into this kind of brutal stuff) go suitably apeshit. For me, it’s only when the trio (completed by drummer Jose Alcaraz) tear headlong into an almost recognisable cover of W.A.S.P’s ‘(Snow) Blind In Texas” that I fully engage with their particular brand of metal. Still, whatever I think, with 11 UK shows now under their collective (bullet) belts Sadistic Force has certainly made a lot of new friends, as the post-set hustle and bustle at their merch stall proves.

It’s at this point that I have to mention the between band music tonight, because whoever it is choosing the tunes they are bang on the money. Playing everything from Cock Sparrer through to MC5 by way of Van Halen, Judas Priest and UFO, it’s almost enough to make this 55-year-old gig veteran feel like a teenager once again. That task is fully completed though when Ventura, California’s Night Demon takes to the stage and unleashes the most infectious set of classic metal I’ve seen/heard since Bullet last toured the UK many, many full moons ago. Think NWOBHM meets classic Euro metal and you won’t be a million miles away from what this trio excels at. That being, putting smiles on everyone’s faces whilst also making you headbang like crazy. It’s all magnificently OTT stuff complete with anthems about chalices and Manticore, along with a demonised reworking of Thin Lizzy’s ‘The Sun Goes Down’, and an end-of-set appearance by “Rocky’ (the band’s mascot) during the band’s self-titled set closer. Night Demon themselves, made up of singer/bassist Jarvis Leatherby, guitarist Armand John Anthony (playing matching Flying V guitars) and powerhouse drummer Dusty Squires also look like they are loving every second of their sweat-drenched set, and in Letherby’s case, I love the fact he also brings a whole bunch of truly memorable tunes to proceedings via his great vocals, which in particular during the likes of set opener ‘Screams In The Night’ bring Sean Harris in his prime to mind.  Look at times tonight I was right back in 1982 just down the road in Colston Hall watching the likes of Wolf, The Rods, Tank, Motorhead, and Vardis, yet Night Demon never once sounded dated or contrived, as sometimes can happen with modern metal bands. I admit I (along with my traveling amigos) was really there to see only one band tonight, but Night Demon was definitely a most welcome studded wristband up the ass kind of surprise. Glorious stuff!  

Author: Johnny ‘Nosferatu’ Hayward

Sweet baby Jesus, what kind of Hell have I gotten myself into? Bristol on a school night getting all Satanic on this the most Metal Monday of the year. After a splendidly entertaining double support slot was done and dusted it was now time for some diabolical Metal in the shape of the mighty Midnight. As the trio hit the stage to a PA crackling with demonic debauchery the Exchange air is filled with the faint whiff of patchouli oil, fausty denim, and sweat-drenched leather as the evil children of the Severn are out in force, windmilling and headbanging with clenched fists and horned hands like whirly dervishes for what is, without doubt, the hottest ticket in punk/metal for decades. 

You can have your O2s full of trendy kids slamdancing to whatever safe noise is coming out of the pages of metal magazines, the underground is throbbing with dark energy and menace courtesy of this howling hellbound – demonic diabolical filth from Ohio we call Midnight.

Midnight goes full tilt right from the off its ‘Unholy & Rotten’ and the band just get on with handing Bristol their backside on a platter of rapid riffs, hacking and slashing and paying homage to the good and the greats who went before them from Motorhead and venom through Discharge and GBH this is a beautiful noise indeed.  With a set list littered with demonic tomes from all points of the pentagram and their illustrious career thus far, it’s relentless as ‘Fucking Speed And Darkness’ collides with ‘Sex Withcery’ there are no gimmicks other than the hoods as for the music it is savage and brutal as it is beautiful and of the moment as the world turns on itself and people turn inwards to bite at each other this is the soundtrack. Cronos would be proud of his legacy and influence.

This is pure ‘Satanic Royalty’ and ‘Black Rock And Roll’ is mesmeric and brutal as the trio kicks the living shit out of their instruments as they give it everything they have and don’t pause for breath nor stand still for a single heartbeat, Just over an hour with barely a pause to tune-up and on we speed. The audience takes it up a notch or two and gives as good as they get.

With steam rising from the pit, the kids go nuts as the band responds by playing faster and one feeds off the other. This is restoring one’s faith in hard and heavy music. When done right – when done with this level of passion and drive – when received in good faith – those who know just know and all around its Cheshire cat grins and devil horns raised aloft because tonight was as good as a Metal Monday night could possibly get with no exception (other than if Slayer had turned up to play Hell Awaits in its entirety Or Venom to whip through At War) this was pure unadulterated Filth and Joy all in one studded gauntlet. 

Hail Satan and Hail Midnight there are never enough bullet belts, chains, studded gauntlets, Dobermans, fishnets, fire, pentagrams, upside-down crosses, and rumbling thunder. I love it loud and Midnight is loud! If you can, go see them – it will make you happy and fill your soul with pure fuckin evil.

Author: Dom ‘The Blade’ Daley

“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

Follow Midnight:……


Album pre-orders now available

Hellripper have released their debut single and animated lyric video for “Spectres Of The Blood Moon Sabbath” from the upcoming new studio album The Affair Of The Poisons scheduled for release on 9th October 2020 through Peaceville.

“Spectres of the Blood Moon Sabbath” sets the scene for the new album as its themes primarily revolve around the dark & insidious underworld witchcraft and the occult, with some tracks being based on historical events. The single unfurls in an infernal storm of heavy blackened thrash. James McBain, Hellripper mainman comments “this was one of the first tracks written for the album and has a definite “rock ‘n’ roll” feel to it with its bouncy rhythm & a Motörhead or TANK vibe, and it is one of two songs on the album where Joseph (live guitarist) performed lead guitar”.


James, based in the Scottish Highlands, says of their forthcoming epic new album The Affair of the Poisons that “it contains the mixture of thrash/black/speed metal and punk that Hellripper has become known for, but this time I feel that the end result is more cohesive. Some of the tracks are more straight-forward while others contain some twists and parts that are new to the Hellripper sound. As always, the whole writing and recording process was done at home by myself, with a few friends of mine contributing some additional vocals and lead guitar parts. The album was mixed by myself and was mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege who did an amazing job.


Skadvaldur did an excellent job, as he always does, of creating a piece of artwork that both represents the album’s themes, as well as being a somewhat of a homage in style to the old B-horror movie posters that inspired a few of the album’s tracks.”
The Affair Of The Poisons will be released on CD, LP, cassette and digital through Peaceville on 9th October and is available to pre-order now HERE

The band has also announced that they will be touring later in the year to coincide with the album’s release, some headline shows in the UK plus as special guests to Cleveland based Black Rock ‘n’ Roll/Thrash legends Midnight.

Headline UK shows

22.10.20 – London, The Black Heart

23.10.20 – Leeds, Boom

24.10.20 – Glasgow, Nice ‘N’ Sleazy 

With Midnight

29.10.20 Gebr De Nobel Leiden Netherlands 
30.10.20 Dynamo Eindhoven Netherlands
31.10.20 Markthalle Hamburg (Heavy Hamburg Halloween III) Germany
01.11.20 Casino Sint-Niklaas Belgium
03.11.20 Le Grillen Colmar France
04.11.20 Petit Bain Paris France
05.11.20 Rex Toulouse France
06.11.20 Caracol Madrid Spain
07.11.20 La Nau Barcelona Spain
09.11.20 Caves Du Manoir Martigny Switzerland
10.11.20 Slaughter Club Paderno Dugnano Italy
11.11.20 Backstage Munchen Germany
12.11.20 Viper Room Vienna Austria
13.11.20 Durer Kert Budapest Hungary
14.11.20 Futurum Prague Czech Republic
15.11.20 Proxima Warsaw Poland
17.11.20 Lido Berlin Germany
18.11.20 Stengade Copenhagen Denmark
19.11.20 Goldgrube Kassel Germany
20.11.20 Uhrenwerk Weimar Germany
21.11.20 Junkyard Dortmund Germany
22.11.20 Live Music Hall Weiher Germany
24.11.20 Magasin 4 Brussels Belgium 

Hellripper has been fast gaining a reputation for whipping up an infectious storm of blackened speed metal greatness in the spirit of old and are one of the most electrifying young, up & coming metal acts in the scene today.

Inspired by the likes of the old-school legends including Venom, Kreator, Sabbat [JPN] and Metallica, McBain formed Hellripper in 2014 and with the release of the debut EP The Manifestation of Evil shortly after, the band were already making a very clear mission statement… Total fucking mayhem!

Follow Hellripper

Twitter / Website / Instagram / Facebook / Peaceville / Spotify / Bandcamp 



Check out our Spotify Playlist and check out the bands.  Of course they’re great we’ve reviewed them or will be reviewing them this month.  First up Doojiman & The Exploders with ‘Buzzkill’.  More Kicks are a band we can’t get enough of so check out their latest single.


The Drowns have a new album this month so why not check out their in your face punk rock with the album opener ‘Black Lung’. ‘Tommy In The 80s’ from the ever magnificent Beach Slang is in this month’s playlist because it and they re so good.


We thought we’d add New Bomb Turks – no they haven’t got a new album out (wish they did) but because we can.  Enjoy it.  Supersuckers have a new album out so only fair they get included.


One of the best albums released this year is without doubt Humanist so here’s a track featuring Depeche Mode singer Dave Gahan. On the live front this month The Interrupters have been tearing it up across the UK so check out their cover of ‘Bad Guy’.  Staying on the live front, Backyard Babies have been entertaining many of the RPM team so let’s go back to when they ruled and some ‘UFO Romeo’. On the same tour, The Wildhearts were busy schooling their Swedish travel companions and showed you can teach old dogs new tricks because ‘Dislocated’ sounded brutal.  Its the Wildhearts of course.

It wouldn’t be right if we didn’t include some Black MEtal at its finest courtesy of the new top dogs Midnight with ‘Fucking Speed And Darkness’.

The Alarm are up with ‘My Town’ which got aired at the Gathering 2020. Stateside our man Gerald raved about Soraia who are ‘Dangerous’.


So there you have it another right old mixed bag of Rock and Roll for February.  That lot should keep you entertained for the rest of the month so we’ll see you back in March so until then keep it RPM

Not letting the grass grow. Hands off Gretel are about to release a new EP.  Heres the new video for ‘Milk’.

second out round two.  Our favourite Black metal legends Midnight. ‘Fucking Speed And Darkness’. Ave it!

The brand new 69 Eyes video folks? of course.

As an extra treat, this cold and damp morning here’s the brand new video from those mysterious garage punks Dboy. now on yer way

If the likes of ‘Hell Awaits’, ‘Restless And Wild’, ‘Black Metal’ and ‘Screaming For Vengeance’ got you bouncing around the room with excitement the first time you heard them then ‘Rebirth By Blasphemy’ the Metal Blade debut album from Midnight is the “must hear” album of 2020 for you.

Long term Midnight fans will no doubt already be tutting at my reference to ‘Black Metal’ but across their impressive 17 year back catalogue there is no way of distancing the band’s sound from that primal guttural roar of Cronos and Co. They are the band I once dubbed as “being able to play Venom’s back catalogue better than Venom”, and I’m going to stick by that.

‘Rebirth By Blasphemy’ then is Midnight possibly taking their first steps into “doing a Ghost” by moving away from the metal underground and into the more mainstream. Fear not though, as the title of opener ‘Fucking Speed And Darkness’ alludes Midnight main man Athenar isn’t about to be prancing about like the Pied Piper in its accompanying video any time soon. Nah, this is still very much “go for the throat” heavy metal music, it’s just this time around it really feels like Athenar has stepped up his game in the songwriting department and here all 10 tracks hit home with equal parts ferocity and finesse.

If I were to single out one thing that ‘Rebirth By Blasphemy’ has throughout its 33 minute running time it is that there is a clear focus to deliver brutal yet memorable songs, and therein lies the secret of why for me Midnight stands head and shoulders above the rest of the black metal pack. There’s still some tongue in cheek stuff going on (Devil’s Excrement’ for example – which could very easily be a Trigger McPoopshute song) but essentially this is heads down no-nonsense heavy metal celebrating everything that is great about the genre in 2020. The likes of ‘Cursed Possessions’, ‘Escape From The Grave’ and ‘The Sounds Of Hell’ would and should be instant dancefloor fillers at any metal all-nighter – if such things still exist?

Granted ‘Rising Scum’ might sail a little close to Venom’s ‘Nightmare’ in terms of being the obvious track to be pulled as a potential single, but this comparison is not being made because of plagiarism, it’s being made simply because it’s also a song driven by a drumbeat set to raise the dead. Likewise, the opening few bars of album closer ‘You Drag Me Through Fire’ are primetime Priest yet the song soon catapults the listener back into the very depths of hell with just enough time left to polish your studded gauntlets before pressing the “Repeat” button on your death deck.

At the top of this review I mentioned a quartet of heavy metal records that loom large over the metal community to this day, ‘Rebirth By Blasphemy’ has all the potential to be such an album for the generations to follow, you just need to decide if you want to buy the inverted cross CD or the limited coloured vinyl.

‘Rebirth By Blasphemy’ is released Tomorrow get the date in your Necronomicon.

Buy ‘Rebirth By Blasphemy’ Here


Author: Johnny Hayward