Vinyl Album of the Day is MIDNIGHT - "Satanic Royalty". Released November 8th, 2011 on CD, LP, and Cassette by Hells Headbangers Records, "Satanic Royalty" is the first and, so far, only full length album from Cleveland, Ohio's MIDNIGHT. Despite "Satanic Royalty" being their debut full length, MIDNIGHT have been around for a bit and have quite a few releases under their bullet belts. The group formed in 2003 and that same year released their first Demo, from there on they have put out a number of EPs, Splits, Live recordings, and Compilations, but never a full length until 8 years later, in the form of this beastly record. MIDNIGHT play sleazy metal that combines elements of NWOBHM, Speed Metal, early Black Metal, Hard Rock, a bit of Punk, Thrash, and a bit of early Hardcore, but if you want to go with an easy reference MIDNIGHT basically sounds like the bastard child of VENOM and MOTORHEAD. It's metal as fuck, sleazy as hell, drenched in Booze, Sluts, Leather, Spikes, and Satan, but most all its a fun, balls out metal.
As for Vinyl version, the first pressing included 777 copies on Blue vinyl (like mine), 400 Black, 222 Picture Discs, 100 on Red vinyl, which were only available at Record Boy in Tokyo, Japan, and 5 Test Pressings. The album was recorded, mixed and mastered at Bad Back Studios in Cleveland, Ohio by Dave Johnson. The cover art was done by William Lacey, Goat artwork on the inner sleeve was done by Josh McAlear.
For the album, everything was written and performed by Athenar aka Jameson Walters aka Jamie Boulder, who has played in a number of other bands, the most notable being DESTRUCTOR, although he has also filled in as a touring bassist for TOXIC HOLOCAUST and played drums on the first Demo from THE GATES OF SLUMBER.
The vinyl release of "Satanic Royalty" also includes an 18" x 24" poster, with the artwork done by Gary Davis. Another item of note is that the LP includes an exclusive bonus track, "TAP", that is not on the CD or Tape versions of "Satanic Royalty". The CD includes a bonus DVD and the Cassette comes with a sticker.
Side A begins with the title track, "Satanic Royalty" which is a mid paced jam that is chock full of awesome. Its got ball rockin' riffs, the swagger of cock rock, some tasty leads and a chorus hook that is just fucking killer. You just cant get that shit out of your head. It's followed by a faster number, "You Can't Stop Steel" which has more of Speed Metal and NWOBHM vibe, complete with a ripping solo. "Rip This Hell" comes next and is another killer jam with a monster chorus and total booze soaked, Biker from Hell vibe. "Necromania" follows and is the longest song on the album. Its got some mean, ass kicking mid paced riff action that just doesn't let up. It's the longest and maybe the "heaviest" song on the album, and is totally destined to cause "Metal Face" in many a listener. Side A is closed out with "Black Damnation", which is maybe the slowest song on here, with its Occult Doom vibes. Its a very powerful, and "epic" song that kind of alternates between melodic classic metal guitar work and the kind of proto-Doom type riffs.
"Lust Filth and Sleeze" kicks off Side B in a big way. Its total classic Speed Metal ass kicking with lyrics that fit the part. Its got lines like "Tonight oh Ive been waitin' that's right just wait and see, The sound of seed as it seeps from your slit, The only gash I'll ever need, You give me lust, filth and sleeze...". Next is another total Thrashy, Speed Metal rampage in the form of "Violence on Violence". Its fast, relentless and again catchy as herpes. From there we go into a more midpaced jam with "Savage Dominance". Its got big power chords and a simple steady rhythm. The intensity gets ratcheted back up thought quickly with "Holocaustic Deafening" with its Punk fueled fury and awesome, thick opening bass action. Its the shortest song on the record at just over a minute and a half but what it lacks in length, it makes up for in violence. The final regular album track is next with "Shock til Blood" and is very MOTORHEAD-ish, not that there isn't some Lemmy in all these songs, but this closer for whatever reason just has classic MOTORHEAD written all over it, and goddamn it, it is all the more awesome for it. Side B ends with the "vinyl only" bonus track "TAP", which stands for "Tits, Ass, Pussy". Its probably the most sexually graphic song on here for sure, and arguably misogynistic, but this is MIDNIGHT, what the fuck do you expect. The whole jam is about have sex with a less than pure female. Its got a definite early Hardcore/Punk vibe to it, much more so than anything else on this album.
"Satanic Royalty" came out a couple years ago now and gained MIDNIGHT a bit more attention among Metal fans. As mentioned it was the group's first full length, despite them being a band since 2003. Since then they still haven't dropped another full length but they have put out 4 more releases. Two in 2012, which included a Cassette tape, "Satanic Royalty Demos" and "Complete and Total Hell" which is a compilation that features pretty much their entire catalog prior to "Satanic Royalty". Basically, It compiles all the EPs and Splits from their career up to that point. This year, 2013, they have dropped 2 more releases, a live album and another EP. I haven't got the newest couple things yet, but I'm sure I will soon. MIDNIGHT is a great band, and a fun listen. Yes, you can accuse them of VENOM and MOTORHEAD worship, but they dont give a shit. MIDNIGHT only care about getting fucked up, fucking sluts, being evil, and kicking out some awesome, balls out, rawkin' METAL!
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