Midnight (US) - Shox of Violence
Hells Headbangers
Blackened speed metal / punk
25 songs (71' 25")
Release year: 2017
Midnight, Hells Headbangers
Reviewed by Andy

Just a couple weeks ago, I reviewed No Mercy For Mayhem, Midnight's 2014 LP, but I'd missed out on the band's recent EP, which was released in a limited form. Not to worry, though, because Midnight turned around and re-released the EP along with an additional 21 covers, live and rare tracks, and split content: Shox of Violence. The pile of extra tracks sounds great, but the four EP recordings remain the best, showing some updates to the band's sound that makes it more melodic and more aggressive than anything Midnight's done before.

The Venom- and Discharge-inspired tunes are faster; gone are the slower, rock-inspired tracks in favor of more crust-punk flavor, and the melodic hooks have more prominence. Who Gives a Fuck, one of my favorites, has an anthemic quality in its raging three-chord prechorus, and Athenar's acquired the habit of adding more string-scrapes to give a dramatic sound of acceleration to the already blasting guitars on all the new EP tracks. A large number of the covers, even covers with different beats, stick to Midnight's tried-and-true d-beat rhythms, or are compelled to do so; the cover of Venom's In League With Satan is a little too breathless as a result, but most of the others respond well to the application of punk speed and black-metal abrasivity. Breakout, a Taipan cover, especially shines, as Midnight's speed-metal influences bubble to the surface to produce a pretty faithful cover that is nonetheless delivered in a dark, engaging way.

There are plenty of split-tracks to choose from, as founding member Athenar originally intended only to do splits and EPs till demand for LPs pushed him to produce longer albums. On display, among others, are a four-piece of The Spits covers, rough enough in quality to be mistaken for demos, and covers of old-school punk such as Girlschool and Pagans -- all rolled in Midnight filth --, as well as a live performance of Unholy and Rotten where the band stops, apparently just in time to get kicked out of the venue due to a fire-related stunt. How metal is that?

Fans of Midnight, especially those who aren't rabid enough to collect all the EPs and splits but still want to hear what they'd been missing out on, will find Shox of Violence a no-brainer to pick up. The rest of the tracks are the icing on the cake; for $7.77 on Bandcamp, the EP tracks alone are worth the price of the album.

Bandcamp: https://midnight-ohio.bandcamp.com/album/shox-of-violence.

Killing Songs :
The first four EP tracks, though the rest kill too
Andy quoted no quote
Other albums by Midnight (US) that we have reviewed:
Midnight (US) - Sweet Death and Ecstasy reviewed by Andy and quoted 80 / 100
Midnight (US) - No Mercy For Mayhem reviewed by Andy and quoted 81 / 100
Midnight (US) - Complete and Total Hell reviewed by Charles and quoted no quote
Midnight (US) - Satanic Royalty reviewed by Charles and quoted 85 / 100
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