Label: Hells Headbangers
It seems Cleveland, Ohio has a very deep underground metal movement which is helped out by the locally based label Hells Headbangers. While Hells Headbangers normally deals in a lot of extreme metal bands, I really admire the fact that they seem like a close knit group who are passionate about the metal genre. While I am not typically an extreme metal fan the label does make efforts to include other bands of other genres that are either trying to get started or may be in danger of being lost to time. As a result I sometimes find nice hidden gems among the promos I get sent to me from them.
One of these gems is Midnight’s (a one man project based in Cleveland) newest offering ‘Sweet Death and Ecstasy’. To me, this album captures a perfect mix and balance between staying old school metal and accessible to a listener such as myself and also being rough, dirty and dangerous without sounding too extreme to put off a lot of listeners.
‘Sweet Death and Ecstasy’ at its core is a dirty thrash album, with razor sharp riffs and vocals that Cronos from Venom would be proud of…or jealous. Filled with lyrics about Satan and other less savory things along with great hooks and catchy riffs, the album is pure joy to listen to. If you like Venom, Motorhead, Sodom and the old metal sound of the early 80’s you’ll love this.
For a one man project, Midnight did an excellent job producing and arranging this album and I commend his efforts on this release. It is great to see the old school metal spirit living on in places like Cleveland, a city that needs something to be happy about these days since they can’t look to their sporting teams for hope that is for sure!
‘Sweet Death and Ecstasy’ is a must have in any old school thrash metal fan’s library. It is filled with nastiness and rot and if you don’t have your tetanus shots up to date you run the risk of getting lockjaw from this rusty and cesspool of a metal album. I love it.