black midi - Hellfire
Jul 15, 2022 (updated Jul 15, 2022)
98
Yeah, I came.

The temptation to recap the already strong legacy of Black Midi at this point is palpable, since within the three albums the band has released, Black Midi have grown to be one of the strongest Experimental Rock bands out of the UK, which is a fucking FEAT considering what’s come out (check my last review for that, I'm a whore!). It’s tempting to say how the more technically impressive and almost Classic Prog tinged ‘Cavalcade’ launched the band into new heights, and that while I do definitely prefer the punked up aesthetics ‘Schlagenheim’ more, there was a unstoppable fucking buzz about album number three that I haven’t seen in a really long time. It’s tempting to just say that the singles hinted towards a more chaotic, a more tense and a more evil sounding album from ‘Cavalcade’, which made me on the edge of my fucking seat.

But like….I just wanna cut the foreplay, bust out the dong, and get going because OH.

MY.

FUCKING.

GOD, I didn’t know I needed that sweet, sweet CUM from this band this much in my life, holy SHIT!

This is, bar none, the absolute best marriage of the more chaotic ‘Schlagenheim’ and the more technically complex ‘Cavalcade’. It’s everything I've dreamed about an album from Black Midi called ‘Hellfire’, because this is fiery, in your face and brutally fun Avant-Prog that takes cues from Jazz, Noise Rock, Orchestral, Baroque, Showtunes, Tango, Waltz, Flamenco, Pop and Country (!?!), with enough of the quote on quote ‘classic Black Midi’ sound to make everything stick. The album is so wacky, off the wall and chaotic, but yet so effortlessly, elegantly and intensely well paced, making the mere 39 minutes this album plays at feel like the grandest, most intense album you’ll hear all year, because I'll let you in on a little secret: the album doesn’t stop. Sure, the songs slow down once and a while, and tracks like ‘The Defense’ and ‘Still’ are more quote on quote chill, but the energy and momentum never lets up. Just when you think you’ve caught a breath, Hellfire will IMMEDIATLY fuck you up with some random noise passage on ‘Half Time’, that heavy as sin riff in the outro to ‘27 Questions’, or the elongated, non-stop auctioneer-type breakdown on ‘The Race is About to Begin’, and you have no other option to whip your head around and question everything that’s happening for a split second. And some people might not enjoy that, I understand, but I do that this level of creativity and openness with music does speak to the era of music we are in. To quote Greep himself in an interview with The Ringer, “It seems now because of the internet—because everything is so free and because anyone can listen to any record that’s come out anytime since records have been made—everyone’s much more open-minded now.”

And the production sounds so damn DENSE with everything that is happening! Giant orchestral spots, varying guitar tones, different genres entirely, and both Marta Salogni and Max Sizzle Goulding bring so much clarity to the sounds here. While I did love ‘Cavalcade’, sometimes the production did take away from what could have been something outstanding, and now it seems like the band and their producers absolutely click, creating an album that feels, unabashedly, like the most Black Midi Black Midi can sound like at the current moment, while still keeping up sounding as fresh and exciting as ever. Moments like the borderline Incredibles theme popping up as a riff on ‘Welcome to Hell’, to the explosion that is the ending of the title track, there's so many moments that make this sound like the biggest album out right now, so much so that even if you fucking hate Crap Shitti, you have to admit that this album is very interesting, especially with the lyrics because holy!

You guys know me. I am a ‘on the floor all fours Slut Pop era’ for good storytelling within albums, horrifically so. And while I'm not gonna “thiS aLbuM iS a MaN” for this review, I will say that the stories told on this album are as twisted, harrowing and as interested as the music from an album called ‘Hellfire’ can bring. Tales of gay miners forced to drink their own stomach acid on ‘Eat Men Eat’, pastors who run brothels pleading to not be thrown into hell on ‘The Defense’, war veterans with names like Private Tristan Bongo living our their war-crimes through PTSD on ‘Welcome to Hell’, horse races from Hell on ‘The Race Is About to Begin’ and boxing matches with assassins on ‘Suge/Tzu’, a man affiliated with the Mafia being dragged into Hell by Satan himself on ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ and a man so hated that at his own funeral, is blown up into a balloon and laughed at as he rises in torturous pain on ‘28 Questions’. It’s basically, and I'm quoting the band themselves here, a tomb of stories about ‘scumbags’.

And while I will always find comfort in the personal and devastatingly honest lyrics found in ‘Schragenheim’, this may be the best written Black Midi project, showing that they are much, much more than a band who can ‘move with a purpose’. It’s like the Prog-Rock-Opera version of Creepshow or The Twilight Zone, where Black Midi throws you, literally, into a hellish world full of bastards, not unlike our own, and forces us to watch as these characters they create roam around, destroying themselves and each other. Obviously its not all doom and gloom for the entire album; the sweet and tender ‘Still’ is the only point in the album where the positivity of love and life doesn’t seem to be viewed at in a cynical light, showing Geordie Greep’s more manic stories of hellfire and fuckheads being paired with Cameron Picton’s more sweet, earnest, f-slur spouting tragic love stories that, while still having that hellish tension (look right at you ‘Eat Men Eat’), still show the band has enough variety in them to really give their theatrics a pull.

So, did Black Midi bring the Hellfire? I’d say “Yes, and more”. It’s always exciting to see bands simply not give a fuck on what's too big, what's too impossible, and instead do the impossible, and make it the best thing you’ve ever heard. Music, at least to me, has never been more exciting, and seeing bands such as Black Midi throwing their own unique hat into the ring is a beautiful thing to see. This isn’t a call for every band to be Black Midi, but instead, a call for bands to be more creatively open, excited for anything they can do. ‘Hellfire’ shows that rock musicians can do anything as expressive as the most exciting music possible, and that fire that grows with them is simply divine to listen to. To all musicians: Let Hell in, and let it spread.

Favorite Jams: The Race Is About To Begin, Eat Men Eat, 27 Questions

Lest Favorite: Half Time

39 Comments
1mo
same
1mo
Annual Pipe Black Midi 90+
1mo
me too
1mo
@rafae_l its tradition
1mo
actual review is coming later today i'm just very busy lol
1mo
sus
1mo
me too
1mo
came to listen to black midi's third studio album Hellfire at 12 AM on streaming services
1mo
@Blyizz :)
1mo
ayo?
1mo
u on the squirt squad or the cream team?
1mo
@SagePanic I destroyed my own computer screen
1mo
nice
1mo
another pipe cum real??
1mo
Out the pipe it goes
1mo
Lets go
1mo
Yeah, he came.
1mo
The other Ryan 🤍
1mo
Most liked review let's fucking gooooo
1mo
@Ryan 🤍
1mo
Yeah, you came
1mo
cock and balls and asses and semen and climax and post-nut depression even
1mo
@Laserheart no. banned
1mo
What a great review man, love your perspective on the band and the album <3
1mo
@Matty thank you so much!!
1mo
what a review god damn
1mo
he delivers hard
1mo
@Eyncore @August thank you :))
1mo
new favorite reviewer on here
1mo
^good taste above
1mo
we ain't gotta know about you coming
also np !!
4w
Cum moment
4w
[hidden]
4w
@Pwill33 I’m confused about how pipe is exactly blackfishing here, are you merely upset because he liked this album and you didn’t?
4w
@Pwill33 Imagine seeing someone innocently using a pfp from the fucking Eric Andre Show and then accusing the guy of "blackfishing"
4w
bro wrote his soul.
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More Reviews by PipePanic
black midi - Cavalcade
93
Oct 12, 2021
black midi - Schlagenheim
100
Jan 13, 2021
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