Take Me Out To The Hell Game: Athenar of Midnight

satanic royalty

Midnight are one of the current bands that keep me engaged with metal these days with anthems like ‘You Can’t Stop Steel’, ‘No Mercy For Mayhem’, and ‘All Hail Hell’.  For lack of a better description, they do “Venom” better than Venom.  They bring the Satan with the type of loose intensity that made NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) so addictive.  Plus, Midnight are a great in-your-face live band.  

athenar SF
Athenar onstage with Midnight in San Francisco (Photo by Raymond Ahner)

A week or so ago, I attended the San Francisco stop of this year’s Decibel Magazine Tour featuring the all killer, no filler metal bill of Kreator, Obituary, and Midnight.  The last time Midnight desecrated S.F. was 5 years ago.  Their return to Giants orange & black country was highly anticipated and the band embraced the occasion by printing an S.F. event tee featuring the Giants colors. Impressive.

midnight sf tee

Although they had an abbreviated opening set,  the hooded ones from Cleveland delivered the goods and engulfed the stage with their infectious black aura with a set heavy on the heavy hits. An added bonus for me was being introduced to Athenar after the show by a mutual friend and trading cell phone numbers with the bass and vocals Dark Lord.  Oh, what dark things would this exchange bring upon me?

Athenar

Fast forward a week or so after the show and I got a darkly cryptic text message from Athenar. He inquired about an online exchange I had with a mutual friend concerning the iconic pitcher from the 70’s and 80’s Kent Tekulve.  What madness was this!?  It turns out that even Lords of Hell had baseball heroes growing up.

Tekulve

Our electronic exchange continued for a time and then Athenar revealed the following insight into his past that continues to weigh heavily on my mind:

“My hamster as a kid was named Willie after Mr. Stargell.”

1981-fleer-willie-stargell

79 pirates

“We Are Family” indeed!   All hail Hell.

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