‘Hellfire’ is another chaotic serving of prog-rock revivalism with conceptual warfare through the eyes of a soldier.
Teased for months on end through the jams emerging in their live shows, the songs initially recorded during lockdowns shine through like none others in their previous albums, and terrorise listeners with the audible assault of genres, structures and the sounds of battle.
From the opening monologue of ‘Hellfire’ to the singles ‘Sugar/Tzu’, ‘Eat Men Eat’ and ‘Welcome to Hell’, this is a masterclass in tension and imagery with the carnage at play being cinematic in words and music alike. Side two offers the 7-minute ‘The Race Is About To Begin’ and the excellent closer ’27 Questions’ marks just how versatile and existential the band can be.
Down a member and facing pressure to continue their hot streak, BM surpasses ‘Cavalcade’ with its focus on chaos and war and rivalling ‘Schlagenheim’ with its air-tight tracklist and refinement of their foundations.
It’s hard to believe it was only 2019 when Black Midi wowed us for the first time, something they’ve continued to do to this day. ‘Hellfire’ is a contender for AOTY, and another incredible release from BM.
‘Hellfire’, ‘Cavalcade’ and ‘Schlagenheim’ are available in the Store now.