black midi Announce New Album Hellfire, Share “Welcome to Hell” Video

Music News black midi
black midi Announce New Album Hellfire, Share “Welcome to Hell” Video

The inimitable black midi are back again, announcing their third album Hellfire (July 15, Rough Trade) just shy of a year after the release of their second, and sharing the video for its ominously titled lead single, “Welcome to Hell.” The U.K.-based trio of Geordie Greep (guitar, vocals), Cameron Picton (bass, vocals) and Morgan Simpson (drums) have also announced a fall North American tour.

black midi wrote their new album in isolation in London after the release of last year’s Cavalcade, incorporating both that album’s “melodic and harmonic elements,” as well as the “brutality and intensity” of their 2019 debut Schlagenheim. Telling the stories of “morally suspect characters” in the first-person, the album reckons with “overlapping themes of pain, loss and anguish,” per a press release. “If Cavalcade was a drama, Hellfire is like an epic action film,” says Greep in a statement.

Take its lead single, for instance, which said release synopsizes as follows:

“Welcome to Hell” tells the story of a shell shocked soldier’s excess and military discharge. The setting is a far-off military campaign—an exotic coastal town, commandeered by the invading army and swarming with soldiers. It is night time; erratic men rush up and down the strip in various stages of inebriation, neon signs light up the bars, and out of their open doors waft wisps of indeterminate smoke. Deafening howls of motorcycle engines linger all around, accompanied by a medley of languages—albeit, all slurred, coarse, hoarse and evasive of any true emotion and he’s unable to handle the world in which he finds himself.

black midi render this narrative via the kind of theatrical, shape-shifting rock they’re known for, considering “The massacres of ages / Too many to recall,” as Greep croaks, through the lens of Private Tristan Bongo. About two-thirds of the way through, the track takes a turn for the nightmarish, accelerating into full-blown thrash as Greep’s praise for our good soldier becomes condemnation: “You’re lucky I don’t shoot on the spot / Bullets were made for men like you / The impotent idiots God forgot.” A fleeting euphoric high collapses back into black midi’s guttural squalls and stomps, ending the song right where it began.

“Almost everyone depicted is a kind of scumbag,” says Greep. “Almost everything I write is from a true thing, something I experienced and exaggerated and wrote down. I don’t believe in Hell, but all that old world folly is great for songs, I’ve always loved movies and anything else with a depiction of Hell. Dante’s Inferno. When Homer goes to Hell in The Simpsons. There’s a robot Hell in Futurama. Isaac Bashevis Singer, a Jewish writer who portrays a Satan interfering in people’s lives. There’s loads!”

Watch the “Welcome to Hell” video (dir. Gustaf Holtenäs) below, and find the details of Hellfire and black midi’s tour dates further down.

Hellfire Tracklist:
1. Hellfire
2. Sugar/Tzu
3. Eat Men Eat
4. Welcome To Hell
5. Still
6. The Race Is About To Begin
7. Dangerous Liaisons
8. The Defence
9. 27 Questions

Hellfire Art:


black midi Tour Dates:

10 – Grenoble, FR @ La Bobine
11 – Milan, IT @ Santeria
12 – Zurich, CH @ Mascotte
14 – Vienna, AT @ Flex
15 – Prague, CR @ Meetfactory
16 – Berlin, DE @ Festsaal Kreuzberg
18 – Lille, FR @ Aeronef
31 – Istanbul, TR @ Zorlu PSM Jazz Festival

02 – Barcelona, ES @ Primavera Sound
09 – Porto, PT @ Primavera Sound
11 – Mannheim, DE @ Maifeld Derby
12 – Hilvarenbeek, NE @ Best Kept Secret
17 – Sun. Jun. 19 – Vilnius, LT @ 8 Festival
22 – Sun. Jun. 26 – Somerset, UK @ Glastonbury
29 – Sun. Jul. 3 – Budapest, HU @ Kolorado Festival
30 – Bucharest, RO @ Club Control

01 – Sun. Jul. 3 – Plovdiv, BG @ Wrong Fest
07 – Sat. Jul. 9 – Trencin, SK @ Pohoda
13 – London, UK @ Summer Series at Somerset House
13-17 – Dour, BE @ Dour Festival
15 – Riga, LV @ Positivus Festival
21 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
23 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Lanes
24 – New York, NY @ Central Park SummerStage
29 – Puglia, IT @ Sud Est Indipendente

12 – Rees Haldern, DE @ Haldern Pop
17 – Essen, DE @ Ruhrtriennale
21 – Winterthur, CH @ Winterthurer Musikfestwochen

01-04 – Dorset, UK @ End of the Road Festival
03 – Manchester, UK @ Manchester Psych Fest
06 – Baltimore, MD @ Ram’s Head Live
07 – Richmond, VA @ The National
09 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
10 – Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre
12 – Birmingham, AL @ Saturn
14 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
16 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk
20 – Tucson, AZ @ Hotel Congress Plaza
22 – Pomona, CA @ The Glass House
23 – San Diego, CA @ Music Box
24 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern Theatre
27 – San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield Theatre
28 – Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s
29 – Reno, NV @ Cargo Concert Hall

03 – Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre
04 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
07 – Lawrence, KS @ The Granada
08 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown
09 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
12 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
14 – Columbus, OH @ The Athenaeum Theatre
15 – Louisville, KY @ Headliners Music Hall

04 – Tokyo, JP @ O-East
05 – Osaka, JP @ Club Quattro
06 – Nagoya, JP @ The Bottom Line

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