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(Credit: Daniel Topete / Press)

Music

Black Midi announce new album 'Hellfire', share single 'Welcome to Hell'

@TylerGolsen
Black Midi - 'Welcome to Hell'
7.5

Around this time last year, Britain’s best band of experimental rockers Black Midi released their phenomenal sophomore LP Cavalcade. Filled with angular melodies and skittish rhythms, the album was a brazen and bold effort that perfectly captured the sound of a band that can play rock, jazz, R&B, punk, and electronica all at the same time. Cavalcade landed right in the middle of our 50 Best Albums of 2021 list, and we’ve been salivating over the follow-up.

None of us expected it to drop this early though. Almost exactly a year after Cavalcade was released, Black Midi have returned to announce their third LP Hellfire along with the album’s first single, ‘Welcome to Hell’.

Musically reminiscent of Captain Beefheart at their most gleefully abrasive, ‘Welcome to Hell’ posits what the world is like when “in this land of oysters / you are the worm”. About halfway through, a triumphant horn fanfare blares, kicking the already-hectic track into high gear and driving the precise rhythmic arrangement into wild new territory. Drum breaks and chromatic guitar lines abound ‘Welcome to Hell’ sends the listener spiralling out of control and through the abyss.

According to the press release from Black Midi, ‘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 nighttime; 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.” 

“Almost everyone depicted is a kind of scumbag,” guitarist Geordie Greep explains. “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!”

Check out the video for ‘Welcome to Hell’ down below. Hellfire is set for a July 15th release.