Night Demon - Curse of the Damned (Steamhammer, 2015)
NIGHT DEMON was formed in 2011 in California and made their debut one year later with the independent self-titled release presenting 4 tracks in the style of NWOBHM. Then they split-up. The EP was made just for fun by the 3 friends. Then they reformed, started touring and after 3 years here’s the debut.
Mostly mid-tempo, sometimes speedy, but always melodic classic steel influenced by the golden years. Being a three-piece they make everything to keep the songs dynamic and full of interesting themes all the time and all along these 11 tracks.
The record is full of excellent catchy riffs, and even this music is so much rooted somewhere between the heroic years of 1979 – 1984, there’s still a fresh sound here and a young lust in these songs. As there’s only one guitar player in the band and no twin-guitars, they have a more direct and almost punk attitude. Maybe this is why Night Demon seems it’s delivering much more than the most of the nowadays nostalgic heavy metal bands. Although lyrics deal mostly with evil, demon, satan, curse, etc, there are also themes like “riding with the car on a Friday night”, “road-racin’”, or serial killers giving a sleazy and amusing comic book-feeling to the album. This comic-book attitude is also in their videos and in the LP artwork:
There are many influences on this record: early IRON MAIDEN and ANGEL WITCH direct approach, slower stuff like early DIO, full-speed-ahead MOTÖRHEAD rockings, classic TROUBLE type of riffing in „Satan”, or even 1984 MERCYFUL FATE in the opening riff of „Screams in the Night”, RIOT in „Run For Your Life” (Riot had a song with this title btw.) and some JUDAS PRIEST type of riffs in „Heavy Metal Heat”, but other bands like DIAMOND HEAD, TANK, or ARMORED SAINT also came to my mind.
„Save Me Now” is classic hard rock with simple and catchy choruses in the vein HIGH SPIRITS made it lately. The vocals of Jarvis Leatherby are not the typical heavy metal shrieks, he doesn’t try to sound like Dickinson, Halford, King, etc, he has more rock lungs than metal, think of John Bush of ARMORED SAINT, by the way, a band who have a lot of similarities with NIGHT DEMON.
„The Howling Man” could be their best written and perhaps original song with B-horror movies’ creepy atmosphere, a more doomy approach with a more epic songwriting. More goosebumps than fun here. The best track on the album, and bass/vocalist Jarvis sounds more thick and gloomy, think of Glenn Danzig in the MISFITS times...
My version of the LP contains also the classic RIOT cover „Road Racin’”. All in all this will be not the most original album for 2015, but still one with excellent song-writing, top-class songs, all killer, no filler. This album brings a lot of fun into the Heavy Metal underground, paying homage, while remaining cool. Let’s say a perfect choice for a Heavy Metal Friday Fun night. A Night of the Demon...