If there’s one type of metal I’m a sucker for these days it’s the modern take on NWOBHM. Some bands do it really well like THE DAGGER, SAVAGE MASTER, and BLACK TRIP, to name a few. And when I first heard NIGHT DEMON two years ago I thought they were okay, but nothing really blew my skirt up. Fast forward to today and their new album Darkness Remains (out now, Century Media Records) and my opinion has changed on these guys big time. Maybe I just never gave ‘em a fair shot last album or something, but this one has some great sounds on it. Old school metal never sounded better, and this is a disc I’ve been spinning for days on end now.
Right away I could feel the energy and vintage vibes from the group on tracks like “Black Widow” and opener “Welcome to the Night.” As I often like to say, these are the songs you can imagine yourself kicking back at home in 1985, and just jamming out to the music on the stereo, you know? One of the best tunes here is “Maiden Hell,” a song built almost completely on IRON MAIDEN song titles. As soon as they started singing I stopped dead in my tracks and I was like, “What the FUCK?? Oh man, this is awesome!!” There aren’t a lot of bands who could pull something like this off but NIGHT DEMON make it look like child’s play. You’ll have fun with this one, guaranteed.
“On Your Own” has some serious riffage going on and a good beat for throwing up the Devil Horns, while “Dawn Rider” is a four-on-the-floor tune designed for rapidly weaving in and out of all three lanes on the highway while you rock the fuck out. Instrumental “Flight of the Manticore” at first sounds very much like IRON MAIDEN’S “Back In the Village” but no, it fleshes out into a song that’s all their own. I really enjoyed this one. “Darkness Remains” is the official album closer and remains one of the record’s best offerings after many listens. I just love the watery chorus effect on the vocals; it really makes the song.
The deluxe version has two bonus tracks, BLACK SABBATH’S “Turn Up the Night” (one of my all-time faves from them!!) and QUEEN’S “We Will Rock You,” the fast version they used to open with in concert sometimes. Both are very, very well-done, but the version of “Turn Up…” is superb!! Ronnie James Dio would be proud if he heard it today. Excellent job, boys!! All in all Darkness Remains is a very good record from a very good band. Consider me a NIGHT DEMON fan from this day forward. And if any of you are on the fence, swing that other leg over and come join the party!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Flight of the Manticore”, “Maiden Hell”, On Your Own”, “Welcome to the Night”, “Darkness Remains”, “Turn Up the Night”