CD Reviews

Night Demon - 'Darkness Remains'

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 11, 2018    
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Has an early NWOBHM vibe but with its modern-day production the retro approach of ND doesn't feel dated.

'Darkness Remains' is the second album from Californian Classic Metal trio Night Demon. To say these guys are retro-sounding NWOBHM is such an understatement it is explosively funny! I think ND might like and be influenced a tad by Iron Maiden, maybe just a wee bit. After I played this album through, it was very clear to me not only do ND like Maiden but they want to be Maiden, seriously on so many levels – including the fact that during live shows their skeletal mascot Rocky makes appearances... sound familiar?

Obviously Maiden have evolved and played with their sound over the decades, but ND emulate the early years of their heroes – most notably the debut and 'Killers'. This album as a whole is generally very energetic and Punk-tinged with strong melodic moments and guitar licks, with solo's pumping out of every orifice.

You shouldn't look to ND for originality, but if you're looking for some quality old-school Maiden then these guys will definitely tickle your fancy in all the right ways. Normally when a band's sound is so close to their influences they can feel like either a watered-down version or a second-rate tribute act, but I'll give ND their just dues as they craft and play genuinely exciting and enjoyable songs even if they are walking down a well-worn path. The strong melodic flavour they heap into the mix not only gives them a commercial edge but also makes them more appetising to my own personal tastes.

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All the elements that make IM so popular are peppered liberally throughout ND's song-writing, including those energetic guitar riffs and fast-paced solo licks. Obviously 'Darkness Remains' has an early NWOBHM vibe but with its modern-day production the retro approach of ND doesn't feel dated; it keeps the songs sounding quite fresh. That all said, there are times when I feel like Steve Harris might possibly consider writing a letter given the somewhat similarity in song-writing and flavour of the music.
It's a no-holds-barred album but the radio-friendly nature 'Black Widow' makes it an obvious choice for me to highlight with it's amazing guitar play, addictive chorus and energy.

If you're into Classic Metal and NWOBHM in particular, assuming you can look past the obvious IM tribute aspect to their songs, you will find this album and Night Demon a really enjoyable pleasure.

Paul Woodward

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