Night Demon - 'Curse Of The Damned'

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Night Demon - 'Curse Of The Damned'

A most enjoyable kick-ass Classic Metal romp.

Night Demon presents a bit of a contradiction for me. On one hand this Californian-based trio's debut album is an exuberant, high voltage piece of Classic Metal full of Hard Rocking riffs and lung busting anthems, it's certainly a throwback to energy of the early days of Iron Maiden, Diamond Head etc. But therein lays the issue; in 1980 'Curse Of The Damned' would have been up there with the best at the time but thirty years on it still sounds as if it's a NWOBHM debut.

To be fair, that's something that American Rock bands have rarely been able to achieve and Night Demon have certainly done it with some degree of style. 'Screams In The Night' kicks off in furious fashion with a style that is reminiscent of early Tank; pounding riffs and drums drive along with what is an impressive vocal performance throughout from Jarvis Leatherby who also handling bass duties. Whilst the title track itself drops the pace a little, it's still packed with the same power and muscle.

'Full Speed Ahead' is just that, frantic guitars with more than a hint of Maiden in there before The Howling Man' which is a piece of classic DH if ever there was one; a slower, pounding intro – in the vein of 'Am I Evil' – leading into the main riff sounding like a fired up take of 'Sucking My Love'. It's even got a couple of time changes and a lengthy guitar solo in its near seven minute length.

There's some strong performances here with a high energy and enthusiastic feel to it all. But as someone who experienced the original NWOBHM days it all seems a bit out of its time. Even the production sounds very much of that era so I worry that whilst 'Curse Of The Damned' certainly has its good points, there will be little longevity in its appeal. There's a sort of built in obsolescence that, despite the positive first impressions, after a couple of plays becomes a sort of contemporary nostalgia if there is such a thing.

But taken at face value this is a most enjoyable kick-ass Classic Metal romp. If, like me, you were disappointed that Brian Tatler has admitted he's not interested in recording any new material with DH, then this is a worthwhile alternative.

Ian Parry

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