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'Curse Of The Damned'
Release Date: 19th January 2015

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland

night demon

Night Demon are a three piece Metal band from Ventura, California who formed in 2011. I thought I better state that right off the bat as if you listen to this, their debut album, you might think they were from some god forsaken little town in the Midlands of England and had made an album in 1980 which only their mates bought.

As someone old enough to have been there and done that when the likes of Witchfynde, Diamond Head and Dark Star were slogging away in clubs around the country I can say that this album is a faithful tribute to NWOBHM and what was going on at that time (for those reading this aged under 40 I should point out that I'm referring to the underground Metal movement started in the late 70s and christened the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal which spawned Iron Maiden, Saxon and Def Leppard).

The retro nature of this release is no accident, Night Demon cite bands like Angel Witch and (ulp) the Tygers Of Pan Tang as influences and expanded editions of their debut EP contained covers of songs by Jaguar and Diamond Head.

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The songs have titles like 'Full Speed Ahead' and 'Heavy Metal Heat' and are basically spirited runs through pre-thrash Metal anthems full of riffing and attitude. I get a slight sense that they are enjoying not offering something new but giving some well loved cliches a good battering with a smile firmly planted on their faces.

'The Howling Man' has a riff a little reminiscent of early Maiden and album closer 'Save Me Now' has melodic tones which remind me of NWOBHM classic 'One Of These Days' by Trespass. Overall though the band which 'Curse Of The Damned' brings to mind most often is Newcastle's Raven. The album is full of three and four minute tunes full of energetic riffing and a big throbbing bass sound mixed with plenty of attitude and some melodic touches.

night demon

So far so good if you like the retro thing but I think they have taken it too far with the production. This album sounds like it was recorded pretty cheaply in 1980 and this must be deliberate given how much technology has improved since then. Often the sound is muddy, or top heavy and never do the riffs really power at you out of the speakers leaving it all feeling a bit underpowered overall.

This album is a lot of fun, as someone who enjoyed this sound when it was new it's entertaining to hear such a competent bunch of musicians feeling so inspired by the energy and invention of the era to try and recreate it over thirty years later. The song writing isn't too bad either but the production lets the side down and overall I'm left with a feeling that Night Demon are fun but not original enough to take seriously yet.

What someone younger will make of it I'm not sure. I expect that live they would love it and hopefully taking to the road will let the band develop their own identity more and go on to be a real force to be reckoned with.

Line up:
Jarvis Leatherby – bass, vocals
Brent Woodward – guitars
Dusty Squires – drums





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