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Night Demon
Darkness Remains
Type: CD
Company: Century Media
Release: 2017
Genre: Traditional
Reviewer: Eric Compton
Published: 6/15/2017
THE top of the food chain in terms of classic, traditional metal anthems
I pegged Night Demon as one of five bands to watch in 2017. Sure as the sunrise, the California trio emerges as a power player with a new record entitled ‘Darkness Remains’. It arrives courtesy of Century Media and Steamhammer depending on your home. It’s only the band's sophomore effort, and even more shocking is the fact that the band is only six years old now. Is it just me or does it seem like Night Demon have been around a long time? I mean that in the most sincere way possible. I see their name all the time--on tours opening for God knows who in some far-off land. This band is probably one of the hardest working ones in metal. Vocalist and bassist Jarvis Leatherby echoed that sentiment in an interview I read a few weeks back. He said being in the band is almost like being homeless. Just the grinding tire wheels and plane trips have to take their toll. We’ve seen Night Demon tour with everyone from Anvil to Carcass. I’d be curious to see the number of live shows over the last six years. But I’m rambling and it’s time to get down to business--this new album is absolutely killer. Here’s why...

The band bring in guitarist Armand John Anthony to replace the departed Brent Woodward. Armand is a phenomenal guitar player and rocked my socks off on the debut Gygax album ‘Critical Hits’ last year. He’s the perfect fit for Night Demon not only musically but he’s known Jarvis for over 20 years and is the brother-in-law of the band’s drummer, Dusty Squires. All the stars align and Armand brings a really dynamic approach to the guitar sound of the record.

The album’s opener is also their lead-off single and promo video (which Jarvis directed), "Welcome to the Night". The opening whine of the strings is a slow burn right into a traditional metal romp that is punctuated by opening line “In the dark you hear it calling out to you”. It’s a skeletal finger in the black just beckoning you to come closer. The 2:30 mark has this slower “Where Eagles Dare” sort of riff and the vocal harmony on the chorus stays in your head for days. Speaking of Maiden, the band pays homage with a fun cut called “Maiden Hell”. They use the British act’s familiar lyrics and album titles as fodder for the lyrical word play. While NWOBHM is a main ingredient, it doesn’t exclude earlier sounds. “Stranger in the Room” has a grinding groove that could be early Sabbath. “On Your Own” runs the drum kit through 80s hard rock anthems, complete with an elementary chorus piece that simply sticks with the listener (whether you want it to or not). The group branch out a little and run the instrumental gauntlet on “Flight of the Manticore”. For me, the highlight of the record is “Hallowed Ground”, an eerie lyrical journey with galloping riffage and Jarvis’ best vocal performance to date. I’d put that song up against anything in the last 10 years.

Night Demon have surpassed the competition in terms of classic, traditional metal anthems. This is THE band at the top of the food chain.
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: NIGHT DEMON
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Curse of the DamnedNight Demon
2015
Greg Watson9/2/2015
Darkness RemainsNight Demon
2017
Eric Compton6/15/2017


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: NIGHT DEMON

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