Night Demon - Night Demon (extended tape version)
Shadow Kingdom Records
Heavy Metal
8 songs (29'07")
Release year: 2016
Shadow Kingdom Records
Reviewed by Alex

If you are 14 and into metal, have you ever imagined yourself being in a band? I did. Waaaay back in those 80s. With a couple of friends in high school we even thought about starting a band, since our school had some instruments. I knew how to play a piano, and a couple of guys knew how to jam a few guitar chords, so all we thought we needed to do was to get somebody to learn a drum kit and pluck bass lines. We thought this band is just around the corner, and of course nothing came of it. Why am I even bringing this up? Because Night Demon evokes just these memories in me.

These Californians play as earnest metal as you can find. Call it NWOBHM or just heavy metal, this is the music I imagine that non-formed band would have been playing 35 or so years ago. Starting with the eponymous band/release song Night Demon make a statement to show they are very much about catchy riffs and guitar heroism. There is some WASP in the melodic chorus inflection here, and there is 22 Acacia Avenue in the steady unfolding of The Chalice, before the song speeds up. Jarvis Letherby’s (Jeff Hershey) voice has a way to vibrate, which would have been the quality we could appreciate in our never-found vocalist. Ritual, probably the highlight for me, is not quite thrashing, but edgy, with faster guitars and cool solo. The tape recording (expanded version of the earlier EP) presents a bunch of covers and live performances. These show uneven recording levels, since on Axe Crazy (Jaguar cover) the vocals are recorded at much lower level, however, this allows the bass undercurrents to be clearly heard, which makes for another Iron Maiden reference.

It is good to hear that Night Demon already have done some gigs, and, yes, it took balls to cover Radar Love during one of them, but, yes, I liked this popular song by Golden Earring too back in my formative years. (Night Demon or me aren’t the only ones to pay homage to this radio hit, White Lion did it as well.) Selecting Ritual for a live performance is a winner too, no wonder I picked up that track as my favorite.

If you are 45+ yrs old, this is a release to reminisce to, if you are half that age, then this is how metal sounded before you were born and before any money could be allocated to recording budgets.

Killing Songs :
Night Demon, Ritual
Alex quoted 74 / 100
Other albums by Night Demon that we have reviewed:
Night Demon - Night Demon reviewed by Andy and quoted no quote
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