(Century Media 2015)
Like a stick of dynamite, Night Demon exploded onto the underground metal scene in the last two years. Boasting an impressive four-song EP issued via Shadow Kingdom Records, a tireless work ethic, and a combustible live attack, this Ventura, California power trio has raised lots of eyebrows in an awfully short time period. Now comes the moment of truth, the time to gauge whether the hype is justified. The band’s full-length debut, ‘Curse of the Damned,’ has been unveiled for a January 2015 release via Century Media domestically, and SPV in Europe.
What Night Demon present on this album is one of the freshest, most exciting traditional metal recordings I’ve heard in ages. The ingredients will be familiar to most students of the genre: A heaping serving of NWOBHM-inspired goodness, a dollop of ‘Kill ‘Em All’-era Metallica, a side of Motorhead (both their rock’n’roll elements and their heavier output), and a splash of extended-middle-finger punk attitude. But it’s Night Demon’s remarkable ability seamlessly to solder and meld these components into something unique and compelling that causes this album to stand tall amidst the voracious pack of talented contenders. Impassioned vocals, fiery guitarwork, buzzsaw bass licks (mixed loud and played like a rhythm guitar), and concussive drumming round out the package.
I’ve been listening to ‘Curse of the Damned’ for weeks. It’s like a drug. Every time I hear it, I feel my blood race, my pulse quicken, and an irresistible urge to climb upon the nearest piece of furniture, don my air guitar and rock out in full voice. This 11-track, 44-minute album is fairly littered with killer tunes, from uptempo speed bursts to more epic tracks to singalong anthems to basic rockers. When I first heard the album, I penned an email to a friend in which I started listing the standout songs. Soon I had to stop, laughing and shaking my head, when I realized I was writing down every damn tune. The phrase “all killer, no filler” was made for this album. Come to think of it, so was the phrase “buy or die.” If you love old-fashioned, heartfelt, ass-kicking heavy metal done in the ways of the old but with the power and finesse of the young, then consider ‘Curse of the Damned’ to be a giant powder keg sitting outside your front door. The fuse is lit. The time grows near. And Night Demon are gonna blow your doors off in 2015. Beware of their bite, they are the Night Demon!
~ Review by Kit Ekman ~