Ventura, California’s Night Demon have returned with the follow up to their highly impressive debut album, 2015’s Curse of the Damned and they actually managed to not only maintain a forward momentum but create a much better album. This band was one of my favorite discoveries for 2015 with one of the coolest albums I have heard in a long time. Their brand of NWOBHM inspired metal was catchy as fuck reminding me of Angel Witch a bit while having melodies that remind me a lot of early Diamond Head. The debut was a breath of fresh air and with their follow up Night Demon are showing that they are in this for the long haul.
You know that this album means business straight out of the gate with “Welcome to the Night.” This reminds of the metal anthems of the early days. The riffs are fast and mean and the addition of the dual leads and killer solos this song just screams metal. “Maiden Hell” is 2:43 of raw energy. This one is more of a speed metal number with furious riffs as well as those melodies that remind me of Diamond Head. Jarvis Leatherby’s vocals really fit the music and the atmosphere they are trying to convey with “Stranger in the Room” being where I think he shines the most on this album. This song slows it down to a mid pace with killer riffs, huge melodies, and an amazing chorus. Halfway through it picks up the pace a bit with some catchy lead riffs going right into the solo. My favorite of the album by far.
By this time it’s obvious that this album is way superior to the debut. Not only did they top the debut, they did so without changing their formula. Instead they just wrote much better songs. Songs like “Dawn Rider” and “Black Widow” are furious metal songs that slay from beginning to end while “On Your Own” is a mid paced rocker that has some cool guitar work with some cool solos interspersed throughout the song. I believe that this progression could be due to the fact that they parted ways with the guitarist from the debut and added Armand John Anthony. His style is melodic with an almost 70s proto-metal sound. Whatever the reason it’s clear they meant business.
I was impressed with their debut album but with this release they went above and beyond. This album is not only essential for all metalheads….it should be required listening!