Night Demon is a heavy metal band from the USA formed in 2011 who released their self-titled debut E.P. the following year. The band’s first full-length album ‘Curse Of The Damned’, was released in 2015 with the band’s sophomore album ‘Darkness Remains’, a 2017 release. And in 2022, a special compilation album will be released, entitled ‘Year Of The Demon’…
…featuring all five of the band’s 2020 single releases, including the B-sides! All of these strictly limited edition singles quickly sold out, and are now out of print – meaning that many of the band’s fans may not have managed to get their hands on them.
But now they will, for ‘Year Of The Demon’ has them all – and in one place! The singles were originally released during the spring and summer of 2020 when the band touring plans came to a grinding halt due to the global pandemic – more commonly known as COVID19. The pandemic tore around the world, putting a stop to virtually every public event. So the band put their creative hats on and unleashed five standalone limited 7″ singles…
…the first of which I have already had the pleasure to review – the fast-paced ‘Empires Fall’. An all-out, flat-out, gallop of traditional heavy metal, ‘Empires Fall’ is followed by the slightly slower-paced ‘Kill The Pain’ – keeping the classic sound of old school metal well and truly alive. Adding a touch more melodious intent, ‘Are You Out There’ is an infectious hard rocker that embodies everything great about the heavy metal style of music – a style that I love so fucking much, and no doubt you all do too! ‘Vysteria’ moves forward with an almighty chugging riff, and a pace akin to ‘Empires Fall’ – the band winding up the wrecking ball and letting it swing free and fucking hard!
The remaining six songs on ‘Year Of The Demon’ are all covers – with three of them live versions. You get two Scorpions covers, recorded live with former Scorpions guitarist Uli Jon Roth – both songs taken from the band’s 1975 album ‘In Trance’, namely ‘Top Of The Bill’ and (the title song itself) ‘In Trance’. The other live cover is a rousing rendition of British metal gods Iron Maiden’s ‘Wasted Years’ (off their 1986 album ‘Somewhere In Time’). Night Demon does it major justice, offering a much beefier version than the original.
Now, one of the earliest inspirations and influencers of hard rock and heavy metal was the Irish band Thin Lizzy, and their charismatic frontman Phil Lynott – with bands such as Metallica, Testament, and Alice In Chains citing the Irish band as an influence. And Night Demon’s fifth standalone single is a cover of Thin Lizzy’s ‘The Sun Goes Down’ (from the band’s twelfth and final album ‘Thunder And Lightning’ released in 1983), the band delivering a barnstorming version – much more up-tempo, energetic and livelier than the original.
Cirith Ungol is an American heavy metal band formed in the seventies, prominent in the eighties, releasing four albums before disbanding at the start of the nineties. The band reformed in 2016 and released a new album in 2020. The band’s lead singer Tim Baker lends his vocal talents to Night Demon’s cracking cover of ‘100 MPH’, taken from Cirith Ungol’s third album ‘One Foot In Hell’, released in 1986. Faster and beefier than the original, Night Demon blitz through ‘100 MPH’ at breakneck speed.
And for the final cover song, Night Demon remains in the eighties, visiting the UK again, and a band that was based in the west midlands of England – Le Griffe. The heavy metal band was active for just five years, releasing two E.P.’s – ‘Fast Bikes’ (1983) and ‘Breaking Strain’ (1984) – and it’s from their first E.P. that Night Demon take ‘Fast Bikes’, and deliver a very pumped up and quicker version, all the while retaining a very strong old school flavor.
Overall, a cracking and great compilation of songs to keep your Night Demon collection complete – ‘Year Of The Demon’ is highly recommended.
Kill The Pain
Are You Out There
In Tance (live feat. Uli Jon Roth)
100 MPH (feat. Tim Baker (Cirith Ungol))
The Sun Goes Down
Wasted Years (live)
Top Of The Bill (live feat. Uli Jon Roth)
Night Demon: Facebook
Release Year: 2022
Label: Century Media Records
Reviewed by Iron Mathew for Frenzy Fire, and Metal-Roos.