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Demon - 1981 Night Of The Demon

ALBUM: Night Of The Demon
LABEL: Carerre
YEAR: 1981
CD REISSUE: 1990, Sonic (UK), SONIC CD1 * 2001, Record Heaven, RHCD44 * 2003, Dead Ringer, DRRUS005CD


LINEUP: Dave Hill - vocals * Les Hunt - lead guitar * Mal Spooner - guitar * Paul Riley - bass * John Wright - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Full Moon * 02 Night Of The Demon * 03 Into The Nightmare * 04 Father Of Time * 05 Decisions * 06 Liar * 07 Big Love * 08 Ride The Wind * 09 Fool To Play The Hard Way * 10 One Helluva Night * 11 Wild Woman (Bonus) * 12 On The Road Again (Bonus) * 13 Liar (Original Recording - Bonus) * 14 Night Of The Demon (Original Recording - Bonus)


The general misconception of Demon's debut is that it is a piece of 'demonic metal', due to the bands name, album title and cover, which features a mangled cross. Aside from the title track which lyrically could be judged slightly occultish, there is little here to place the album in that zone. Instead it is a superlative set of traditional British hard rock, with anthems pumped out left and right, the lyrics more along the lines of living hard and fast and overcoming the odds! Demon formed in Stoke in the late 70's, signing with French label Carrere, who of course had Saxon and Dokken on their roster also. This debut exceeds much of Saxon's early work it must be said, the melody more evident, with a working class ethic that only British bands seemed to able to grasp properly. The cover made the headlines upon release, a shame as there was enough talent here to push Demon to the top alongside Iron Maiden and co.

The Songs
Short and devilish intro 'Full Moon' is a humourous start, with chants of 'rise' and Satan himself putting in an appearance. Hill puts on his Coverdale vocals to a backdrop of typical NWOBHM riffing. 'Into The Nightmare' is a fine burst of energy, followed by the Thin Lizzy inspired 'Father Time', where Hill imitates Phil Lynott to perfection, musically similar to Lizzy's 'Angel Of Death'. The album takes a marvelous turn with 'Decisions', which was made for a show like 'Auf Widersehen Pet', with its rousing message of getting it right and melodic riffs earning it classic status for at least two people I know! 'Liar' moves into UFO territory, Hill now taking on Phil Mogg. The boogie riff that accompanies 'Big Love' is as far removed from demonic metal as one could envisage, with lyrics about hitting the bottle and tight pants ramming the point home. Did anyone actually listen to this? 'Ride The Wind' is another boys own anthem, made for a night on the town! 'Fool To Play It The Hard Way' is a classy piece of melodic hard rock in the best Whitesnake tradition, with a hook that belies its 1981 status. Only a British band could conjure up something this grand. Cleverly the band concludes matters with a tear up, 'One Helluva Night' leaving nothing to the imagination, raging boogie which is actually light years ahead of most NWOBHM flops.

In Summary
Demon were unfortunate to not have the blockbuster debut of their contemporaries, despite continuing to record to this day. Hill is the only remaining original, with 2005's 'Better The Devil You Know' the bands latest album. Over the years the band has seen more lineup changes than any band in history, with the death of Spooner in 1985. The albums have consistently appeared, and the band continues to remain popular in Europe, always a bastion for old English metal bands long out of favour in the native country. Anyone who goes into this hoping for the sound of early Black Sabbath will come back shocked, its nothing of the kind. One for the boys at the bar instead.

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#1 | Jez on June 13 2008 03:22:17
The debut album and pretty good in spots - 'Father Of Time', 'Into The Nightmare','Fool To Play The Hard Way' and of course the title track. The rest is Pretty standard Hard rock of the time, but still holds a certain charm.
#2 | fenton on February 25 2009 09:32:05
The riff from 'Big Love' could be the rudest thing I've heard!
#3 | fenton on February 25 2009 09:32:37
#4 | dangerzone on November 16 2011 13:46:47
I was listening to random songs and 'Father Of Time' came on and I really thought it was Thin Lizzy. It took a few minutes to recall what it was! Good job I pointed it out in this review.

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