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Demon - 1985 Heart Of Our Time



ARTIST: Demon
ALBUM: Heart Of Our Time
LABEL: Clay
SERIAL: CLAY LP 18
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 1990, Sonic, SONIC CD 5 * 2002, Spaced Out Music, SPMCD006

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Dave Hill - vocals * John Waterhouse - guitars * Steve Watts - keyboards * Gavin Sutherland - bass * Richard Wright - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Heart Of Our Time * 02 Walk In Your Own Light * 03 Genius? * 04 Expressing The Heart * 05 High Climber * 06 Crossfire * 07 Grown Ups * 08 Summit * 09 One Small Step

WEBLINKS: www.the-demon.com


Background
Continuing on with my run of Demon articles, we are into 1985. Following the very progressive 'British Standard Approved' which was about 6 months late for release (April 1985), the band moved onto 'Heart Of Our Time' released later that year. This was an unusual time for Demon, as it was their first album without Mal Spooner who passed away the previous year. The songwriting was primarily between Dave Hill and keyboardist Steve Watts. Style wise, Hill and the boys had gone full circle, with different genres having been covered up till this point. 'Heart Of Our Time' wasn't definitive in style, it was a mish-mash really. They didn't revert back to the occult-styled metal from the early days, nor was it the blatant progressive rock that we heard on 'The Plague' or 'BSA'.. sort of somewhere in between without setting the earth on fire unfortunately.


The Songs
There are some modern keyboard/synth work (modern as can be expected in 1985), which ended up sounding like a tougher version of Barclay James Harvest, Saga and 80's era Nazareth and More when they decide to rock out. An unusual mix to say the least, but it kind of defined the Demon style during their late 80's run, which produced three studio albums including this one. The title track begins this 9 track affair. A hard rocker with some strong keyboard parts, with added female backing vocals on the chorus. Steve Watts keyboard work keeps 'In Your Own Light' within a commercial framework, Hill's gritty vocals roughening up things. 'Genius' is definitely one for BJH and Saga fans, the keyboard work dominates the song, even where there is some Floydian guitar lines in earshot. A nice track for sure. With a title like 'Expressing The Heart', you can be assured of melting moments balladry. The meandering and flowing keyboards plus the slower than normal tempo keeps this one in check. No fast and furious surprises, though the sound files toward the end of the song add some mystique. 'High Climber' takes Demon toward an upbeat pomp mode with a very British flavour. Think Uriah Heep meeting Grand Prix, which shouldn't be too hard to imagine. It's back to synth central courtesy of 'Crossfire'. This one is definitely for the ivory-tinklers among you. The aforementioned BJH and Saga reference points kick in here for sure. 'Grown Up' is the odd-man tune on the album. A near spoken-word effort with prog tendencies. Probably one for Marillion fans. Demon turn up another surprise with the space-rock instrumental 'Summit', caught somewhere between early Hawkwind and Japanese synthesist Kitaro! Strange but true. The album finishes up with the quirky prog of 'One Small Step'. At only 4 minutes length, the song manages to cram in a raft of prog flavours and styles. Canterbury, baroque, prog-folk.. it's all here.


In Summary
'Heart Of Our Time' wasn't a big mover and shaker within the Demon back-catalogue, but there's enough here to interest prog, AOR and pomp listeners. The Spaced Out Music reissue CD included two extra tracks: 'Hyperactive' and 'Dance Of Life' which I think were unreleased tracks previously, but I could be wrong on that one. The latter track 'Dance Of Life' is so unlike Demon, with its jazz fusion, spanish flamenco and Bruce Springsteen like vocals from Hill. Strange indeed!


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This article has been tagged
Tags: Demon 
 
Comments
#1 | Eric on August 23 2013 14:07:33
Love this album.
 
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