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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Demon - 1983 The Plague
Demon - 1983 The Plague

ALBUM: The Plague
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 1990, Sonic (UK), SONIC CD3 * 1995, HTD Records, HTD CD35 * 2001, Record Heaven, RHCD46


LINEUP: Dave Hill - vocals * Mal Spooner - guitars * Les Hunt - guitars * Chris Ellis - bass * John Wright - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Plague * 02 Nowhere To Run * 03 Fever In The City * 04 Blackheath * 05 Blackheath Intro * 06 The Writings On The Wall * 07 The Only Sane Man * 08 A Step Too Far


For me Demon were an odd band, back in 1983 with a name like Demon you would have expected a Trash Metal band complete with croaking vocals and satanic bass lines. But what you find in this album is something that has far more in common with Pink Floyd and Marillion than any heavy metal band. Once again with an album name like 'The Plague' you'd expect something dark and sinister, but Demon once again surprise with great positive music. There is a theme throughout the album, warning of the dangers of urbanisation, establishment and the Cold War. Tracks about the Blackheath (where NATO store nuclear weapons in England I think) and media propaganda, all brought together with good album cover artwork in the form of contrasting black and white pencil drawn sketches, help consolidate a strong overall theme.

The Songs
Don't get me wrong; this is not a concept album, but a well brought together collection of songs. They range widely from well-paced guitar tracks to mellow acoustic numbers. Sweeping keyboard strings and piano clashes, impromptu samples and gutsy vocals that confirm the songs are from the heart. If there is a complaint, it's the length of the album - it only has eight tracks, which was more acceptable back then in the days of vinyl. Just to prove that Demon are different, the 'Blackheath Intro' comes straight after the track 'Blackheath' - not before! There is also a reprise to the first track 'The Plague' at the end of the album, which is apparently part of the last track, but then who cares - it still sounds great! I liked this album back in '83 on vinyl, and have recently got my hands on a CD copy, and still like it. I wonder if maybe first time listeners may find it a little dated. Although the content is a little political and covers issues that may no longer be relevant, the songs are abstract enough in their message so that they can still relate to current feelings and emotions.

In Summary
With the death of Mal Spooner, Demon went on to different things and different styles, but for me this album along with 'British Standard Approved' (another theme album this time about the 'Titanic'), gave us albums that were both innovative and away from the mainstream. I am sure they influenced many bands and still have the potential to do so in the future. Nuff Said.

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#1 | Jez on June 13 2008 03:22:56
Demon's finest hour bar non. Compared to the first 2 albums, a total change in sound. As a concept album,all the material gels really well on this, and their is some outstanding songs on show - 'The Plague', 'Blackeath 1 & 2' along with some very very fine slower, more atmospheric tracks like 'Fever In The City' & 'The Only Sane Man'. Difficult to compare this to anything else really, but all I will say is that it's bloody Fabulous, so go and get it!.
#2 | Eric on October 23 2011 19:21:51
These guys put out so many good albums in the 80s, time we/I play catch up in the review department in the coming months..
#3 | dangerzone on April 26 2012 11:52:03
YouTube Video:
#4 | gdazegod on July 18 2013 03:48:42
A great album, have a few of their albums on a wider playlist at the moment, which will lead to a few more reviews shortly. Definitely agree with the Floyd and Marillion comparisons. If you like BJH and Omega, you'll probably like this too!
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