NIGHT DEMON – Live Darkness (SPV)
Recorded at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio, in December last year, and spread over five sides of vinyl (or two CDs), ‘Live Darkness’ sees the metal thrashing mad Californians despatch twenty-three songs – pretty much their entire back catalogue – in an hour-and-a-half. There’s little subtlety on offer, but the production captures the sweaty club atmosphere and the whole thing’s just like one huge get-together as Night Demon rampage through their last album ‘Darkness Remains’ and self-titled debut EP, with a healthy chunk of ‘Curse Of The Damned’ thrown in for good measure.
The band’s material is hugely derivative, and therein lies its appeal. If you weren’t there the first time around, Night Demon ably recreate the glory days of traditional Eighties’ metal with energy, enthusiasm and a healthy Iron Maiden fixation. Songs like openers ‘Welcome To The Night’ and ‘Full Speed Ahead’ and, well, quite a few others could easily have come from the pen of Steve Harris, and then (if further proof be needed) there’s ‘Maiden Hell’, in which vocalist /bassist Jarvis Leatherby, guitarist Armond John Anthony and drummer Dusty Squires pay homage with a set of lyrics name-checking as many Iron Maiden references as they could squeeze into three minutes. It’s frenetic, it’s fun, and a cover of Midnight’s ‘Evil Like A Knife’, featuring mainman Athenar himself, adds to the (Halloween) party atmosphere. A souvenir of the perfect night out. Party like it’s 1981!
© John Tucker July 2018