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 Night Demon - Curse Of The Damned (2015) Album Review

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Night Demon - Curse Of The Damned (2015)
Century Media Records (US) & SPV/Steamhammer (Europe) -- Running Time - 44:13


I always say that alongside lots of hard work you need a little bit of good luck to be in a band and get noticed. Night Demon from Ventura, California have only been around since 2012 but they seem to have had that luck signing to SPV/Steamhammer for the European market and now Century Media for the US. They are a three-piece Trad Metal/NWOBHM band, are good and I'm very pleased for them but, before I start this review properly, I will say there are many similar bands, just as good, that you should check out who are not signed to major labels!

Now that is out of the way I'll get to debut album 'Curse Of The Damned' and if Trad Metal is your thing then you really cannot go wrong with what Night Demon are doing. Having already toured with Diamond Head and Raven will give you an idea of what to expect. Diamond Head is definitely a very strong reference point as opening track 'Screams In The Night' could quite easily have been written by Brian Tatler & Co for the 'White' or 'Borrowed Time' albums, mainly due to vocalist/bassist Jarvis Leatherby's voice and delivery being very similar to original Diamond Head vocalist Sean Harris, the riff is also pure Tatler. Add Riot, Saxon, early Demon, Angel Witch and MSG and you have a band who worship the sounds of the late 70's and early 80's but manage to bring just a little bit of a contemporary feel to proceedings thanks to a good production! They know how to write a catchy song (see below) and they can play well. Guitarist Brent Woodward has the riffs and solos spot on for NWOBHM and drummer Dusty Squires keeps everything nice and neat behind the kit. Apart from the difference in vocals 'Full Speed Ahead' has a main riff and tempo that echoes Motorhead's 'Iron Fist' (well, actually lots of Motorhead songs!) and the riff to 'Killer' could have come from the nimble fingers of Michael Schenker. In fact every song reminded me directly of another band and that has me worried slightly!

Don't get me wrong, I love what's been done here and 'Curse Of The Damned' is a great album but I'm trying to work out if all eleven songs sound so damn familiar because they are written so well or if Night Demon have a been a bit liberal with other bands material. Hey, we all know nothing is original anymore but you still don't want to cross the line that separates 'influenced by' and 'ripping off'. For now I'm going to give Night Demon the benefit of the doubt and hope I get a chance to see them live, where they are supposed to excel, but I'm still going to want to hear something different, in essence a little bit more of them, on album number two before I decide if all the praise they are currently getting is not a little bit blind!

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Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley:

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