album reviews‎ > ‎

Night Demon – ‘Darkness Remains’

posted 1 Aug 2017, 08:50 by Paul Woodward

(Nuclear Blast)

Review by Woody

‘Darkness Remains’ is the second album from Californian classic metal trio Night Demon. Now to say these guys are retro sounding NWOBHM is such an understatement it is explosively funny! I think Night Demon might like and be influenced a tad by Iron Maiden, just a wee bit. After I played this album through it was plainly clear to me not only do Night Demon like Iron Maiden they want to be Iron Maiden, seriously on so many levels – including the fact that during live shows their skeletal mascot ‘Rocky’ makes appearances, sound familiar?

Obviously Maiden have evolved and played with their sound over the decades, but Night Demon emulate their hero’s early years most notably the debut and ‘Killers’. This album as a whole is generally very energetic and punk tinged with strong melodic moments and guitar licks, with solo’s pumping out of every orifice.

You shouldn’t look to Night Demon for originality but if you’re looking for some quality old school Maiden then these guys will definitely tickle your fancy in all the right ways. Normally when a band’s sound is so close to their influences they can feel like a watered-down version or a second-rate tribute act but I’ll give Night Demon their due they craft and play genuinely exciting and enjoyable songs even if they are walking down a well-worn path. The strong melodic flavour they heap into the mix not only gives them a commercial edge but also makes them more appetising to my own personal tastes.

All the elements that make Iron Maiden so popular are peppered liberally throughout Night Demon’s song writing. Those energetic guitar riffs and fast paced solo licks. Obviously ‘Darkness Remains’ has an early NWOBHM vibe but with its modern-day production the retro sound of Night Demon doesn’t feel dated and it keeps the songs sounding quite fresh.

Although there are times I feel like Steve Harris might be writing a letter of copyright infringement given the similarity in song writing and flavour of the music.

It’s a no holds barred album but the radio friendly nature ‘Black Widow’ makes it an obvious choice for me to highlight with it’s amazing guitar play, addictive chorus and energy.

If you’re into classic metal and NWOBHM in particular, if you can look past the obvious Iron Maiden tribute aspect to their songs you will find this album and Night Demon a real enjoyable pleasure.

Track Listing: Welcome to the Night / Hallowed Ground / Maiden Hell / Stranger in the Room / Life on the Run / Dawn Rider / Black Widow / On Your Own / Flight of the Manticore / Darkness Remains

Album Rating: 7/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Black Widow