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Night Demon – Year of the Demon

Night Demon
Year of the Demon
by Mark Machlay at 22 March 2022, 6:06 AM

Riding the wave of the recent resurgence of old school traditional heavy metal bands that came about in the early 2010s, NIGHT DEMON made quite a name for themselves. Despite the lack of live shows during 2020, the band kept busy, releasing a quintet of singles throughout that year and are releasing them all as a compilation titled “Year of the Demon” on March 25. The Ventura, California-based group was formed in May of 2011 between vocalist/bassist Jarvis Leatherby and guitarist Brent Woodward, releasing the well-recieved “Night Demon” EP in 2013. Drummer Dusty Squires joined in September 2013 which allowed them to expand into full-length territory with their 2015 debut album “Curse of the Damned”. Woodward would leave shortly after but Armand John Anthony would step in – acting as engineer on both their previous EPs and had experience playing with Squires previously. They then released their sophomore full-length “Darkness Remains” in 2017 with a live album following titled “Live Darkness” in 2018.

Known for being one the hardest touring bands, it was difficult for NIGHT DEMON to stay off the road during the pandemic. Their creative flame burned brighter than ever, however and during the spring and summer of 2020, released a series of five standalone, limited 7” singles, with the physical copies selling out instantly. The original songs would be released digitally and streaming but the other live recordings were only available in the physically and never available to the public to purchase in any other format until now with the 10-track compilation, “Year of the Demon”. Lead vocalist and bassist Leatherby comments, “2020 was certainly the ‘Year of the Demon’ in so many ways! Never in our wildest imagination would we be releasing (5) 7” singles in a calendar year, and nowhere in our fans’ imaginations would one of the hardest touring bands of the last decade be sidelined by this virus that demonized our lives. We are proud to finally release these songs as a complete collection and include the rare B-sides that only saw the light of day on the collector’s record player. Here’s to 2022 and the future bringing us all something more to hope for. We have a lot more to come this year!”

As a fan of NIGHT DEMON, you well know what you’re getting with this latest compilation, but “Year of the Demon” does so much more for new fans of the band. The new material is amazing, as always, but the real highlights can be seen in the band’s interpretations of other classic metal titan’s songs. You’re treated to not one, but two SCORPIONS covers – both supported by the legendary guitarist Uli John Roth from the very band they’re covering – and somehow, even with the familiar guitarist on the track, NIGHT DEMON manage to make both “In Trance” and “Top of the Bill” their own. Yes, the originals such as the opening track “Empire’s Fall” is a ripping duel-guitar driven thrasher that surprises you in the middle with a soft slowdown before ending fast with a blistering solo and “Kill the Pain” is a send up to NWOBH as a whole but they give you a cover of the NWOBH giants, IRON MAIDEN, with their interpretation of “Wasted Years”. An excellent collection for fans and the general public to now enjoy.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Empires Fall
2. Kill The Pain
3. Are You Out There
4. Vysteria
5. In Trance (SCORPIONS cover, live feat. Uli Jon Roth)
6. Fast Bikes (LEGRIFFE cover)
7. 100 MPH \[CIRITH UNGOL cover, feat. Tim Baker (CIRITH UNGOL)]
8. The Sun Goes Down (THIN LIZZY cover)
9. Wasted Years (IRON MAIDEN cover, live)
10. Top Of The Bill (SCORPIONS cover, live feat. Uli Jon Roth)
Lineup:
Jarvis Leatherby – Lead Vocals & Bass
Dusty Squires – Drums & Backing Vocals
Armand John Anthony – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Record Label: Century Media Records
     


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