Night Demon – “Darkness Remains – Expanded Edition” 2CD (Steamhammer / SPV)
If you thought that NWOBHM was dead then tell that to the boys in Night Demon – who must’ve thought it moved to sunny California instead ha ha! Honestly, I can understand old headbangers like myself still yearning to hear this stuff cos we grew up on it, but it speaks bounds that generations down the line, bands like Night Demon are not only fans of it, but actually want to play the style – and do it all so well an’ all. Frontman Jarvis Leatherby not only looks like Blaze Bayley’s brother, but sings for Jaguar and plays bass for Cirith Ungol – talk about living the dream man! Night Demon clearly aren’t fussy as long as its genuine heavy metal and happily mix period US bands like Riot with England’s Maiden and Angel Witch (along with a 100 other bands). “Darkness Remains” does exactly that across its 10 tracks which ably meld molten metal with metal melodies by the bucket load without sounding contrived, and all through an authentic warm n fuzzy early 80s sound. Jarvis’s own vocals are soulful although he has a gravelly tinge and he’s ably backed by vocal harmonies from guitarist Armand John Anthony and Dusty Squires on drums. At a time when many are striving to be the fastest or most evil or brutal, Night Demon are content to stick to the basics of powerful, catchy songs like ‘Dawn Rider’, ‘Black Widow’ and ‘On Your Own’ that more than induce headbanging hysteria while still being memorable even coming out of a coma. As such, it comes as little surprise that “Darkness Remains”, released last year, has already become a hit and as a result, the boys have decided to release this expanded edition rather than wait until they’re old rock stars – as if ha ha! So what we have here is the definitive release involving the recording of this album, featuring the original master, alternate mix and master, b-side cover songs of Sabbath and Queen, a couple demos and alternate studio versions, as well as a full track by track commentary from the band. All in all that’s an extra 24 tracks for any die hard and ideal for anyone who missed this ace release the first time round!