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Album Review : Night Demon: Outsider

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Review by Paddy Gallagher for MPM

The New Wave of British Heavy Metal spawned many influential bands in a form of Metal that is pure, original and from which all other sub-genres derived.

Closely related to Doom Metal the two genres are the forefathers from which generations progressed, Thrash, Speed, Power, Death, Melodic Death and Progressive Metal to name a few in the myriad.

When you think of (Epic) Doom Metal nobility such as Altar of Oblivion, Atlantean Kodex, Smoulder, Candlemass and put them on shuffle with Angel Witch, Witchfynde, Diamond Head, Saxon and the kingpins of the genre, Iron Maiden, many bands having a foot in both camps. If you remain stoic, unmoved, then you need to seriously consider your self-definition as a Metalhead.

The Thrash, Speed, Power, Death, Melodic Death and Progressive Metal bands have been in the foreground through the years with ample coverage in the music press, touring constantly playing to venues from club and theatre size right the way up in some cases to arenas and stadiums.

As the 1980’s disappeared in the rear-view mirror NWOBHM tended to fall off the radar of many a music aficionado. But fear not, many of the classic bands of the genre are still performing, and a new, younger breed of Metal Warriors (good name for a NWOBHM band that) are producing excellent music and touring, not all to arenas, but “warriors of the road” more so with the scaled back creature comforts smaller tours can afford.

What in some quarters the genre is referred to as NWOTHM, the New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal, or alternatively Traditional Metal, we have a scene that is very much alive and kicking. Some middle tier bands have definite Maidenisms in their music, but at the top of the heap, while you will still hear obvious influences from older bands, there is no blatant ripping off going on, conscious attempts made to stamp their own sound onto their music. Bands like the excellent Striker, Cauldron and Skull Fist, all from Canada, Enforcer and Wolf from Sweden and the premier representative for the USA, all the way from Ventura, California, the clear-cut and well thought out song writing and crushingly heavy riffs of Night Demon.

Due for release on 17th March 2023, “Outsider” is Night Demon’s 3rd full length studio opus and is a damn fine example of the art. Heavy and pounding, foot stomping and head bang inducing riffs, screaming solos and soaring, clean vocals are the order of the day here, and weighing in at just over 37 minutes, there’s no messing, no filler just straight to the jugular pure Metal.

Sure, some of the classic albums in various sub-genres of our music were less than 40 minutes in duration and with Night Demon we are completely immersed in quality before quantity territory, with a concise and expected future classic of the genre.

“Prelude” begins with a pulsing bass before subtle guitar notes lead into a heavy riff and drums proceeding to launch into the title track “Outsider” without so much as stopping for a breath! Jarvis Leatherby’s voice well suited to the genre.

This song, although among many top pieces of music from the band, for me cements them at the forefront of the modern NWOTHM movement. It has it all, tasty guitar leads, pounding bass and drums, and soaring vocal melodies.

“Obsidian” starts with a furious riff before the rhythm section kick in, some fine drumming from Dusty Squires and a nice wee run of guitar notes from Armand John Anthony throughout the song lead to a nice wee time change leading into a solo at the 2:50 mark. “Beyond the Grave” is next with an atmospheric bass intro by Jarvis before the rest of the instruments join in; Jarvis wails “awaken from the nightmare, just to find it’s not a dream.” The song proceeds with a slow, doomy main riff, lead guitar work with no note wasted, no needless widdlying. At 6:21 it is no doubt one of the albums pinnacles among many.

Nicely timed, the tempo shifts up a gear for “Rebirth”, a real stomper that will get the listener groovin’ before slowing in pace for the guitar solo. “Escape from Beyond” starts with a drum roll kicking in a fine bit of riffing with classy bass runs in behind filing out the low end and playing a vital part in the band’s sound. It must be added that all three musicians are on top form playing imaginatively constructed songs that make me scratch my head and wonder why Night Demon are not huge…yet! Metal’s best kept secret by far.

“A Wake” starts slowly with Jarvis singing over a single subtly strummed guitar takes us into a slow tempo number that build on a chugging riff over a solo to a climax. “The Wrath” again starts at a slow pace with a nicely picked guitar backed by the bass before a crescendo of a riff tumbles forth from the speakers / headphones. The longest song on the album at 7:26 and a future classic. “The Last Day” brings the album to a close, a fine thrasher.

Night Demon are playing dates this spring and summer including a 3 band, 21 date US tour headlined by NWOBHM legends Satan, with Haunt also on the bill: that’s mouth-watering for sure. Europe is catered for with a few festival dates and a 4-date tour of Ireland starting on Sunday May 7th in Sandino’s, Derry and taking in dates in Belfast, Dublin and Limerick. I’m not going to miss them this time round, and neither should you if they are near you.

There are many bands playing arenas that would love to have the abundance of talent to write this standard of material demonstrated here, it comes easy to Night Demon. Well written melodic and heavy, there isn’t a second of filler on this album.

Every note, riff and drum fill intended and meaningful. Quality song writing and musicianship that sets this band well ahead of their peers and indeed well ahead of bands with higher profiles playing bigger venues. Perhaps all that’s needed is for a support slot on a few major tours if any of the big guns are brave enough to take them out on tour. They deserve a wider audience.

Hopefully justice prevails as Night Demon deserve to be up there not just in the bigger pack, but well ahead of it! Superb!!!

OUTSIDER track-listing
1. Prelude       
2. Outsider     
3. Obsidian     
4. Beyond The Grave 
5. Rebirth       
6. Escape From Beyond         
7. A Wake      
8. The Wrath  
9. The Last Day
 
On release day (Mar. 17th), Night Demon will kick off the “Hell’s Decibels Tour 2023”, hitting cities across the USA alongside Satan and Haunt – with the trek concluding in Philly as the official Decibel Metal & Beer Fest pre-party! See below for all dates; tickets are available at: www.nightdemon.net/tour

“Hell’s Decibels Tour 2023”
w/ Satan, Night Demon, Haunt
Mar. 17 – West Hollywood, CA @ Whisky A Go Go
Mar. 18 – Oakland, CA @ Eli’s Mile High Club
Mar. 19 – Las Vegas, NV @ Dive Bar
Mar. 21 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Aces High Saloon
Mar. 22 – Denver, CO @ HQ
Mar. 24 – Austin, TX @ Come And Take It Live
Mar. 25 – Houston, TX @ White Oak (Hell’s Heroes)
Mar. 26 – Dallas, TX @ Amplified Live
Mar. 27 – Wichita, KS – @ Barleycorns
Mar. 29 – St Paul, MN @ Turf Club
Mar. 30 – Chicago, IL @ Reggies
Mar. 31 – Des Moines, IA @ Lefty’s Live Music
Apr. 1 – Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom (2 Minutes To Tulsa)
Apr. 2 – Kansas City, MO @ The Record Bar
Apr. 4 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
Apr. 5 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
Apr. 6 – Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
Apr. 7 – Mechanicsburg, PA @ Lovedraft’s
Apr. 8 – Cambridge, MA @ Sonia
Apr. 9 – Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
Apr. 11 – Buffalo, NY@ Mohawk
Apr. 13 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Foundry (Decibel Metal & Beer Fest pre-party)

Night Demon line-up:
Jarvis Leatherby – Vocals / Bass
Dusty Squires – Drums
Armand John Anthony – Guitars
 
Night Demon online:
www.nightdemon.net
www.instagram.com/nightdemonmetal
www.facebook.com/nightdemon

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