Night Demon - Darkness Remains

Night Demon Darkness Remains cover
Night Demon
Darkness Remains
This Californian three-piece seems to have gotten disproportionately more coverage than other ones and despite being good at the old school metal they attempt, I believe it might have to do with the fact that they have been able to get quite a few booking on the back of Cirith Ungol in which their singer/bassist Jarvis Leatherby doubles as the new bassist for their reunion & future activities.
I’ll give it to them that they sound pretty together for a trio and that’s down to the ability of the aforementioned Latherby to sing and play bass quite well at the same time, sounding fuller than most trios out there that tend to sound rowdy and dirty… although the opener “Welcome to the Night” is a bit rough… the Maiden comparisons (Dianno era) come up immediately, while secondary influences could include and be traced to Angelwitch and Diamondhead, Blitzkrieg etc… the title track feels as if a Maiden tune from yesteryear was planet-caravan-ized or as if “Remember Tomorrow” went past it’s sell by date…
“Turn up the Night” feels like a pastiche of Thin Lizzy attitude, Black Sabbath riffs (with quite a nod to “Neon Knights”) and Dianno mannerisms vocal wise. It ain’t half as bad, but it’s not really screamingly original.
The band covers the “fast” version of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” a bit of a curveball, that I didn’t see coming, but they do it well, owning the cover and completely assimilating it and homogenizing it with the rest of “their” material.
“Hallowed Ground” is a bit gallopy and hard rocking at the same time in a hybrid that feels quite influenced by the slowly “metallizing” latter days of Thin Lizzy…
“Maiden Hell” is a bit of a tribute to the Brit Titans, from the title, to the lyrics, to the music... all of the song is a huge wink and a nudge to Iron Maiden, but feels more like a Jaguar number (and Leatherby has played with them live as well… so it might have rubbed off)…
“Stranger in the Room” is considerably slower and more original with a melodic chorus, but coming after such high, it felt a bit tired… seems to work quite better however on its own.
“Life on the Run” is a by the numbers melodic mid-tempo that could have been interchangeable with say – “Turn Up...” you could switch them around and no one would be any wiser. Full of cliché lyrical nods to other bands, it’s cute, but… feels a little like running on empty…
“Dawn Rider” by title alone leaves a promise for something quite epic and the intro certainly delivers and even if it isn’t ultra-fast, which might have worked a little better, its nifty sudden switch into higher gear for the chorus, works quite well as does the harmonic solo.
“Black Widow” has been released as a 7" and it makes sense… the very “maidenesque” cadenzas, serve well a song that otherwise would have felt quite plain.
“On Your Own” is a little lacking, compared to its predecessors, not changing the formula significantly, buy failing to offer anything new or exciting in the mix (which is fairly good and retro)…
The song closes with the instrumental “Flight of the Manticore” that felt quite reminiscent of Riot’s “Narita” in more ways than one, but without the genius of the solo or quite the same melodic appeal.
While far from bad, I think that in their haste to strike “while the iron is hot”, the band is selling themselves a bit short with a less than stellar second album – which ain’t bad but doesn’t quite fulfill their promise or potential to the extend they could if they took a little more time with this.