“Darkness Remains” is the second full length album from traditional Heavy Metal trio Night Demon and was released on April 21st, 2017. Finally at long last Night Demon have graced us with another healthy serving of Heavy Metal after touring nearly endlessly on their 2015 album “Curse Of The Damned” and building up a reputation other bands wish they could have. This band has become one of if not my all time favorite heavy metal group in recent years so I have been quite curious as to how they would follow up their magnificent debut. Well let us enter the darkness and begin this epic heavy metal journey.
1.Welcome To The Night- Opening with some very atmospheric double layered guitars and heavy background synths, the song really kicks into high gear right away with that classic sound the band is known by. However they seem to have homed in on their playing skills especially as they sound tighter than ever before here. New guitarist Armand John Anthony has a more heavy tone than Brent did in my opinion his tone just seems to cut through solos more. I really dig the vocal harmonies as well and Jarvis Leatherby’s voice has gotten stronger and stronger with each release as well. Overall this is how you do a fucking opening song, no bullshit just straight forward Metal.
2.Hallowed Ground- This song has some really heavy thrashy tempos to it and I really dig it with the more bass heavy production. The vocal harmonies dominate half of the verses and chorus lines and work very well creating some amazing hooks and a great song overall with one of my favorite solo’s on the album!
3.Maiden Hell- The band pay their tributes to Iron Maiden right up front with this tune having Maiden song titles in the lyrics and it is done very well with this fast and aggressive tune. This is a song that shows how good Night Demon are at writing catchy heavy metal tunes and why they deserve to run with the big dogs. Im telling you these guys will be legends one day and this tune proves that statement strongly!
4.Stranger In The Room- This tune has a more mid pace to it with the more doomy side of the band showing soaring vocals and the slower pace giving Armand more of a chance to get some tasty guitar bends in here and there. The chorus is very melodic and has a more modern presence to it but it works really well. The pace picks up during the last half of the song and shows how well the band can groove with what I believe yo be some organ in the background, definitely another highlight on the album!
5.Life On The Run- This tune has more of that classic NWOBHM influence to it and one thing I havent mentioned yet is how much I love the raw yet polished production on the album as a whole. The lack of double tracked guitars for solo’s etc. with the bass being front and center is done amazingly and doesn’t make the album feel empty at all, something a lot of bands cant accomplish. This song is a good example of that with the bass being very up front but not too overpowering or underwhelming. This song has a more frantic pace toward the end with some awesome solid galloping drum work from Dusty Squires who is a damn good drummer in his own right. This song has some cool suprises throughout and shows that the bands songwriting skills just get better and better.
6.Dawn Rider- Opening with some “Overkill” style oldschool double bass drums into a more chugging tune with epic verses spread into a hook filled chorus. This tune definitely has that mid 80’s Maiden feel to it akin to something off of Piece of Mind. This is definitely is going to be a fan favorite live(but up to this point so is every tune on the album).
7.Black Widow- This tune has a really epic feel right from the get go with an oldschool power metal vibe and goes right for the throat and has to be one the most aggressive and precise songs Night Demon have written up to this point. The chorus is one of the best on the album with the gang vocals that beg for audience participation. And I love how the pace just get faster when the solo kicks in it really gets you going like holy shit they just…keep…going…and its amazing.
8.On Your Own- I swear if I closed my eyes I would think this was an old Dio track that was cut from Last In Line or something like that. Things like that show how well Night Demon are at bringing that sound into the modern age. They show that Heavy Metal is still exciting and fun. I like the kind of interlude in the middle it shows that the band are adding little flairs and things like that to add to their songs progression. Even if they are minor they still show that band having their own distinctive sound.
9.Flight Of The Manticore- The very first Night Demon instrumental and holy shit it really shows off the bands talents and is a total jam. It definitely has a more progressive metal feel to it like Maiden mixed with Raven. The band are extremely tight here and I mean very tight. I also love the abundance of double bass drums as well more than ever before. The mid slower section where it becomes more atmospheric is great and again shows the more progressive side of the band. Every member gets a chance to showcase their talents in this song as well which is pretty badass as well.
10.Darkness Remains- This is the surprise track on the album and the reason being is that it is the softest and most atmospheric song on the album. With a soft guitar and Jarvis’ very foggy voice ominously in the background, it works very well as the more ballad-like song on the album with the band coming in fully soon after. This tune would be amazing live and is just a perfect song to end the album on as it is a complete surprise from the band with a lot of emotion and a very emotional solo from Armand as well. And with the synthesizers filling the speakers, the journey comes to a close….
Overall, I give this album a 9.5 out of 10. Honestly, Night Demon has managed to capture lightning in a bottle not once, but twice and this album is at this point their holy grail. With what the band managed to capture on their first album, they managed to capture here in a new darker and progressive way. They took the hooks, the riffs and the production and made it bigger but in a way that just shows how they do it live. “Darkness Remains” is without a doubt my album of the year and it wont be leaving my speakers for a long long time. If you ever have a chance check out the digital version of the album with a killer cover of Black Sabbath’s “Turn Up The Night” and a speed metal version of Queen’s “We Will Rock You”. May Night Demon forever reign and Jarvis, I owe you the next beer!