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Night Demon – Darkness remains (expanded edition)

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CD:
Night Demon
Price:
11.87

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On December 31, 2017
Last modified:December 31, 2017

Summary:

If you're a fan of the NWOBHM sound then Night Demon are a band you're bound to enjoy.

Following the release of their “Darkness remains” album in early 2017, Night Demon are kicking off 2018 with the release of an expanded edition of the album. I have to say I’m not a fan of this sort of strategy since it penalises the dedicated fans who bought the album on release as they now have to either miss out on the bonus material, or buy a second copy of the album. Sadly record companies persist in this strategy though, so the key question for fans who already have the album is whether or not there’s enough extra here to make this version worth buying.

Whereas a lot of expanded or deluxe editions of albums just throw in a couple of new tracks, Night Demon give you a fair amount of extra stuff. You get a couple of cover versions, a demo version of the instrumental track (Flight of the manticore), and an instrumental version of “Life on the run”, so that’s four extra tracks, but that’s just the first disc. There’s then a second disc with alterate mixes of all the tracks from the album, plus audio comentary for each of the album tracks.

So that’s the bonus material. The audio commentary is only going to be of interest to a fairly small percentage of fans I suspect, so it comes down to the bonus tracks and different mixes. The problem is that the original mix is so good that the “Bright lights mix” versions just feels slightly flat, so I can’t imagine fans listening to these mixes more than a couple of times – they’re likely to stick to the better original versions. That just leaves the cover versions really but this is where the bonus material gets good. The Black Sabbath cover (Turn up the night) is very good. They’ve chosen a song from the Ronnie James Dio era of Black Sabbath which I think was a wise decision as it suits Jarvis Leatherby’s voice better than an Ozzy era song is likely to. Covering Queen is a tricky job to get right – it’s almost impossible to sound as good as Freddie Mercury does, and that’s the case here – the music is spot on, a nice heavy version of the song, but the vocals while very good just don’t quite match up to Freddie Mercury. Despite that it’s still a great cover version.

Of course if you haven’t got the original version of the album then it’s a very different matter, and I’d say, a far simpler decision – buy it. Despite being a Californian metal band, Night Demon are very much influenced by the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). Amazingly despite being a three-piece band, they manage to reproduce the classic NWOBHM sound despite the bands that influenced them having four or 5 members – it really is hard to grasp while listening to this album that there are only three band members.

If you’re a fan of the NWOBHM sound then Night Demon are a band you’re bound to enjoy. If you haven’t got this album then it’s an essential purchase. If you have already got the bare-bones original release then it’s a harder decision – personally I’d buy this version then sell the original as there’s no point hanging onto both.

Track listing:

Disc 1:

Original master:
1. Welcome to the night
2. Hallowed ground
3. Maiden hell
4. Stranger in the room
5. Life on the run
6. Dawn rider
7. Black widow
8. On your own
9. Flight of the manticore (instrumental)
10. Darkness remains
Bonus material:
11. Turn up the night (Black Sabbath cover)
12. We will rock you (Queen cover)
13. Life on the run (instrumental/alternate studio take)
14. Flight of the manticore (instrumental/demo version)

Disc 2:

Bright lights mix:
1. Welcome to the night
2. Hallowed ground
3. Maiden hell
4. Stranger in the room
5. Life on the run
6. Dawn rider
7. Black widow
8. On your own
9. Flight of the manticore (instrumental)
10. Darkness remains
Track by track audio commentary:
11. Welcome to the night
12. Hallowed ground
13. Maiden hell
14. Stranger in the room
15. Life on the run
16. Dawn rider
17. Black widow
18. On your own
19. Flight of the manticore (instrumental)
20. Darkness remains

If you're a fan of the NWOBHM sound then Night Demon are a band you're bound to enjoy.
Ant May
I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.
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