Although it might seem a bit presumptuous for a band with only two full-length albums under their belts to release a live album at second drop, just one listen to Live Darkness – the new live album from US three piece Night Demon – will confirm to even the most cynical bystander that this is a release that makes perfect sense.
As my esteemed colleague Gavin Strickmann pointed put in his review of the Rock Hard Festival in Germany a couple of months back, Night Demon are very much live animals, and this in-concert document, recorded in front of a rabidly appreciative audience proves just that.
A lot has been said about Night Demon blowing new vitality into the wizened corpse of the NWoBHM sound, and whilst they do indeed have a fair whiff of prime-time Angel Witch about them at times, especially on the amusingly-titled Maiden Hell, it’s the more melodic and, dare I say it, American-sounding material that sees the band treading most sure-footedly.
Save Me Now, Life on the Run and Mastermind are the sort of superb, thumping, melodic metal fayre that bands like The Rods used to serve up in the early eighties, and the band’s power trio format really finds itself suited to this direct, no-nonsense brand of music.
Jarvis Leatherby is a superb bass player, and his thunderous approach to his instrument allows lead player Armand John Anthony to really impress both as a riffer and a soloer. If those words are indeed words. (They are now-Ed).
At the end of the day, Night Demon are gloriously irony-free purveyors of freewheeling, imperious heavy metal thunder, unencumbered by the need to conform or comply with modern mores. And this live album, produced superbly and set to show off the band in their very best light, should hopefully be the springboard to launch the band fully into metal’s big time, where they surely belong. Thrilling stuff!