Demon emerged amid the burgeoning British heavy metal scene of the early 1980s. While Iron Maiden, Saxon, and Def Leppard were making fairly large waves, both critically and commercially, Demon - mild-mannered musos from the Peak District - slipped this classic debut album under the radar of mainstream metal. It was well received critically, especially by the recently launched Kerrang!, which sported Demon as front-cover stars.
'Night of the Demon', the logical title for their debut album, kicks off with the eerie intro 'Full Moon', which blends into the longtime live favourite 'Night of the Demon'. Mal Spooner's guitar work is flawless, while Dave Hill's voice is as unique, powerful and emotive as you'll ever hear: like a mixture of UFO's Phil Mogg and a rockier, rougher Joe Cocker.
'Liar' is a bouncy, energetic track which could almost be 'Lights Out'-era UFO, and that's no bad thing.
'Ride the Wind' isn't a million miles away from the Rolling Stones' 'Satisfaction' with overdriven guitars and stronger vocals.
'One Helluva Night' is the heaviest track on the album. Its anthemic, singalong chorus contrasts beautifully with the frenetic, driving guitar and tight rhythm section.
The remastered album's first two bonus tracks - 'Wild Woman' and 'On the Road Again' - see Demon treading the familiar stamping ground of AC/DC and Status Quo...and doing it well. The third bonus track on the remaster is the original recording of 'Liar', featuring a gargantuan bass line (reminiscent of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band's classic 'Faith Healer') and the raw, heavy guitar riffs of Mal Spooner.
The final bonus track is a remix of 'Night of the Demon', and it's a monster! Fluid guitar licks blend with heavy riffs and the awe-inspiring vocals of Dave Hill.
The album in its original form was a classic. The remaster, with four such excellent bonus tracks, is an essential addition to any rock collection.
This is one of those rare debut albums that - like Van Halen's, AC/DC's, Metallica's and Iron Maiden's - leaves you feeling clean and fresh all over.
Buy it, play it loud...end enjoy!