“Darkness Remains”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Simple, pure heavy metal with no sub-genre baggage. That’s what Night Demon is trying to provide to the 21st century. And they might just be the band to keep it rolling…a modern day successor to Judas Priest, Metal Church, Iron Maiden and Thin Lizzy. “Darkness Remains” is their latest shot at traditional metal glory.

I noted some of the drawbacks to the band in my review of their previous record “Curse of the Damned”. Technically, the band still sounds like they’re pulling riffs from ancient sources, but this time around, the record seems to flow smoother. The rabid NWOBHM influences remain and hopefully always will, but Night Demon is establishing their own sound. “Darkness Remains” follows the template of “Curse of the Damned”, but seems  to be a little faster and more aggressive while not crossing over into thrash or speed metal territory. When you temper your steel with melody, you get simple but cracking tunes like “Hallowed Ground”, “Maiden Hell” (lyrically jam-packed with Maiden tributes) and the anthemic, Priest-like “On Your Own”. Jarvis Leatherby’s vocals aren’t in the god-like realm of Halford, Tate or Dickinson, but they are very smooth and pleasant to listen to. They fit the Night Demon style to a T.

The album ends with the balladic title track, where Leatherby’s processed vocals have a cool, haunting sound. There’s a lot of synth layered in with the typical metal music and the song is overall pretty spooky. It’s the one ringer on an album packed with fast, fist-pumping heavy metal from one of the best “trad metal” outfits out there.