By: Jay Broderick
Night Demon is a throwback heavy metal band from Ventura, California. Consisting of Bassist/Vocalist Jarvis Leatherby, Drummer Dusty Squires, and Armand John Anthony on Guitars, the 3-piece first came together in 2011, giving them more than 10 years on the heavy metal circuit..
The band's first recording was released in 2013. It was a self titled EP that gained some notoriety due to the band's old school metal sound. It's a classic sound that older generation metal heads associate with their genre of choice. Despite metal's changing landscape throughout the 21st century, Night Demon also raised some eyebrows from new listeners with their original EP. It lead to a foundation for the band that has since seen them release their first album Curse of the Damned in 2015, and followed up with Darkness Remains in 2017.
Now 6 years since their last release, the band is set to unleash their 3rd full length album Outsider. Released as a full concept album intersecting humanities emotions and alternate realities, Outsider was inspired by Leatherby's love of horror, and his isolation during the pandemic. Its subject matter is what first drew me to the project. Let's check it out!
The newest album from the trio starts with the mainly instrumental "Prelude". The opening bass line is like a beating heart that creates a sort of uneasiness. The tension continues to build through the opening minute and a half until the guitars, drums and bass pick up the tempo in a crescendo that sets the stage for what's about to come. With one line of lyrics at 2:15, we learn the story that's about to unfold as Leatherby sings "Outsider, solitary as the path you roam."
We then get heavy into the album with the title track "Outsider". The song is a completely legendary metal sound that's straight from the 80s. I'm immediately immersed, taken back to life as a teenager, feeling completely different than the general populous. It breaks down at the 2:00 mark with a slow brooding beat ahead of the all loving guitar solo, and fades out with its electric guitar feedback.
"Obsidian" is the 3rd track that has an early 80s Judas Priest feel right out of the gate. This is Heavy Metal at its finest. The riffs within this song are super cool, and the songs sees a number of time changes as the track progresses. For heavy metal, there will not be a better era than the 80s and this song nails it. It's gold! One of the many highlights of this record.
At 6:21 "Beyond the Grave" is the second longest track on Outsider. The track opens with more brooding darkness as the band slows it down to a moody heaviness. That wonderful bass guitar is distinct, and the track is soft. At least until the halfway point when a Rime of the Ancient Mariner-esk interlude comes at us with strength and purpose. You can certainly hear the influences on this one. Single bass note closes it off. It's the best track so far!
"Rebirth" livens up the action from the previous track. It's a perfect transition considering the track name. We have new life, and is followed up with another fast paced metal track in "Escape From Beyond".
The intro to "A Wake" brings the pace down again, for only the second time on this album. As with the whole album, the vocals are clear, and the lyrics are audible. This simply isn't another 21st century "how fast can you play and sing" metal band. As I'm listening to the album for this review, I am completely shaking my knee and nodding my head to the beat... and wait... have I been smiling this whole time?
"The Wrath" closes off this album, coming in as the longest number being over 7 minutes long. There is a buildup on this album that culminates with the last song. It combines all that we heard on the previous 7 songs within the one track. There is a lot going on here, but certainly doesn't get lost in itself. On track, composed, and tight. A finale that's worthy of the ages!
I get a lot music that comes across my desk. I can't listen to all of it, and nor do I try to. And certainly won't spend the time to provide my views if I don't like what I am hearing. In this case, I loved this album the moment I heard the opening cut. It's fresh, because a lot of bands today are trying a little too hard to bring something different. This record brings me back to the glory days of straight up heavy metal, and it kicks ass! And with all due respect to the other 2 members of Night Demon, nothing is cooler than a band with a vocalist that plays the bass.
Old school metal fan? Please, do yourself a favour, and check this out when it hits the streets on March 17, 2023. Then, look out for a concert near you, as the band plans to hit the road in support of this gem!
4. Beyond The Grave
6. Escape From Beyond
7. A Wake
8. The Wrath
Street Date: March 17, 2023
Night Demon Online: