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Night Demon - 'Outsider' Album Review

Ventura, California metal outfit Night Demon are set to release their third full-length album, 'Outsider,' this Friday. After creating a modern New Wave of British Heavy Metal sound with their first several releases, the band has taken a bold step outside of their comfort zone with this release.

Night Demon wore their influences on their sleeves for the first few albums, which is honestly what drew to them in the first place. They're among a handful of bands that really captures both the sound and feeling of that early 80's metal that, as it turns out, I have an insatiable appetite for. Both 2015's 'Curse of the Damned' and '2017's 'Darkness Remains' are both instant classics and will continue to get serious rotation on my playlists.

Their evolution really began back in 2020, as they began releasing monthly singles, in ironically good timing with the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. While it seems like a lifetime ago, those early spring months of being stuck at home were helped by looking forward to a new monthly release from Night Demon. Last year, they collected all of those songs (and b-sides) and released them in a full-length compilation titled 'Year of the Demon,' which is every bit as essential to the collection as the rest of their catalog. Throughout those songs, the band gave us a unique selection of new singles, each a bit different from the sound we had gotten used to in the years prior.

So, it should come as no surprise that 'Outsider' delivers a solid metal album that leans just a bit less on the early influences of the band. Make no mistake, this album packs a punch. This power trio is still very much up to the same business that their fans have come to expect.

With 'Outsider,' we're getting a 35-minute blast of music loosely tied together with a story about Johnny and his trip to the Shadow Realm. For those with short attention spans, have no fear, these songs can be taken one at a time, in succession or on shuffle and you'll enjoy it just the same. It's viewed as a risk any time a band puts out a "concept album." From this listeners point of view, it's only a risk when it demands the album be swallowed whole (Dream Theater's 'The Astonishing' comes to mind). This isn't the case here at all.

The album opens with a short "Prelude" which segues right into the title track, "Outsider." Throughout Johnny's adventure, vocalist/bassist Jarvis Leatherby narrates the story to the backdrop of Armond John Anthony's signature guitar sound, with some killer riffage throughout (see closing track "The Wrath") while drummer Dusty Squires rounds out this three-piece behind the drums.

One sure indication that this formula works...I want to know what happens next! The album includes liner notes that contain both the song lyrics as well as the entire story. Without spoiling anything, it's left open for a continuation. I'm excited to receive my copy of this album on vinyl soon, and I can't wait to check out Night Demon on tour next month!

'Outsider' is available in a variety of formats including multiple vinyl variants, CD, cassette and digital. Check out the band's bandcamp site HERE for a look at everything 'Outsider' related, as well as a variety of additional band merch. Note: Click the "merch" tab for a full view of Night Demon's offerings.

Check out Night Demon on tour during Hell's Decibel's tour with Satan and Haunt, beginning tomorrow, March 17th! They're also holding an album release show tonight in Ventura, California. Click either of the banners below for a direct link to purchase tickets!


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