Mention the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, and Demon won’t likely come to mind before the likes of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Despite shocking and elaborate stage shows — at least by 1980s standards — Demon’s music wasn’t quite as lethal as that of its metal peers. With more of a mainstream sound, the band released several hard-to-find albums with a revolving lineup between 1981 and 1992.
After a decade of inactivity, Demon has returned with its 10th studio album. Spaced Out Monkey was originally released in 2001 but made available in the United States recently. The record is a surprisingly cohesive work that incorporates elements of modern rock with a mainstream Eighties vibe. For example, the title cut features a rap sung over chunky riffs, and “Cry From the Street” opens with what sounds like drum loops that segue into one of the album’s most memorable choruses. Singer Dave Hill possesses a touch of Savatage’s Jon Oliva, especially on some of the softer songs.
There’s nothing ground-breaking here. After all, most NWOBHM bands haven’t broken new ground for years. All we’re left with is solid classic rock with progressive elements and melodies galore, and that’s not too shabby.