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Demon's Eye: The Stranger Within

I have been on a nostalgia trip lately and thank you to Demon's Eye for further fueling my look back at music that I grew up with. This German Deep Purple tribute band has taken their love of all things Purple and created an album that pays homage to their heavy metal gods while giving them an identity all to themselves. With 11 original songs all done in the style of their heroes with a sizable dose of other influences like Rainbow, Dio and even a bit of hair metal like a Whitesnake might bring to the table, Demon's Eye has recreated the aura and feel that you got from cranking up the stereo full blast and letting these rockers permeate the whole neighborhood.

Enlisting one of rock and roll's most talented vocal gunslingers in Doogie White to front the band, they have chosen wisely. He is one guy who has lived it and knows what music of this era needs to grab you. Then combine guitarist Mark Zyk who has obviously been to the Blackmore school of heavy metal learning with Florian Pritsch's heavily Jon Lord influenced keyboard work, the wish to be 15 again and listening to "Smoke On The Water" and "Space Truckin" for the very first time overwhelms. I got goose bumps the first time that these songs emanated from my record player and Demon's Eye brought back that sense of wonder. Even though I now listen with a ton of experience and musical miles behind me, this band captures something that very few can anymore.

From the opening moments when " The Unknown Stranger" greets you like an old rock and roll friend, there is little doubt that these able bodied musicians mean business. Tasty melody, great harmonies and that delightful organ backdrop bring back the days when you flicked your bic at the concert instead of flashing the cell phone. "Sins Of The Father", "Ain't Nothing Better" and "Far Over The Rainbow" all bring back the vision of Deep Purple with just a close of the eye and a little imagination. With "Evil Comes This Way" you get a little bit of Ritchie Blackmore's style of bringing a Middle Eastern feel to the music. They even give you a little bit of Southern Boogie with the bluesy "Midnight In Heaven Or Hell". This is a very diversified slice of the great rock and roll pie. The band manages to glorify an era and a type of music without sounding dated. This disc is a fresh look at a vintage style that is one of the most entertaining disc to come along this year. It is just a whole lot of fun for someone of my age group who can remember the original go around with this kind of sound. I don't know what the younger crowd will think of it but this is by no means geared to them anyway. If you can remember arena rock, then do yourself a favor and grab this disc. You will not be disappointed.

Track listing:

1. The Unknown Stranger
2. Sins Of The Father
3. The Best Of Times
4. Ain't Nothing Better
5. Evil Comes This Way
6. Heaven Again
7. A Foolish Man
8. Midnight In Heaven Or Hell
9. Far Over The Rainbow
10. Brand New Life
11. Le Vent Lament
12. The Best Of Times (Bonus Track extended version)

Added: December 13th 2011
Reviewer: Scott Ward
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 4015
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Demon's Eye: The Stranger Within
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-12-13 07:42:21
My Score:

First things first; The Stranger Within is by no means the most original album you are going to hear this year. That being said, Doogie White (vocals), Mark Zyk (guitars), Florian Pritsh (keyboards), Maik Keller (bass), and Andree Schneider (drums) make no bones about their love of Deep Purple, Rainbow, Whitesnake, Dio, and Uriah Heep throughout this CD. And you know what, considering that these are some of my favorite bands of all time, that's quite ok with me.

Doogie White should be no stranger to anyone who loves hard rock & metal, as he's fronted acts such as Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen, Cornerstone, Preying Mantis, and Tank throughout his career. The rest of Demon's Eye regularly gig as a Deep Purple tribute act, so they know this style well, but The Stranger Within is filled with all original material written by the band and White. You can't help but be taken back to the mid 70's on tunes like "The Unknown Stranger", "Sins of the Father", the alluring "The Best of Times", "the heavy "Evil Comes This Way", or the majestic epic "Far Over the Rainbow". White's style is like a cross between David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, and Joe Lynn Turner, and Zyk has Ritchie Blackmore's sound and sense of reckless abandon down pat. Melodies throughout are memorable, and the playing superb, especially from Pritsh on Hammond organ and Zyk's ripping guitar work. "Heaven Again" could have easily been a leftover from Burn or Stormbringer with its mix of hard rock & funk, and "A Foolish Man" would sound right at home on Rainbow's Rising. See if you can recognize the opening lines to "Far Over the Rainbow", it's not stolen from one of the bands mentioned above, but hint, it's eerily similar to part of a song by a certain German guitar legend.

The Stranger Within is awesome stuff that really brought me back in time, and an album that I just can't stop playing. Hopefully this won't be a one-off and Demon's Eye put together some more original material in the not too distant future.

» Reader Comments:

Demon's Eye: The Stranger Within
Posted by MIKA on 2011-04-26 10:02:13
My Score:

Hello DP and Classic Hard Rock fans. I got this disc last week. It is as amazing as the review describes. Fantastic work of these guys. I saw they were never out of Germany (Europe). Please gentlemen, find a promoter to have you over to California, please!
For me it is the disc of the year!
Greetings from L.A.; CA

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