1982 saw the release of the sophomore album from NWOBHM act Demon, titled The Unexpected Guest, which was the last one to feature the dark lyrical themes that started on their debut Night of the Demon. As with that album, The Unexpected Guest is a very melodic set of hard rock & metal anthems, the music not nearly as heavy or evil as the song titles or cover art would suggest, but still a very enjoyable collection of music that still holds up well 34 years after its original release. This reissue of their Carrere Records release comes in a Japanese mini-LP styled replica package.
By this second album, keyboards are becoming a more important part of the bands sound, a trend that would get fully realized on 1983's The Plague, though the late Mal Spooner's guitar riffs still play a potent part of songs like "Don't Break the Circle", "Sign of a Madman", "The Spell", and "Total Possession". Vocalist Dave Hill (the only original member of the band in its current incarnation) has a very unique style, slightly gruff yet very melodic, and he's in fine form throughout, lending his powerful pipes to the guitar/keyboard attack of "Victim of Fortune", the moody "Strange Institution", and the three snarling heavy rockers that make up the back end of the album, "The Grand Illusion", "Beyond the Gates", and "Deliver Us From Evil", each one filled with some tasty lead guitar work from Les Hunt.
Demon's final album of darker lyrical themes is a damn good one, and signaled the end of the first segment of their career and the beginning of a much more melodic turn that produced some other very fine releases, but quite different. The Unexpected Guest is another document of some of the outstanding music that came out of the initial NWOBHM movement.
1) Into: An Observation
2) Don't Break the Circle
3) The Spell
4) Total Possession
5) Sign of a Madman
6) Victim of Fortune
7) Have We Been Here Before?
8) Strange Institution
9) The Grand Illusion
10) Beyond the Gates
11) Deliver Us From Evil
13) Don't Break the Circle (remix 1988)
14) Have We Been Here Before ? (Out-take)
15) Victim of Fortune (Out-take)
16) Strange Institution (Out-take)