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Demon: Cemetery Junction

If the name of their previous album, Unbroken, was a clear message that Demon, a band who formed in 1979, were still standing loudly and proudly for everything they ever had, then surely the newly released Cemetery Junction suggests a band at a crossroads? However nothing could be further from the truth, this eleven song blast testament to the fact that not only do these veterans of the NWOBHM scene continue to thrive, they may just have delivered one of the best albums of their impressive career. Singer Dave Hill, the only surviving original member of the band, leads from the front, giving a performance that belies his age, but certainly shows his experience, while the guitar pairing of David Cotterill and Paul Hume combine quite magnificently with the keyboards of Karl Waye, who returns to the line-up after a decade away. Also returning is ex-guitarist Ray Walmsley, although this time putting in a splendid shift on bass, as he and drummer Neil Ogdan combine with a precise force that underpins everything on this album quite superbly.

Always a band ready and willing to undergo evolution, Cemetery Junction finds a much more melodically fixated Demon than that which gave us Unbroken, the more expected riff heavy material tempered expertly by Waye's high in the mix and high in intensity keyboards. It makes for a blast that stretches over decades, a real 80s feel driven on by a crackingly contemporary production and mix (something which Hume, Hill and Mike Stone can take credit for). It all makes for a collection of songs that are bold and bolshy, yet have a subtle and considered side that proves immensely memorable. Moods and atmospheres constantly shift and evolve as they reveal new nuances and a band unafraid to serve up less expected moments. Take the haunting closer "Someone's Watching You", a slow easy, almost loungy set up where bass thrums and Hill croons magnificently over shimmering string and lightly sparkling keyboards as proof of exactly how far Demon can push their boundaries, while still sounding like Demon. That the song explodes in riffology halfway through is no surprise, however that it still contains an almost West End stage show edge certainly is. "Queen Of Hollywood" powers into view, sirens wailing, before pulling on the brakes and offering an almost West Coast slither that's punctuated by fat power chords and Hill taking on yet another role in his ever changing vocal cast list, while "Thin Disguise" offers up a keyboard led lighter waver of real substance.

However, as you'd expect Cemetery Junction rocks even harder than it rolls, the title track a potent chantalong, "Out Of Control" an unforgettable surge of threat and fear. Add in the metal meets Magnum of "Life In Berlin" and adrenalin rush of album opener "Are You Just Like Me? (Spirit Of Man)" and it's difficult to express just how hard this melodic majesty of an album hits. Impressively it also, as you'd anticipate from Demon, is crammed with intelligent, thought provoking lyrics that question our inner workings just as much as they do the world at large.

This release may well be called Cemetery Junction, but Demon are definitely and defiantly alive and kicking. If they continue to deliver albums as stupendously good as this, it's something that's long set to continue.

Track Listing
1. Are you just like me (Spirit of Man)
2. Life in Berlin
3. Turn on the Magic
4. The Best is Yet to Come
5. Queen of Hollywood
6. Thin Disguise
7. Cemetery Junction
8. Drive
9. Miracle
10. Out of Control
11. Someone's Watching You

Added: October 22nd 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Demon online
Hits: 3269
Language: english

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