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“Darkness Remains” is the second full-length album from three piece Californian heavy metallers Night Demon. Building on their growing reputation within the heavy metal scene this new release showcases all of the bands’ trademark strengths, as well as demonstrating how they have matured since their 2015 debut full-length album, “Curse of the Damned”.

Kicking off with the one-two of ‘Welcome to the Night’ and ‘Hallowed Ground’ the band immediately grab your attention. ‘Welcome to the Night’, which has also been chosen as the first single from the album, in particular, stands out with its slow melodic introduction before the main riff kicks in. ‘Maiden Hell’ is the bands’ very obvious tribute to metal legends Iron Maiden and allows Night Demon to pay homage to their NWOBHM influences. Following this is ‘Stranger in the Room’, which offers a change of pace to the first three tracks as it adopts a slower, heavier sound. The album continues through more solid tracks such as ‘Life on the Run’ and ‘Black Widow’ before the band present us with an instrumental in the form of ‘Flight of the Manticore’. Despite only coming in at just over four minutes in length, the track offers a surprising amount of variety and demonstrates both the band’s heavy and softer sides. It’s certainly a welcome addition to the album and the band should be credited for including an instrumental when so many bands choose not to. The album closes with the album’s title track ‘Darkness Remains’. Starting slowly with Jarvis Leatherby offering an almost distorted spoken vocal, which reminded me of early Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath, it then builds into lengthy guitar solo before closing with a haunting orchestral piece.

As a bonus to the ten tracks on the album, the band have also included two covers on the digital version of the record. The first is the bands take on the Queen classic ‘We Will Rock You’ and they do a fine job of bringing a fresh sound to what is one of the most well-known songs in rock. The second cover is of ‘Turn up the Night’ by Black Sabbath. A single from the bands 1981 ‘Mob Rules’ album, it’s refreshing to see that Night Demon have chosen one of lesser known Sabbath tracks and it too is well handled by the band.

What is clear from this record is the band’s strong songwriting abilities and the album certainly offers plenty of variety in terms of sound. Every track has its own unique personality, whilst maintaining the band’s signature feel that they have built their growing reputation on. All three members of the group are on top form throughout the album and it’s great to hear the bass, in particular, come through so clearly, as this can sometimes be lost in the production process on some metal releases.

Overall I highly recommend this album to all lovers of metal, as it really does offer something for fans of every form of the genre. Personally, I can’t wait to hear what Jarvis, Armand and Dusty have in store for their next release and they are certainly a band worth following as they hit the road again throughout 2017.

3.5/5 stars

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