NIGHT DEMON – One Of Metal’s Most Exciting New Faces!

August 8, 2016, a year ago

Mark Gromen

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Had just seen the trio outdoors, on the massive Bang Your Head stage, in Germany, but in the dark, cramped confines of Philadelphia's Underground Arts (barely enough room for TWO members to get together center stage!) is where Night Demon feel most at ease. Storming through 30 minutes of high energy headbanging, as part of the Carcass/Crowbar/Ghoul package, the Cali boys might not match their tour mates in terms of musical intensity, but none of the others (combined) expend more effort onstage. Probably more notes played during "Screams In The Night" than the entire Crowbar set. The opening "Ritual" seems shot from a cannon, stunning many of the early arrivals with the sheer velocity of its delivery. While this was an evening of different tastes (and many new to the band), initially, the reaction was only about the first three rows deep, but by set's end, people 2/3 of the way back were raising hands in appreciation. 

Frontman/bassist Jarvis Leatherby doesn't possess a neck, as much as a swivel (in the past, I've referenced bobblehead dolls, vainly trying to describe his antics), head racketing up and down, as fast as humanly possible. The strobe lightning accompanied "Full Speed Ahead' is (ironically) an apt description. As is now the custom, there's no break for pleasantries, just another song. Leatherby on the monitors, attempting to get the crowd to thrust fists skyward, to begin "Curse Of The Damned". Appropriately, "Satan" sees the stage bathed in red, the bass growling like some unkempt creature of the underworld. Only now does Jarvis address the crowd (for the first time), leading into "Screams In The Night". The next option has rotated through the tour (just two more nights to go on the current run), so it's a punked up version of Golden Earring's "Radar Love", which gets some of those sitting on the sidelines involved (not the cell phone enamored crew blocking the bar: Get the F out!). The lyrics are altered. Instead of referencing Brenda Lee, it's now, "Motorhead, playing all night long." The crowd, even the most reluctant, join in the chorus.

"The Chalice" sees Halloween masked mascot "Rocky" make an appearance, now wet "baptizing" the audience, from said drinking vessel, before depositing the entire contents on those down front. Just one tune left, the signature track, which sees Leatherby and guitarist Armand John Anthony back-to-back (as can best be managed on the tiny stage), ripping out dual leads (the bass matching the guitar). They came, they saw, they conquered. As they have throughout the Cursed Of The Damned 2+ year touring cycle. A new album awaits, in 2017. Don't be the last to discover Night Demon.

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