Friday, April 25, 2014

Spotlights on: DEMON (A Hard Rock or a Prog Rock band?)

Demon is an English band, formed in 1979 by the vocalist Dave Hill and the guitarist Mal Spooner. They are one of those bands which although they never became widely known, their story and musical career is very interesting.
Despite the fact that their music was a purely God-sent Hard Rock, in their early years they were considered as one of the bands of New Wave of British Heavy Metal.
  Their first album 'Night of the Demon' was released in 1981, and it was an interesting debut. But the second one was a really excellent sample of how good Hard Rock sounds like. 'The Unexpected Guest' (1982) included some of the band's finest moments, and it reached to #47 in the UK album's charts. And at the time when everything seemed to go fine, the band decided to change their style making an effort to mix Hard Rock with Progressive Rock in  their 3rd album 'The Plague' (1983). This was a weird and a rather experimental album which didn't sell, and had as a result the end of their contract with the record company. 
  They returned to their first and small local record company, and they released first the EP 'Wonderland', and one year later their first truly Progressive Rock album named 'British Standard Approved' (1985).
The recordings of this album finished late in 1984, but a tragedy struck the band less than a week after the final sessions when Mal Spooner died after a short illness, and didn't see the release of the album, which was delayed until the April of 1985.
If 'The Plague' was Demon dipping a toe into the waters of Progressive Rock, 'British Standard Approved' was the band swallow diving into the same pool from a ten-meter-board. The whole album comes over sounding more than a tad like Eloy jamming with Pink Floyd.  
But the changes they tried were not only musical, but  lyrical as well. In their first two albums their lyrics were dealing with mysticism, occult etc, but that stopped with the release of 'The Plague'. Both 'The Plague' and 'Btittish Standard Approved' are concept albums, and Dave Hill takes a long hard look at UK's history and politics to find his inspiration. He compares the decline and fall of the British Empire with the sinking of the Titanic. 
 After the death of Mal Spooney the band recruited some new members and continue releasing a few more albums until 1992 when they officially broke up.
   Dave Hill reunited the band with new members in 2001, and released a new album called 'Spaced Out Monkey'. The band has since gone onto release a further two albums, 'Better the Devil You Know' (2005) and their latest release 'Unbroken (2012). Both of the bands post reunion releases have received positive reviews from the press leading the band to go on and play in many festivals across Europe.
  In a nutshell, if any of you is interested to make a dig into Demon's music, I would recommend to start with 'The Unexpected Guest' and 'Brittish Standard Approved'. That way you will be able to discover the two musical "faces" of Demon.
I hope you found that post interesting and informative.
Thanks for reading...