Demon—Better the Devil You Know (2005)

Demon—Better the Devil You Know (2005)

Demon—Better the Devil You Know (2005)

Details

Recorded at the Abbey Studio, Leek, Staffordshire. Recording and mixing engineer: Ray Walmsley. Additional recording by Pete Coleman. Produced by Ray Walmsley. Executive producer, psychiatrist and manager: Mike Stone. Mixed by Ray Walmsley and Mike Stone.

Band

  • Dave Hill—Vocals
  • Ray Walmsley—Guitars
  • Karl Finney—Guitars
  • Andy Dale—Bass
  • Paul Farrington—Keyboards
  • Neil Ogden—Drums

Tracks

  1. Better the devil the know
  2. Dead of the night
  3. Standing on the edge
  4. Taking on the world
  5. Temptation
  6. Warriors
  7. Live again
  8. Obsession
  9. Change

Review

Another late review. For the last few weeks I’ve been moving three websites to a new web host and it’s kind of taken over my waking hours. I’ve found myself listening mostly to Mastodon (145 tracks in the last month) and Machine Head (66) and not making enough space for this album (only 34 tracks according to Last.fm). Excuses over. I’m listening to the album as I type.

With a name like “Demon” I expected the metal to be somewhat darker and blacker. It turns out that I’m about 35 years too late. According to Encyclopaedia Metallum “Demon started out as an occult-themed NWOBHM band, but changed style to progressive/hard rock after their first two albums.”

This album certainly falls fits into the hard rock genre more than anything else. It’s very melodic, at times reminding me of Swedish experimentallers Freak Kitchen, and even mid-80s Whitesnake.

The album opens well with title track “Better the devil you know”, although there’s a bit of the chorus that really niggles at me. It’s the “whoa-oh!” bit, and then the Bruce Dickinson-style laugh.

“Dead of the Night” begins with an acoustic guitar but quickly gets plugged in. This has a catchy chorus: “In the dead… of the night”.

“Standing on the edge of the world” has a very catchy melody. It’s the kind of track that you find yourself humming an hour after the album has finished.

“Taking on the world” has a bit of a pre-blues Gary Moore feel.

After that things get a bit same-y to be honest. “Temptation” feels like a filler track. “Warriors” is quite catchy even if the lyrics are stereotypical ‘real metal’.

“Live again” certainly has a bit of a NWOBHM chugging groove. There is more than one Whitesnake moment in that song.

“Obsession” is another track that I could easily overlook.

And the album ends with their longest track on the album “Change”. It begins with piano and some Thunder- or Rob Halford-like gruff but melodic vocals. It’s a pretty good track, to be honest. Possibly the best track on the album.

Conclusion

Despite only having been exposed to the album a little over the last couple of days parts of it have grown on me. The quality of the songwriting and playing cannot be denied.

Certainly if you love your hard rock very melodic then this is surely an album to please you.

Review score: 70%

Video

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