Friday, 2 November 2012

Demon @ The Green Star 1st November 2012

Review by Andy Law

After 30 years in the business and having influenced everyone from Metallica to Hammerfall, frontman Dave Hill has more than a few Demon stories to tell. Demon have been busy chaps recently; whether tearing it up at festivals in Germany (Bang Yer Head) or, writing a theme tune for Sweden Rock (Fill Your Head With Rock), besides releasing new album Unbroken, the quintet have also experienced several pivotal line up changes.
Talented ex guitarist Ray Walmsley has returned on bass to replace Andy Dale; elsewhere, shredmeister general (guitarist) backing vocalist Paul Hume has stepped in on the other guitar alongside the flamboyant Dave Cotterill, and its an inspired move. Clear the floor - the areas finest twin guitar partnership have just landed...
Besides his gifted musical talents, (Paul Hume) has has also produced Demon's new album at Summerbank Studios, Tunstall, giving it the classic Demon sound with a more modern edge. Finally, keyboardist Karl Waye has replaced Paul Farrington. Opening with Wonderland and ripping through heavyweight after heavyweight, Leek's finest are clearly in unstoppable mood. The Plague burns with a sinster, Sabbath-esque fire before breaking out into Bat Out Of Hell esque intro solos and Led Zep shades; Life On The Wire offers a shining chorus hook with mindblowing guitarwork; and further sonic treats include Blackheath, Sign Of A Madman, Under The Spell and Remembrance Day.
In terms of the newer material, there's Better The Devil You Know album standout Standing On The Edge Of The World. From latus opus Unbroken, we get the anthemic Fill Your Head With Rock; I Still Believe meanwhile, brims with passion ('Its my religion, its my life, I still believe, I still believe, that rock will rule the world...'), a Man-o-war style rock ballad if ever there was one!
Finishing the set with Night Of The Demon and Don't Break The Circle, its a jaw dropping close. Fantastic musicianship - from head thudding drums (forming a solid partnership with Ray Walmsley's bass) dazzling twin guitar harmonies and tear it up solos make for a stirring display. Dave Hill inspires on many fronts; showing off great melodies, superb songwriting and plenty of onstage charisma. Although his vocals aren't as prominent as they used to be, he proves beyond all doubt that high range is not the be all and end all where good songwriting is concerned. The band also demonstrate a terrific awareness of the need for strong backing vocals, often turning up three part harmonies or octaves. In plain English, jolly good musicianship - and the overloaded Green Star couldn't get enough. So let's cut to the chase. Slash, Motorhead and yes, Demon - a cut above.

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