"Curse of the Damned" (Century Media; 2015)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I was fortunate enough to attend this year's three day metal fest, Frost and Fire II, featuring not only the return of legendary local rockers Cirith Ungol, but a staggering list of metal bands, many of whom I'd always wanted to see live and many of whom, sadly, I've never heard of. The festival was an incredible experience -- Cirith Ungol came roaring back to life -- but the even better news is that I discovered a handful of new favorite bands that I may not have ever heard of before but that I will follow from now on.

Interestingly enough, one of those bands, Night Demon, are based right here in our home town of Ventura, California. Yes, I am embarrassed that I never heard them before. They were so great at the Ventura Theater that night, I immediately went out and picked up their CD. "Curse of the Damned" confirmed what I had already learned during the live performance: Night Demon are a great metal band.

"Curse of the Damned" is old school metal in the vein of Grim Reaper with heavy guitars, driving rhythms and high-energy performances. It's the kind of album that, from the opening notes of the first track ("Screams in the Night") you know you're going to like the whole thing. It's classic metal in the true sense and, what I love most about this CD, is that not only is the band unabashedly proud to play heavy metal, they relish in it.

The CD starts of with "Scream in the Night," one of the tracks that sounded really great live. It's a fast-paced number with an irresistible guitar riff that just sucks you in. It's one of my favorite of the 12 tracks here, along with the Motorhead-paced "Full Speed Ahead" and "Mastermind" which has a great guitar tone that I love.

Yeah, some of the lyrics are a little cheesy, such as on "Satan" and "Killer," but that's part of the whole package anyway, isn't it?

Fans of classic heavy metal will absolutely love Night Demon's "Curse of the Damned."

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2016 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 18 Dec 2016 11:51:57 -0500 .