The concept album may be one of rock and Metal’s weirdest yet most compelling traits. Jarvis Leatherby put me right in our recent interview about the concept of the third full-length release from Night Demon, Outsider. “It’s a story,” he chided me, “It’s a story, 100%.”
Night Demon – Outsider (Century Media Records)
Release Date: 17 March 2023
Words: Paul Hutchings
Indeed. Outsider tells the story of a guy growing up in an insular environment who decides to leave. He ends up in a similar place but in a different dimension, unsure who anyone is, although he appears in some sense to know them. The rest of the story is for you to unpack.
What’s so pleasing about Outsider is that although the songs form the story, Night Demon have crafted them with sufficient guile to stand proud on their own. The title track, which drives forward after the Prelude, is a traditional Heavy Metal track.
You might notice a bit of Iron Maiden melody, which weaves its way into the driving rhythm of the song, with its addictive hook on the chorus that leaves you singing it for hours later. That’s Night Demon. They are one tight unit, and the musicianship that surges throughout the album is first-class.
Outsider is full of sharp, in-your-face Metal, with the combination of Leatherby and drummer Dusty Squires providing the platform for guitarist Armand John Anthony to show his true skill with some mesmerising lead runs. Obsidian demands a head bang, with Leatherby’s strong, rich vocals adding to the whole package.
If you’ve ever seen this band live, you’ll know that these songs will be even more intense when played in their natural environment. Even the slower, methodical and emotional Beyond The Grave, which just oozes Classic Metal from every pore, should be immense when hitting you through a wall of amplifiers.
Whilst Night Demon have carved their own style, they would be the first to admit that they wear their influences loud and proud. Listen to songs like Rebirth, Escape From Beyond and A Wake, and you’ll hear a cross-section of your favourite bands, all drawn into a heady mix of anthems and powerfully crafted music.
As the story winds to a close, Night Demon bring matters to a head with a feisty seven-minute finale in The Wrath, which has echoes of Maiden and Thin Lizzy laced across it. But it’s no tribute or cover, just a solidly performed and excellent song.
The bonus track, The Last Day, is included on some versions and allows the band to really let loose. It’s a hybrid thrasher and a feisty last song with which to leave a defiant message.
In Outsider, Night Demon have brought their A-game and delivered in some style. I, for one, am chomping at the bit to experience these tracks in the live setting.