Monday, March 12, 2012

Forgotten Gems: Damien-Every Dog Has Its Day

Select/ Power Play Records
1988 /2004 (Re-issue)

I was working my way back through some boxes of CDs the other day looking for this one particular eighties album I knew I had. As I was sorting through box after box looking for the disc I can across this forgotten (and underrated by far too many metal fans today) oldie by Ohio's Damien. Now alert readers (or those with incredible memories) might recall that this is not the first time Heavy Metal Time Machine has tackled the subject of this unheralded act. Metal Mark has covered the act before with a review of their second album and a brief article discussing the band in general. I've included those two links below so feel free to check them out as both are well written (as always from Mark) and contain some great insight into Damien. While I do enjoy "Stop This War" (their second album that Metal Mark reviewed) for me at least "Every Dog Has Its Day" is the one with more bite and bark. Yes, pun intended there folks. With a style and sound not too removed from several other acts of the day such as Leatherwolf, Sword, Malice, Shok Paris, Chastain, Breaker, Metal Church, Midevil or even Savatage (mostly the early work of Savatage as heard on the album's lone take it or leave it cut "I Play For You") these Ohio natives ended up being cult favorites even before MTV came courting. I would agree with Metal Mark that "Stop This War" is more polished and overall slicker. That said it showed too much of a love of Judas Priest for my taste as the band tried to smooth out some of the rough edges. Those rough edges are what made the band work as they blasted their way through the scene with grit. Some see Damien as the missing link between eighties hard rock (Motley Crue, Ratt, Judas Priest, Ozzy, Dio,etc) and the brutality that Pantera brought along to the fight. Especially since the band was all too capable of writing catchy and accessible music full of melody, swagger and sing-along choruses as they were hard and heavy thrashers. As stated though the real appeal of Damien was when they threw out the hard rock riffs and went straight to the blue collar, scream for your supper Pantera like crunch metal that was full of attitude and intensity. That was the Damien for me and this album is overflowing with the same sort of pissed-off, angry and headbanging heavy metal insanity that made the eighties such a lively time! While the 2004 re-issue would be a nice treat (especially with the bonus video track "Every Dog Has Its Day" tacked on for good measure) who wants to spend close to 75 dollars for that? Yes, Amazon secondary sellers are every bit as bad as Ebay ones when they smell blood in the water. Skip that one though and either opt for the original CD release (a much more reasonable affair averaging around $12 or so) or just do an online search for a download. Today's kids need to be exposed to the metal fury that was Damien. These guys were easily one of the better bands to come out of Ohio in the eighties and this album still packs a solid punch after all these years! I highly recommend this one to fans of eighties metal as well as those who love good heavy metal that borders on power metal. (Review of "Stop This War") (Article on Damien)

By the way should anyone have a copy of their 2004 re-issue they would like to send me as a gift feel free to drop me a line! I would be ever so grateful of course and would be willing to send out some promos/samplers as a thank you.


Blogger DPTH International said...

I picked up Damien's "Every Dog Has its Day" on tape for 50 cents years ago. I love this album. Thanks to Metal Mark's write ups I picked up a CD copy with "Stop This War" from Powerplay Records.

I also just recently grabbed their "Angel Juice" album. Still, "Every Dog ..." is my favourite of the bunch.

8:28 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home