NWOBHM WEDNESDAY: DEMON-UNBROKEN
The exact history of NWOBHM act Demon is filled with line-up changes, periods of inactivity and multiple changes in their musical approach. If your interested in a brief overview of Demon you can look at an older article that covers more ground then this review will. Just follow the link below. At this point in the game (this is Demon's 12th studio album) the band is pretty much just vocalist Dave Hill and whoever he chooses to surround himself with when he enters the studio. While many die hard Demon fans live in fear that each new album will be the band's last outing (as Dave Hill is getting up there in age honestly) there will always be the band's older catalog to fall back on. Which brings me to this new album. How does one draw the line between then (classic NWOBHM) and now? It's been an "interesting" journey so far for Demon. But, is Demon really Demon at this point or would it just be better if Dave Hill dropped the name and released this material as a solo project? While he has every right to use the Demon moniker (especially as the name is still huge overseas) one can't help but listen to this album and wonder if this is still the same great band that gave us some killer material in the eighties or if the party is finally over in much the same way as it is for Metallica. Is the party over then and should Dave just turn off the lights already? Are we to forgive Demon for what might otherwise be looked upon as lightweight/lighthearted rock? Sadly, "Unbroken" is the sound of Dave Hill fronting a fairly typical English hard rock/power metal band only someone forgot the memo about Demon being a "metal" band. In a lot of ways, as I've already listened to this album several times through, I'm reminded of Def Leppard's ridiculous statement about how they were never a "metal band". Yeah...listen folks history is being rewritten before our very eyes (which is why the printed word remains more important then ever as nations look to scrub digital data), but just try to remember this: when it's been laid to tape it is very well there for the foreseeable future for all to hear. Demon (much like Joe Elliot and company) were once "guilty" of playing real heavy metal. "Night Of the Demon" remains a classic. While you can't go back, otherwise Lord knows I would gladly go back and tell that one person I loved them when I had the chance (and no, most certainly not my ex-wife), you can at least attempt to pretend you were once "a couple of wild and crazy guys" right? If it sounds like a bit of a rant it is. With bands like Angel Witch, Saxon and Tygers Of Pan Tang still going strong why can't Demon prove the naysayers wrong and really melt the **** out of today's lazy metal outlook? Instead, "Unbroken" remains an album with one (possibly two) strong "hard rock/heavy metal" moments and a Thanksgiving-size helping of "radio friendly rock".