DEMON – Unbroken

Demon - UnbrokenI have to admit that I didn’t even know that Demon still existed and I more or less stumbled over this record. Well, that’s half-true as I saw them at Sweden Rock Festival some years ago, but I had no clue that they still made records. After a quick Google search, I see that this is their 12th album (there also are two EP’s) and their last effort was out in 2005 and was called Better The Devil You Know. To be honest, my interest in the band totally vanished after their third album The Plague, back in 1983, an uneven release that didn’t have much in common with their two first albums, Night Of The Demon (1981) and The Unexpected Guest (1982), both masterpieces. Since then, Demon have been just another ordinary melodic hard rock band and albums like Heart Of Our Time and Breakout hasn’t been bad, but not that brilliant either. So when I found out about this album I was just curious of how it would sound.

The album sounds more or less the way I thought it would. Melodic hard rock, not very personal, no bad songs, but no killers either. After a short intro, the albums starts with “Prey”, a tough rocker and a nice try to get to their early 80’s roots, “Shine A Light” is a very good commercial hard rock tune with a nice chorus, the title track is a classic Demon track that takes them back to basics and “Wings Of Steel” is a very good ballad that sounds more like a Magnum song than a Demon dito. “Take Me To Your Leader” is slower, on the heavier side, still very melodic and a good track and “What About The Night” is the best song on here, although it doesn’t really sound like a Demon track as it is a very poppy hard rock song with a hitty refrain, it could actually turn out to be a hit with a little (great deal) of luck. On the other hand the album contains trivial fillers like “Fill Your Head With Rock” and “We Can Make It”, also the finishing ballad “I Still Believe” could have been really good had it not been for the lyrics. “I still believe that rock will rule the world”??? C’mon already! Not even a band like Pretty Boy Floyd or Tuff would write a cheesy line like that.

This is a pretty good album, if you just consider the songs, but the thing is, they just don’t go anywhere and if it wasn’t for Dave Hill’s voice, this could be an album by any ordinary hard rock band without an identity. Some people might add that original guitarist and together with Hill, the main song writer Mal Spooner is no longer alive and therefore the band now have lost their sound, but Spooner died in 1984 and sure, they haven’t been the same since, but neither The Plague or the Wonderland E.P. did any justice to the original Demon sound, give or take the odd song or two. Not bad, but it’s not that arousing either.

Jon Wilmenius (6/10)

Track list:

01 Prey (intro)
02 Prey
03 Shine A Light
04 Unbroken
05 Wings Of Steel
06 Fill Your Head With Rock
07 Take Me To Your Leader
08 Private Lives
09 We Can Make It
10 What About The Night
11 I Still Believe

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