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Cemetery Junction

Spaced Out Music (2016)
Rating: 4.5/10

New Wave Of British Heavy Metal stalwarts Demon return with Cemetery Junction, a follow up to 2012’s Unbroken, which saw somewhat of a return to the classic Demon sound that made Night Of The Demon and The Unexpected Guest the hard rock gems they were in 1981 and 1982 respectively. Cemetery Junction, however, is at best average hard rock / metal, even by Demon standards. And trust me, when I say “at best” that’s reaching for something positive to say.

Singer Dave Hill and guitarist Mal Spooner formed Demon in 1979. Like fellow Brits Praying Mantis, Grim Reaper and Raven, they too are considered an important band in the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement. 1992 saw the band’s final release, Blow-Out, before Demon called it quits, in Hill’s words, “…because of fatigue”. Nine years later, Hill reunited the group with an all new line-up and released the Spaced Out Monkey record. Since then, Demon has released three more albums, including this latest one.

Let’s be honest, Demon has never been a powerhouse band, but when they’re firing on all cylinders they’re good at what they do – high energy hard rock. That was their niche and that’s what they were good at, but Cemetery Junction is a million miles away from that description. The band sounds forced and uninspired. The songs are trite and two dimensional and just fluff at their worst. Singer Dave Hill’s vocals come across sluggish and muddy on just about every track on this record. ‘Queen Of Hollywood’ is a prime example of this. So, either the production is subpar or Demon are way off their game here. The logical side of me says it’s probably a little bit of both.

For some odd, unexplained reason, the band has taken a more melodic, back to the 80s type direction, abandoning that great sound and style they crafted on Unbroken. It’s just generic, retread, commercial metal. If that’s what the band was aiming for then maybe they should’ve tried nailing a sound along the lines of 1985’s Heart Of Our Time, and it’s entirely possible that this is what they had in mind for Cemetery Junction, but what a huge miss. Even the Breakout record in 1987, quite the commercial offering, had more heart and soul than this disc has. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend this record. I can, however, recommend the other records I’ve mentioned… just not Cemetery Junction.

Theron Moore

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