Demon - 1983 The Plague

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ARTIST: Demon
ALBUM: The Plague
LABEL: Clay
SERIAL: CLAY LP6
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 1990, Sonic (UK), SONIC CD3 * 1995, HTD Records, HTD CD35 * 2001, Record Heaven, RHCD46

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Dave Hill - vocals * Mal Spooner - guitars * Les Hunt - guitars * Chris Ellis - bass * John Wright - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Plague * 02 Nowhere To Run * 03 Fever In The City * 04 Blackheath * 05 Blackheath Intro * 06 The Writings On The Wall * 07 The Only Sane Man * 08 A Step Too Far

Background

For me Demon were an odd band, back in 1983 with a name like Demon you would have expected a Trash Metal band complete with croaking vocals and satanic bass lines.

But what you find in this album is something that has far more in common with Pink Floyd and Marillion than any heavy metal band.

Once again with an album name like 'The Plague' you'd expect something dark and sinister, but Demon once again surprise with great positive music.

There is a theme throughout the album, warning of the dangers of urbanisation, establishment and the Cold War.

Tracks about the Blackheath facility (where NATO store nuclear weapons in England I think) and media propaganda, all brought together with good album cover artwork in the form of contrasting black and white pencil drawn sketches, help consolidate a strong overall theme.

The Songs

Don't get me wrong; this is not a concept album, but a well brought together collection of songs. They range widely from well-paced guitar tracks to mellow acoustic numbers.

Sweeping keyboard strings and piano clashes, impromptu samples and gutsy vocals that confirm the songs are from the heart.

If there is a complaint, it's the length of the album - it only has eight tracks, which was more acceptable back then in the days of vinyl.

Just to prove that Demon are different, the 'Blackheath Intro' comes straight after the track 'Blackheath' - not before! There is also a reprise to the first track 'The Plague' at the end of the album, which is apparently part of the last track, but then who cares - it still sounds great!

I liked this album back in '83 on vinyl, and have recently got my hands on a CD copy, and still like it. I wonder if maybe first time listeners may find it a little dated.

Although the content is a little political and covers issues that may no longer be relevant, the songs are abstract enough in their message so that they can still relate to current feelings and emotions.

In Summary

With the death of Mal Spooner, Demon went on to different things and different styles, but for me this album along with 'British Standard Approved' (another theme album this time about the 'Titanic'), gave us albums that were both innovative and away from the mainstream.

I am sure they influenced many bands and still have the potential to do so in the future..


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