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Demon – The Unexpected Guest


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Remastered with 4 bonus tracks Demon are often the subject of hot debate whenever the New Wave of British Heavy Metal is discussed: are they or aren't they supposed to be cited alongside the likes of Iron Maiden, Saxon and Def Leppard, as a rejuvenating force in the evolution of heavy metal? After all, their debut album, Night of the Demon, had shown that the Staffordshire quintet were far more indebted to Britain's heavyweights of melodic hard rock, like UFO and Thin Lizzy, than full-fledged heavy metal titans Black Sabbath or Judas Priest. But, then again, so were Def Leppard! And, in any case, this debate would not find easy answers in Demon's second long player, 1982's The Unexpected Guest. The eerie sound effects of "Intro" and "An Observation" seem to promise an all out rock opera in the making; but Demon were never ones to force unwarranted theatrics down the listener's throat on record (live, hell yes, but not on record!), choosing instead to pen exquisitely sculpted singles like "Don't Break the Circle," "The Spell" and "Beyond the Gates," which also just happened to be loosely connected to a common, central theme. On The Unexpected Guest, that theme appeared to be a séance gone horribly wrong, and even though it's easy to imagine King Diamond taking lyric notes for Mercyful Fate's future classic, "A Dangerous Meeting," he wouldn't have found too many gothic parlor tricks or minor-key dramatics worth poaching in brazenly upbeat songs like "Total Possession," "Deliver Us from Evil," and the organ-sweetened "Have We Been Here Before?" Instead, Demon's aforementioned UFO influences were once again proudly displayed by "Victim of Fortune" and the classy, perfectly balanced, not-too-sappy ballad, "Strange Institution"; while, on "The Grand Illusion," the group seemed to be channeling Meat Loaf's larger-than-life presentation — and succeeded! In the end, The Unexpected Guest delivered professional, polished, but still unquestionably tough heavy rock, on an arguably even more consistent scale than its similarly impressive predecessor. As mentioned earlier, these qualities may not answer the were-they-weren't-they N.W.O.B.H.M. issue, but who really cares when the songs are this good? Track listing: 1. Intro: An Observation 2. Don't Break The Circle 3. The Spell 4. Total Possession 5. Sign Of A Madman 6. Victim Of Fortune 7. Have We Been Here Before? 8. Strange Institution 9. The Grand Illusion 10. Beyond The Gates 11. Deliver Us From Evil 12. Outro 13 Don't Break The Circle-1988 remix 14 Have We Been Here Before?-outtake 15. Victim Of Fortune-outtake 16. Strange Institution

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