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The Unexpected Guest / The Plague
(Record Heaven Music)
65:58min / 82:42min

Unlike a lot of useless re-issues that are circulating at the moment, here's finally some that really do make sense, as most of the classic DEMON albums are extremely hard to find these days. The Swedish label Record Heaven Music finally went for the opportunity and re-issued the band's first three outputs on CD recently. After I already got to hear two DEMON tracks on a compilation album in the early 80s I was so impressed by them that I immediately had to buy the first album of these NWOBHM veterans that crossed my path shortly after. That album turned out to be "The Unexpected Guest" and it not only lived up to my high expectations, it furthermore really turned me into a DEMON fan! Up to this day, I still consider "The Unexpected Guest" as the best DEMON record ever (next to "Taking The World By Storm"). The songwriting, the melody lines, the vocal delivery, the atmosphere - everything was perfectly balanced on here and from the opening tune 'Don't Break The Circle' until the album's closer 'Deliver Us From Evil' you won't find any single weak note on this little gem! All tracks could easily be considered classics and should be known (or better owned) by ever serious Metal maniac out there. The re-issue comes up with the original packaging, which means you not only get the weird pictures, but also all of the lyrics and four additional bonus tracks (remixes or outtake versions). Certainly a "must have" item! When "The Plague" originally came out, I was a little worried at first whether I would still like the band's direction or not as the whole white packaging looked rather strange to me at the time. But as the old DEMON logo still caught my interest and the vinyl version furthermore had a very deluxe packaging (gatefold sleeve with a book-like lyric sheet incorporated) I also decided to buy it. And I shouldn't regret it. DEMON were trying very hard to get rid off the "satanic" image with this release and ended up composing a slightly more melodic and also more progressive sounding record. Even though it took me a while to completely get into it, I started to like tracks like 'Blackheath' or 'The Plague' pretty quickly already. I discovered the album's real brilliance many years later and still enjoy it immensely when I listen to it today. This re-issue also comes up with the original packaging and even includes another disc with the original mix of the entire "The Plague" album, so if you missed it out previously, make sure to go for it now! Further info

Frank Stöver

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