GIG REVIEW: NIGHT DEMON, VISIGOTH and More Live at Larimer Lounge, Denver, CO
For the doubters who believe that American heavy metal is dead, there are two bands tearing it up in the West that you need to know about. Utah’s Visigoth a heavy metal powerhouse combining modern power metal with a classic 80’s tone, released their first full length on Metal Blade Records in 2015 titled ‘The Revenant King‘. Among these NWOBHM masters, California’s Night Demon released their first full length, ‘Curse of the Damned‘ through Steamhammer Records in 2015. Both bands seem to have perfected a throwback heavy and speed metal sound, reminiscent of Black Sabbath, Diamond Head, and Angel Witch. Both bands hit the road in April and May, heading eastward from Georgia to Oregon, but I was lucky enough to catch their stop at the Larimer Lounge in Denver, CO on May 12th.
I have been a huge Visigoth fan since the release of their EP, ‘Final Spell’ in 2012. To me, this is one of those bands proving that American power metal is alive and well. With the release of their full-length after their announcement of being picked up by Metal Blade, the band has taken it up to a whole new level. Night Demon has been on my radar since I saw them on their last tour, though I hadn’t picked up their full-length album. This tour announcement however, encouraged me to do so. Through the Final Curse Tour, the band promised to play the full length in its entirety, so off to Spotify I went. For days at work I listened to this release, and with each listen, it grew on me more and more. The band has a heavy, yet polished sound; melodic and anthem-like, without anything over-the-top masking the metal. They are a true breath of fresh air in the over-produced metal world we have.
The Larimer Lounge is a great little venue with a small stage, but a great bar. Local support came from Satan’s Host and Cellador, two heavy metal veterans of the Denver metal scene. Despite some audio issues during the latter’s set, they both put on one hell of an opening show. However, when Visigoth hit the stage, the mood of the entire venue changed. Vocalist Jake Rogers completely owned the stage, dressed to kill in true ‘hell-bent for leather’ style. Everyone in the venue took notice of his powerful voice, with equally on-point musicians behind him. Honestly, I was blown away. I was chatting with Rogers before the show, and he let me know that everyone on the tour had been fighting the flu for weeks. His voice was rough, but on-stage, the band sounded like perfection. Night Demon – also fighting the tour sickness – hit the stage next, opening up with “Screams in the Night”, and continued with the remainder of their full-length. The band also played a cover of Golden Earring‘s “Radar Love”, taking us all back to the 1970’s; as if their guitar tone and stage antics didn’t do so enough on its own.
All in all, both bands were incredibly entertaining. My smile didn’t leave my face once that night, and I honestly can’t wait to see these guys again. Night Demon are touring fiends, as they were just on the road earlier this year, and are continuing to tour in June with Anvil. Although Visigoth is taking a break, they have mentioned that they will be playing more shows this fall. So if you are a fan of true heavy metal, keep an eye out for these names coming to your town! You will not be disappointed