2023 is shaping up to be one of NWOTHM’s best years ever as two flagships (and by far my two favorite bands of the genre) are set to release new records within two months of each other. We are talking about Night Demon and Enforcer. But here we are for the new studio effort by the American outfit entitled “Outsider”. It may seem to some people that the record gap between studio records is big (don’t forget that “Darkness Remains” was released in 2017) but the truth is that Night Demon were not only active but they had recorded not one, not two but five (!) singles which they compiled in an excellent collection last year entitled “Year of the Demon”.

“Outsider” may have a duration of only 37 minutes, but believe me, it leaves you with a feeling of absolute completeness as soon as the last song of the record is over. After all, almost all the classic records of the 80s were around this time-length with quality (and not quantity) being the focus of every release. I’m a big fan of the first two Night Demon records but I dare say that with “Outsider” the Americans outdo themselves leaving every fan of the band completely satisfied and slightly with a feeling of pleasant surprise. What do I mean…? In a set of 8 compositions (including the prelude to the title song) Night Demon manages not only to keep their distinctive musical identity intact but to insert cleverly many elements here and there that enrich the already flawless compositions even more. I’m referring to some mid-tempo, guitar breaks that seem to drop the tempo but actually… raise the quality of the composition! Pay special attention to “Obsidian” and “Escape From Beyond” for all the evidence that you need. Needless to say, the familiar influences from Maiden and NWOBHM are again evident but always filtered through the style and especially the inspiration of Leatherby/Anthony/Squires.

I know for a fact that all the die-hard fans of the band and the genre will effortlessly invest in “Outsider”. I urge others to do the same as here we have one of the best albums of the year…there, I said it!

Highlight: Another excellent cover sleeve from the ones that we are used to by Night Demon.