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 :: Taste with the Devil ::    

Marquee, London
Origin unknown, 1982

Woe betide wicked, wayward sinners who dabble in the paranormal, who scum their souls with festering references to the anti-Christ and probe the half-dead inhabitants of nowhere.

As if warning enough has not been tendered by the misfortune of many-an-act in days of yore, this scowlful eve saw the wickedest imps of Hades busy niggllng. The target was Mal Spooner, rhythm guitarist with mysteriously shrouded men of Stoke Demon, making their debut London headliner.

After only two songs he wriggled, spluttered, and curled up in the same manner as instilled by Damien in his brother in 'Omen II' and was carried off for an early bath. Except here the cause was a paralysing food poisoning infection; Satan moves in mighty mysterious...

Still, Demon acquitted themselves well, pummelling the set-back into insignificance with a spangling crusher of a show.

Blunderbuss metel flaw thick and fast in the blasting form of songs from both their 'Night Of The Demon' and new ,The Unexpected Guest', vinyl slices, enhanced by the murky theatrics of frontman Dave Hill and two looming Persil-white crosses.

Far 'All The Work Of The Devil', 'Into The Nightmare', and throughout the outset, Hill is embellished in his drippy-fleshed Demon costume, lookin like a sunbather caught holidaying in Hiroshima with hideaus cansequence, eyes horribly reddened in a ghost-white face like some insecure insamniac.

For 'Father Of Time' and 'Decisions' he swaps into a toga wrap and warped, wrinkled, worn-faced mask as seen on 'TUG' gatefold. And later he manifests the second troll seen on said sleeve in 'Liar', showing a flame-licked torso as proof of his damnation visa.

It's a top-hole spectacle for this pit-hole level! Even the make-up an surviving hairy guitarist Les Hunt's arms, blood trickling from his multiple punctures, is shudderingly realistic.

However the sounds, a somehow mustered guitar kick of calossal beefy proportians being the pivot of songs causing more headshaking than a Trevor Brooking cross, were more denim 'n' leatber, tassles 'n' tequila than the image implies.

Demon, in numbers like the Schenker-esque 'Sign Of A Madman' and 'Total Possession' the muscular pounding 'Victim Of Fortune' and 'One Helluva Night', purveyed mountain-moving high-grade metal (from the turnaces below) with inimitable melodic craftsmanship, burying their fans by bringing down the Marquee in a torrent of volume.

Crazy curses to silence death, cymbal crashes to solo flashes, eardrums bust to sonic thrust, forever and ever, amen.

PS: After seeing my note that this band are the 'thinkng man's Venom' in the recent album review, Neat Records have revealed Cronos' plan to strike back.

In retaliation, they're going to eat Demon... distasteful, what with all this food poisoning about.

–  ' Taste with the Devil ' updated 2006-02-10  –