Demon Eye

Leave The Light

Written by: AP on 16/02/2014 18:56:15

Even without listening to the music of Raleigh, NC born Demon Eye, it is possible to form a confident impression of what they might sound like. Google the band, and the name Corvette Summer (their former moniker) will emerge: a 70's tribute band whose "set generally includes the music of: Thin Lizzy, Humble Pie, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult, Kiss, UFO, Alice Cooper, Free, ZZ Top..." The vintage rock movement is thus flowering in the United States as well, though at least on this debut "Leave the Light", the style is readily discernible from its Scandinavian and mainland European counterparts.

The string of bands above was of course trimmed considerably when Corvette Summer transformed into Demon Eye, with really all but Deep Purple and the Zeppelin siphoned off. Their eponymous EP (which also forms the backbone of this album) solicited a decent buzz last year, capturing the interest of Soulseller Records with its honest passion for rock'n'roll - and that, I suppose, is key to distinguishing Demon Eye from the host of other bands now practicing in the genre. For the presence of the doom element so central to the sound of many a band in this movement is much less dominant on "Leave the Light", with Demon Eye preferring to wear their love of classic rock on their sleeve instead, and add colour by peppering it with psychedelia.

Still, it would be a logical fallacy to discount the importance of Black Sabbath in shaping this, and indeed every heritage rock band's sound. From the Ronnie James Dio worship of vocalist/guitarist Erik Sugg's singing through the tone and style of his riffs - both snatched from the Tony Iommi book of recipes - to the occult atmosphere of songs like "Secret Sect", "Witch's Blood" and "Devil Knows the Truth", there are moments you'd wish Demon Eye had worn their primary influence with less enthusiasm and focused instead on shoring up around slick riff orgies like "Shades of Black", "Adversary" and "Edge of a Knife". But ultimately, despite the obvious will and talent of this group, their infancy proves a major hindrance to forming a lasting impression.

"Leave the Light" is awash with details that raise an eyebrow, yet too often do the songs drown in a concoction of derivative songwriting and mere idolatry. When they do succeed, such as on the stellar "Banishing", which recalls the heyday of Led Zeppelin without compromising entirely Demon Eye's own identity and packs a chorus to remember; the outcome is rock solid. Research reveals that Sugg continues to forge concurrent fame as a popular children's entertainer in the Raleigh area, teaching toddlers how to read through rock music, and that enthusiasm is one of the most fundamental aspects to "Leave the Light" as well. What needs to happen next is for Sugg to channel that enthusiasm into the creation of a unique identity for a band who still seem held back by their tribute act past.

Download: Shades of Black, Adversary, The Banishing, Silent One
For the fans of: Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Orchid
Listen: Facebook

Release date 24.01.2014
Soulseller Records

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