I have to admit that I am not familiar with any DEMON material prior to "Hold On To The Dream" other than live yet, but I now am pretty sure that I will work on acquiring the back catalogue of this British legend, for their latest performance at "Bang Your Head Revisited" more than convinced me!
So "Hold On To The Dream" it is and it is Melodic Metal of its own kind, very original and distinct, melodic, catchy, but still demanding and dynamic, so basically everything you could ask for in a CD of this genre, couldn't you? I don't think so, exactly!
Forget about all the happy and sappy representatives of this style, this is serious stuff, mature and right in for what is important. DEMON have several elements that mark them as exactly them: First of all the one-in-a-million voice of fronter Dave Hill. He is not an exceptional singer in terms of being classically trained in I-don't-know-what, but with his light lisp and sheer power he is as characteristic as he can get.
Then there is the music, which is heavy in its own way, epic in its melodies, but never bombastic, with keyboards that just fit in, play an extremely important part in the sound of the Brits, but at the same time doesn't take away any of the band's heaviness. Then DEMON have a sense for dynamics that only few other bands could really rival, with a sudden picking up of speed or a slowing down for the best effect, like in "Eastern Sunset", where the sudden increase in speed livens up the song a LOT makes a damn good song a really great one!
DEMON also vary speed and intensity between the songs, from upbeat to balladesque they master the elements there are, everything cohesive and flowing, with songs like "No More Hell On Earth", "Eastern Sunset", "Barons Of Darkness" or the strong ballads "Ivory Towers" and "Coming Home", all of them showing what is possible in this genre with an own sound.
I will get into DEMON's back catalogue, because if it is true what people say and the earlier material is even better than this, then it should be incredible! "Hold On To The Dream" is almost as good as it gets in the field of Melodic Metal, with a real identity of its own, so check this piece out, you should not regret it, if you like this style! (Online May 8, 2003)