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23.2.12

Demon Dudes Revenge - 'An Adolescent Fantasy Vol.1' (self released) 4.5/5

For most of the 1980's keyboard wizard Steve Watts was a key member of Demon, one of the NWOBHMs most eclectic and influential bands.Playing on and later writing the music for classic albums such as The Plague, British Standard Approved, Breakout and Taking The World By Storm he helped pave the way for and create a whole new sub genre of music, progressive metal. Steve left Demon in 1991 and since then has been below the radar. But now he's resurfaced with a whole new project, Demon Dudes Revenge - a project involving something like 20 other musicians, and has just issues this new album.

Now anyone who has heard any of Steve's work with the mighty Demon will know not only is he a mercurial talent but also has a great ear for forging some wonderful soundscapes and wrapping them up in a blanket of first rate rock and roll attitude. This album shows those attributes off to the max. You get some great out and out rockers like the glorious instrumental prog metal workout of The Slicer, the disturbingly driving Tea Cosy Mong and the punk fueled It's Message Is... (Brimstone And Treacle); and by contrast there are some wonderful spaced out and trippy moments such as the sample powered Air Conditioned Ego (a track that hints at the wonderful Hemispheres from the classic Demon album British Standard Approved) and the superb acid soundscape of Damaged, a track that wouldn't sound out of place on a Quarkspace album.

However a word of warning for anyone picking this one up expecting something like those classic Demon albums, while indeed the ghost of Demon does haunt the tracks on offer (and the albums cover for that matter - Demon fans will spot it), this album is far more diverse and far far darker than anything Demon ever recorded. There are no Dave Hill style upbeat vocals to lighten the mood and get you chanting the chorus. Instead this album is dark, in your face and and takes the progressive rock element into places Demon just didn't get to (well maybe just a bit on British Standard Approved - but they didn't take it this far).

But that's not to to say this album isn't one incredible piece of music, that works on so many levels. My personal highlight has to be the three part Glorious Pretension of Being, an epic piece of music that sends a real shiver down my spine every time I play it.

Inshort, Mr Watts has with this project cooked up a rather remarkable album that reminds us all what a talent he is. Volume 2 of An Adolescent Fantasy is due out late 2012 - I for one can't wait.

Very Highly Recommended

For fans of... Demon, Quarkspace, Eloy, Wim Oudjik, Pink Floyd, Hawkwind....