HardReviews 6
by Martin Popoff

Damien - Every Dog Has His Day, Stop This War
(Power Play)

Power Play Records is a new label best known for their 220V reissues. Well, along with new signings like Further Lo and Canada's Cradle To Grave, they've picked up the rights to reissue these late '80s proto-power metal releases from Toledo, Ohio's Damien. Just like a hot NWOBHM album from 1984, Damien were doing a more than adequate job recreating the sound of Metal Blade acts from 1985, '86 (Lizzy Borden, Savage Grace, Masi, Omen, Helstar, Flotsam), a couple years late, namely circa '87 and '89, when attentions had moved to stronger stuff, namely thrash. As befits perfecting a dated sound, the productions were dry, humourless but efficient, and the playing tight. I actually prefer the lusty party feel of the first one more than the metaller-than-thou vibes of Stop This War, but hey, both are solid examples of mid-'80s rust belt metal, and the unsung movement's very real contribution to the huge power metal movement of today. Both reissues come with a booklet that is one side lyrics, other side poster, plus a video track each.
Rating 6.5, 6