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The smashing self-titled debut CD release by
RECENT REVIEWS FOR DAMIEN 'Every Dog Has Its Day' (PPRCD-1969003)
and DAMIEN 'Stop This War' (PPRCD-1969004):
Damien - Every Dog Has Its Day

Toledo, Ohio's Damien is one of the most underrated metal bands of the late 80s. While they're video for the title track from this debut album and "Breakout" from their sophomore release, Stop This War, got a decent amount of play on the original Headbanger's Ball, these guys never broke out of the underground. Unfortunately, Damien was too heavy for the Poison fans and perceived to be too light for the thrash fans that were into Overkill, Slayer, and Metallica. Damien really was a power metal band before the term became so cliche and turned into boring double bass drumming speedy metal. Damien's music was 'powerful metal' with slamming drums, ripping leads, gigantic power chords, and a grab you by the balls vocalist that sounded like a f***in' hurricane-a-comin. Power Play Records has to be commended for seeking out an underground band like Damien. Their recordings were lost and unjustifiably long forgotten, but Power Play has given Damien some much deserved respect by reissuing these two spectacular albums. For the uniformed, the band did release a third recording called Angel Juice with a different vocalist. Damien could rip-the-flesh-off-your-bones with songs like "Possession" (which I first heard when lead vocalist Randy 'Wolf' Mikelson appeared on the famous Morton Downey Jr. Show) and "Every Dog Has It's Day." To vary things up they could also throw in a melodic track like "Give Me A Sign" or the ballad "I Play For You." They were at their best on the anthems, though. The Bloody Truth: Fans of Malice, Wild Dogs and Omen will find Damien to be of major interest. Additionally, fans of twin-axe-attack Tipton/Downing guitar duals, and chuggah-chuggah riffs will love this band as well. Damien's music is stripped down, go-for-the-throat 80s metal with strong choruses, featuring one amazing vocalist that never got his due. Right that wrong by picking up this reissue. The reissue features the "Every Dog Has It's Day" video, a cool booklet with pix from the video, and the song lyrics. Up next, our review of Stop This War.
Damien - Every Dog Has Its Day - Power Play Records - 2004

Das Metal-Unwort der Jahre? Vielleicht: „Re“. Die beiden Buchstaben vor „union“ und „-Release“. Was im Wahn des Zusammenfindens und Wiederveröffentlichens manches Mal zu kurz kommt, sind die wirklich sinnigen „Re“s. DAMIEN-Scheiben gibt es entweder nicht mehr oder sie sind schweineteuer. Egal, mag mancher sagen. Aber, wer von der neuen Priest schwärmt, der wird auch diese DAMIEN-Pladde lieben. Heavy Metal auf der NWOBHM-Schiene aus Amiland, Ohio, Toledo. Ursprünglich ist das Debüt der Amis 1987 bei Select erschienen – mit jeder Menge Priest-lastiger Elemente. Das fängt bei „Wolfs“ Stimme an, geht bei „Killers“ pumpenden Bass weiter, findet im Gitarrenspiel des Duos Stohl/Adamshick seine Fortsetzung – von Drumming von „Evil“ sowie dem Songwriting mal ganz abgesehen. DAMIEN haben nichts mit den amerikanischen Haarsprayern (Ratt und Co.) gleicher Zeit zu tun, sie orientieren sich eher an den britischen Arbeitern. Wie gesagt, "Priest"er und Accept-Jüngerkommen an DAMIEN überhaupt nicht vorbei. Zumal der Sound für die damalige Zeit wirklich mehr als okay ist und der Re-Release mit einen Extra-Video, allen Texten und ordentlicher Aufmachung glänzen kann. Anspieltips: Der Opener „Wolf Dreams“ mit seinem Mega-Chorus – ach und eigentlich alle anderen. „Re“ hin, „Re“ her. (memme)

[*Some "Headlines" of the reviews translated to English]:
(...) those who like priest would love Damien(...) (...)Heavy Metal in the way of NWOBHM from america (...) (...)Damien has nothing to do with american hair-spray-bands like ratt....(...) (...) you must have this re-realease ... because of good music, good sound (remember it's 1987!), printed lyrics, nice pics and an bonus video (...) (...)You don't believe? Then listen to "Wolf Dreams" and you will believe in DAMIEN (...)

Damien - Stop This War - Power Play Records - 2004

Der DAMIEN-Zweitling ist nicht nur eine gute Minute kürzer als „Every Dog Has Ist Day“, sondern auch nicht ganz so gut. Zwar kommt die Neuauflage des US-Power-Metal-Klassikers ebenfalls remastered und mit neuem Artwork und Fotos sowie Bonus-Videotrack daher, dennoch reicht er nicht ganz an den Vorgänger heran. Was nicht heißen soll, dass das Album irgendwie schlecht ist. Im Gegenteil: Auch „Stop This War“ rockt in der Tradition der britischen Stahlwerker von Priest, vielleicht ein bisschen härter als der Erstling. Obwohl: Das smart, fast kitschige „Matilda“ oder „Always In Lustr“ sind alles andere als hart … aber cool. Logisch, die Klamotten der Kollegen sind Schwanz, die Bilder kacke und das Cover schrottig. Aber alles zusammen versprüht eben diesen jenen Charme der 80er. Vor allem die Musik. Worker-Metal at ist best, die Amis konnten doch mal was. Angeblich haben sich DAMIEN 2004 reuniert. – hoffentlich versauen sie sich nicht den Ruf, den die beiden wieder veröffentlichten Scheiben ins Gedächtnis zurückgerufen haben. Liebhaber von leicht "antiquiertem" Mörtel müssen die Kelle rausholen und KAUFEN (nachdem sie das Debüt erstanden haben)! (memme)
Damien - Every Dog Has Its Day - Power Play Records - 2004

Every dog does indeed have its day. Eighteen years after its initial release through Select Records, Damien's debut record "Every Dog Has Its Day" finally gets the royal treatment. New Jersey's Power Play Records has really impressed me of late, conjuring up wicked new titles from the likes of Cradle To Grave and Further Lo. But what really makes this label so unique is that they strive to capture today's hottest underground acts, those bands waiting in the wings, but also to make available the glorious gems lost long ago like 220Volt's "Eye To Eye" and the topic of discussion, Damien's 1987 treasure. Rarely do you find a roster that is stacked from top to bottom with both new releases and quality goods from the past. Power Play Records has been doing that for the last couple of years and it is really starting to get them the much needed attention they deserve.

"Every Dog Has Its Day" has been reissued with original artwork and some very nice goodies. Along with the album, which in its own right is worth every penny, fans will now get the entire album with a bonus multimedia section that holds the video for the title track. I remember seeing that air on the original Headbangers Ball in the 80s, and now it has been added as a bonus on this particular reissue. Power Play has added some pictures from the video itself and included them on the fold out booklet inside, along with the album's lyrics. Being the collector version of the average metal fan this is exactly what I've been waiting for. I can cast aside that worn out cassette tape and enjoy the album in CD quality.

For those of you uneducated on the sounds and power of Cleveland's Damien, then let me offer a brief tutorial. The band is made up of singer Randy Mikelson, guitarists Chuck Stohl and Fritz Adamshick, drummer Johnny Cappelletty, and bassist Kevin Kekes, who also played on Chastain's "In Dementia" album in '97. This debut album launched an underground movement for the band, who saw some brief airplay on radio and MTV but for the most part went completely unnoticed. Sounding like a cross between the hard rock sensations of Ratt and Crue and thunderous classic metal ala Judas Priest and Accept. Mikelson is really one of my favorite vocalists of this genre, sounding a bit like Paul Stanley mixed with Udo's raspy delivery. The band proved they had enough ample wattage to compete with the likes of Overkill and Wild Dogs but could easily open for anyone on the Sunset Strip. I guess these guys could fit neatly on a shelf, tucked in between the Malice and Wild Dogs bookends.

With fast and furious cuts like "Possession", "Every Dog Has Its Day", and "Season Of The Arrow", denim and leather boys will get quite a workout. Huge, massive guitar licks and scorching vocals from Mikelson punctuate material that just roars by at the speed of light. Fans of NWOBHM and the likes of Germany's Teutonic metal movement will find plenty to like here. The band show they do in fact have a hard rock backbone, partying it up on KISS like numbers "Serpents Rising" and "Give Me A Sign". Damien even shows off some Manowar styled songwriting on the likes of "World Affair" and "Race To The End".

The band would follow this record up a year later with their most powerful album, "Stop This War", a metallic vision that shows off the best of Sabbath, Priest, and Maiden while still keeping intact the band's hard rock personality. Power Play Records has also made that album available as well, going all out to deliver the best of Damien to your doorstep. I won't go in depth on that reissue, as this is simply a review of the debut. Once I get my filthy paws on the sophomore release I will cover it here. Keep in mind that Damien released a third album in the mid-90s called "Angel Juice". In the meantime, you can email Power Play records at to request the Damien titles or simply visit Power Play's website to order. Look for Damien on tour this year!
DATE: March.05 REVIEWED BY: Masa @ 21st Century Metal Net
STOP THIS WAR Release: Dec. 13. 2004 - Power Play New York based Power Play Records re-issued the 2nd album of a band called DAMIEN along with their 1st one titled 'Every Dog Has Its Day' in December 2004. I've never heard of this band before, but thanks to this re-issue I could have a chance to listen to their music and I must admit it was a cool discovery for me! DAMIEN must be one of those underrated obscure metal bands from U.S., but their authentic heavy metal sounds has its own originality, blending the heaviness of JUDAS PRIEST with American flashness à la MÖTLEY CRÜE in a perfect manner. There are lots of great guitar solos and strong vocals, adding impressive melody and tons of hooks to the songs. The original recording of this CD was released on Select Records in 1989, but it seems to have been discontinued for such a long time. Power Play Records updated the package this time and it contains foldout booklet/poster with complete lyrics and new pictures, although the cover illustration itself stays true to original. The CD also contains a bonus video clip for the song "Break Out". This re-issued version CD will definitely be a gem for enthusiasts or collecters, and I think I myself need to check the band's first release as well!
Reviewed by Masa @ 21st Century Metal Net
10 Tracks / 42:13 Minutes More Info at:
(Review in German)
Vor kurzem habe ich euch das Debut Album von „Damien“ vorgestellt, dieses wurde genau wie „Stop this War“ 2004 von Power Play Records wieder-veröffentlicht. Es dauerte zwei Jahre bis „Damien“ nach ihrem grossartigen Debut „Every Dog has ist Day“ ihr zweites Werk „Stop this War“ der Metal Welt präsentierte. In derselben Besetzung rocken die Jungs auch weiterhin was das Zeug hält. „Stop this War“ ist Einbisschen härter geworden als der Erstling. Der schnelle Opener und Titeltrack „Stop this War“ ist ein echter Killer, auch das smarte „Break Out“ mit den herrschenden Double Bass Einlagen, spielt in der oberen Metal Liga. „Break Out“ gibt’s übrigens noch als Bonus Video auf dieser Re-Release Scheibe. Das Innenbooklet ist um einiges besser ausgestattet als beim Debut, nebst den Lyrics befinden sich auch noch Live Fotos auf der aufklappbaren Seite. Das Cover Design sieht doch mal richtig trashig aus, aber ist es nicht auch das was man von einer 80er Kult Band erwartet? Wenn ich mir das Cover von „Turbo Lover“ anschaue, ist dieses auch nicht viel geschmacksvoller oder? Kommen wir aber nun wieder auf die Songs von „Stop this War“ zu sprechen…da hätten wir das feine „Matilda“ das mit einem sanften Refrain zu begeistern weis. „30 St.Clair“ ist ein klassischer Metal Instrumental Track, auch dieser ist nicht von schlechten Eltern. Die Songtitel sind enorm Klischee haft, da hätten mal so als Beispiel das bombastische „Stormwind“ das heroische „Warlord“ und als Parade Beispiel „Corpse Grinder“. „Stop this War“ ist eine phantastische Metal Scheibe, in meinen Augen ist ihre Debut Scheibe aber noch ein kleines Stück besser. Für mich stimmte das Konzept von „Damien“ sie hatten einen cool klingenden Namen, geile Songs, Phrasen Lyrics und sahen lustig aus. Dies hat allerdings nicht genügt denn ausser einer verlegenheits- Scheibe 6 Jahre später hat man nie mehr etwas von „Wolf“ und seinen Mannen gehört. Zum Glück haben sie uns ein Vermächtnis von zwei genialen Metal Scheiben hinterlassen die nun seid langem wieder erhältlich sind.
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.

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