Taking their name from a Deep Purple song from the 1971 classic Fireball (Warner Bros.) are Demon Eye. Arising from North Carolina, Demon Eye started out life as a ‘70s rock covers band called Corvette Summer before transforming into a fully-fledged band in 2012. As their origins suggest, their sound is an amalgamation of 70s hard rock and metal – with Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, early Judas Priest and Iron Maiden the major influences. Their third album Prophecies and Lies (Soulseller) was produced by Corrosion of Conformity’s Mike Dean and continues down this old school path.
The doomy chug of Black Sabbath is merged together well with riffs and guitar licks of Priest and Maiden, all these parts coming together to great effect in ‘In The Spider’s Eye’, as well as in ‘Vagabond’ with its Dave Murray-esque guitar intro courtesy of Larry Burlison. Prophecies and Lies is a step up from 2015s Tempora Infernalia (Soulseller), the stoner vibe is dialled down in favour of tighter, more effective songwriting.
The melody is given room to breathe, with every instrument given time to shine; as in ‘Kismet’ with its Scorpions aura and a rather moreish drum beat. Bill Eagen’s drumming is great throughout, providing a solid foundation for singer/guitarist Erikk Sugg, lead guitarist Larry Burlison and bassist Paul Waltz to build upon, The locomotive beat of ‘Power of One’ with its chugachug riff demonstrates this. Not everything hits, there is a few unfortunate misses along the way. The finale track ‘Morning Son’ has a bouncy, almost Celtic melody and some wonderful duelling guitars but is a bit too long. The sombre, spoken word title track just kind of passes you by, as does the earnest ‘Dying For it’.
A natural progression from their second record, despite the odd misstep Prophecies and Lies is a compelling, old school metal album full of great songcraft and guitar work that shows you that you can have a retro outlook and still sound fresh.