Label: Lot Realm Records
Year: 2021, 1988
“Every dog has its day”, said to mean that everyone will be successful or lucky at some time in their life. This expression is sometimes used to encourage someone at a time when they are not having any success or luck. Well where dogs say Damien, which to be more precise were underdogs, so the hailing from Toledo Ohio band should have been definitely more successful in its career and probably that day actually never came…
But damn Damien were really good. Their Priest meets Thrash meets Metal Church Power/Heavy Metal is still charming and sounds vivid even after 30+ years. The band later moved to more Judas Priest influenced compositions but here they are bringing a more rock ‘n roll attitude approaching. They sometimes sound like Motley Crue circa 1983 and their pure adrenaline explosive speedy American metal. The compositions are well crafted based on chugging riffs, dual lead guitars and fast paced drums. Of course Judas Priest riffing is easily audible but the final result is well filtered and it sounds with a strong personal stigma. Especially their vocalist Randy Mikelson songs like there’s no tomorrow not trying to walk on Halford shoes (something impossible and meaningless), but trying giving a big part of his soul while bringing in mind a bit of David Wayne.
If you compare their debut with their later works Damien sound mature from their very first moment due to the fact that they were active for about 7 years before entering the studio to record it. As in their entire career the band knew how to write great choruses and catchy songs. And “Every Dog Has Its Day” is full of memorable tunes and Heavy Metal anthems. The title track, “Season of the Arrow”, “Wolf Dreams”, “Race to the End”, “Serpents Rising” and “Possession” are definitely worth exploring and will stick to your mind. The song writing motif is similar to early 80’s song structure as we have herd earlier on Ozzy solo albums, Accept, Priest, Scorpions and Metal Church, in an all 100% “denim and leather” record that will spin to your stereo for a long long time.
Damien with almost no budget at all recorded it while working with Sam Ginsberg (Aerosmith, Cheap Trick) and Mike Rogers (Slaughter House) and as the band had created a strong fanbase from its powerful live performances, they even tried and shot a video for the title track that surprisingly aired on MTV show Headbanger’s Ball, but the band failed to capitalize the momentum as the record label they signed with Select Records, a dance label trying to expand into metal, was a truly disaster. No promoters, no distribution and “Every Dog Has Its Day” turned into a big “what if” for all US Metal fans, especially those that at the time who were writing at the band, asking where to find the record that arrived into stores with a 9 months delay…
Lost Realm Records after four deluxe CD+DVD releases made in 2018 (“St. Clair Tapes”, “Candle Of Life”, “Angel Juice” and “Beyond Apathy”), brings a beautiful deluxe cd reissue of this great album with, a 16-page booklet with lyrics, special liner notes and rare photos, bonus tracks and remastered sound. An edition that no Damien and U.S. Metal fan can miss!