Posted on by Oran

Heavy metal juggernauts Night Demon finally land on our shores here in Ireland and have already terrorised Derry, Belfast and Dublin on this leg of their world tour (after doing serious damage over the course of the Hell’s Decibels Tour in the U.S. and several dates in Japan).

And now its Limerick’s turn. Dolan’s Kasbah is the destination, and Overdrive was there to catch the rolls of thunder in the flesh.

Kicking off the night’s magic is Limerick 5-piece, War of Attrition with a solid set from the get-go. The beginning of the night is slow enough from the crowd reaction, and the lads do their utmost to get the pulse racing, but it’s slow going as there are not too many people here. It’s not their fault that the turnout is quite low at 8pm, but that doesn’t stop them from putting the pedal down and going for the chequered flag.

Vocalist Nathan Price has the pipes to rival most other bands in the underground scene, but the main focus points here are the guitarists Ocean McCormack and Diarmuid McKenna.

Ocean’s tapping and triplet sessions in the middle of his solos earn him top-dog place for lead guitarists, but he can’t do any of this without McKenna backing him up (who himself is also quite the shredder). The teamwork is spot-on and serves their onlookers with exactly what they came here to see.

Bassist Keith McNamara and drummer Damian ‘Shapes’ Smith hold the ship together with a rock-solid performance from both, but steering the entire direction is Price. Ocean is effectively animated as all hell at the chance to play with Night Demon, and makes no secret of it.

Despite the repeated efforts to get the heads moving, the low numbers just aren’t making it work. Thankfully by the end of their set, there is a decent arrival of followers and the floor fills up, but it’s too little too late. The late arrivals have missed an amazing opener for what is a fantastic night. Their loss. War of Attrition also has releases which can be found here.

Settler kick things up a notch with their power 80’s themed heavy metal onslaught. The best way to describe Settler is; get a mixing bowl, throw in the first four Metallica albums, a decent dollop of Iron Maiden, another decent dollop of Judas Priest, topped off with a smidgeon of Annihilator, and perhaps a sprinkling of ‘Killing Is My Business’-era Megadeth. It’s incredible. If the Limerick quintet had been in the 80’s in California, I daresay there could have been a large international following for this band. They got together in the preceding months of the Pandemic, but we all know what happened to the music industry there.

Frontman Paul McCarthy chews up the crowd and spits them out – his audience interaction and charisma are perfectly suited to this level of musicianship. Lead guitar Rory O’Dwyer is feverishly accurate as the band plays thumper after thumper, and it drives the audience insane. There’s proper headbanging happening now, and drummer Brian O’Donoghue is feeding the flames incessantly with machine-gun bass drum action. This is exactly what the doctor ordered and Settler has done the exact opposite of what their name suggests. Bassist, Eoin Culhane is also front and centre reacting to the energy being fed to them from the crowd, and rhythm guitarist Martin Garcia Mortell just plays. He just plays his heart out, and I don’t think I saw his face once.

His head kept banging from the very beginning until the very end. He’s gonna have a sore neck tomorrow. The chunky E-tuned palm muting adds serious heft to their stage presence and sound, and their setlist is devoured by the audience, but the final tune is what does the real damage. This was a superb choice for Night Demon openers and more power to them. Their material can be found here. Get on it.

So here we go for the main event! Taking the stage like bosses, Night Demon have very few songs that could not be played as an opener to a show, so ‘Outsider’ is the chosen track, and it shakes the room like a thunderclap from Hell. The California trio hit the gas straight away and don’t let up for the entire night – and that’s not an exaggeration; they are literally like Energizer bunnies with nuclear batteries. Vocalist and bassist, Jay Leatherby screams into the mic backed up by Armand John Anthony on guitar, with Dusty Squires on drums, holding the entire performance together.

Both men have their vocal harmonies well in check, and you’d expect nothing else. The crowd love it, because they step up their involvement game 1000%. The mood is infectious though – ‘Screams in the Night’ and ‘Escape From Beyond’ keep the ball rolling along nicely. It doesn’t take long for the crowd surfing to start (there is a guy dressed up like Kirk Hammett from the ‘Ride the Lightning’ album cover who is losing his mind, and he will from me, and he is gonna break his neck if he’s not careful). Smasher after smasher rolls from the stage into our skulls: ‘Dawn Rider’, ‘Rebirth’ and ‘Beyond the Grave’ light a fire beneath the arse of every person in the room, including the bar staff – I can see heads banging as pints are being pulled.

Over the course of the night, Leatherby doesn’t really say much (not that he has time – the tunes are quick-fired one after another). He has a base here in Ireland as well as the UK, and makes no secret of how much he loves coming to Ireland (but to be fair, every band says this because we’re all legends over here and we go nuts at a decent metal gig!). The night cruises along without much change – the lighting is eclectic, dissolving the band in darkness, colour, and mind-bending flashing, in perfect time with Squires’ incessant and precision drumming.

At this point, my own personal favourite Night Demon tune ‘The Wrath’ is belted out, and I’ll be honest – I have no idea what was going on with the band onstage because I had my own headbanging fit.

As we start to draw close to the end of the night, there is a stage invader who attempts a stage dive, but it doesn’t go down too well, as the crowd pretty much clears out as soon as he becomes airborne, leaving him to land on two or three people and it looks like the floor collapsed beneath them. There is a repeated attempt 10 minutes later, but nobody is having it; instead, he gets a tap from Anthony, subliminally saying ‘Nobody’s buying it buddy – get off the stage’. For the final delivery, there is a ghoulish apparition in the form of Rocky. Night Demon’s mascot, for ‘The Chalice‘, where he hands out a chalice for punters to drink from. Demon-eyed and hooded, his Grim Reaper apparel is fitting for his demeanour, but he only sticks around for one song.

When he leaves, the band bangs out their final tune of their set ‘Darkness Remains’ and they bid us goodnight…. but chantings of ‘One more tune! One, more tune!’ fills Dolans, and they return to smash out ‘Night Demon’, capping off a simply superb night’s entertainment.



Screams in the Night

Escape From Beyond

Dawn Rider


The Howling Man

Beyond the Grave

The Wrath

Welcome to the4 Night

Heavy Metal Heat

Black Widow

Kill the Pain

The Chalice

Darkness Remains


Night Demon

Night Demon “Outsider” is available now from all good records stores, and online streaming sites.

Shaun Martine. 2023