Origin Wellington, New Zealand
Genres Black metal (early)
Blackened power metal (late)
Years active 1993–1999
Labels Osmose Productions
Associated acts DragonForce
Voice of Destruction
Head Like a Hole
Past members
Mark "Adramolech" Hamill
"The Magnus"
Lindsay Dawson
Herman Li
Sam Totman
Diccon Harper
Matej Setinc
Steve Francis

Demoniac were a heavy metal band from New Zealand[1] formed in Wellington in 1993 by singer and bass player Lindsay Dawson, guitarist Sam Totman and Drummer Steve Francis. Three of the members went on to form DragonForce. Their rather unique musical style has often been labeled as "blackened power metal".



The group began playing black metal with Dawson and Totman adopting the stage names "Behemoth" and "Heimdall" as well as the genre's defining trappings and symbolism such as corpse paint. The following year the band was joined by The Magus on keyboards and drummer Mark Hamill from the avant-garde rock band Head Like a Hole. This line-up produced the band's first album Prepare for War, after which Magus left Demoniac.

Demoniac's next album was 1996's Stormblade that featured a slightly more melodic and catchier black metal style as well as controversial tracks like "Hatred is Purity" and "Niggerslut". During a 2008 interview with Kerrang, Totman was asked to explain what appeared to be a White Power slant to some of Demoniac's lyrics on songs such as these. Totman shrugged off the allegations stating that other members of the band were responsible for those songs but stated that whilst he did not agree with the ideas expressed in the lyrics he believed that - as long as the music is of a high standard - it is wrong to judge songs on their lyrical or political content and they could be enjoyed regardless. In any case, the later introduction of Herman Li, a non-caucasian, into the band would seem to indicate that the songs were intended to be tongue-in-cheek.

Following Stormblade the band signed to French label Osmose Productions and toured throughout western Europe on the World Domination Tour with Dark Tranquillity, Enslaved and several other bands. At this point Dawson and Totman decided to remain in England and Hamill departed the line-up.

During July 1998 Hong Kong-born guitarist Herman Li joined Demoniac and in October drummer Matej Setinc was recruited. The band began developing a high-speed melodic power metal style, dispensing with the black metal trappings and ideologies. In January 1999 Demoniac headed into the studio with Cradle of Filth producer Mags to record The Fire and the Wind. The original cover featured a black and white photograph of one of the band members drinking while having sex and was subsequently banned; the final release artwork was heavily censored, although depicted the same image.

While Dawson had played bass on all the band's recordings, the decision was made to then hire a bass player to allow him extra freedom during live performance. Diccon Harper, formerly of South African death metal band Voice of Destruction then joined Demoniac. Before the end of the year, however, Demoniac had come to an end. All members except Dawson formed DragonHeart, which later became known as DragonForce.

Dawson later appeared as a guest in the album Inhuman Rampage by DragonForce.


  • Lindsay "Behemoth" Dawson - Vocals, Bass
  • Sam "Heimdall" Totman - Guitars, Keyboards
  • Herman "Shred" Li - Guitars
  • Diccon Harper - Bass
  • James "FreekN" Jude - Drums

Past members

  • "The Magnus" - Keyboards (1994)
  • Mark "Adramolech" Hamill - Drums (1994–1996)
  • Steve Francis-Drums (1993–1994)



  • Rehearsal '93, 1993
  • The Birth of Diabolic Blood, 1994


EP's and Singles


  1. ^ Sanches, Luciana Maria; Rodrigo Monteiro (11 August 2009). "Novidades Musicais" (in Portugese). Omelete. Retrieved 25 February 2011. 

External links

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  • Demoniac — De*mo ni*ac, n. 1. A human being possessed by a demon or evil spirit; one whose faculties are directly controlled by a demon. [1913 Webster] The demoniac in the gospel was sometimes cast into the fire. Bates. [1913 Webster] 2. (Eccl. Hist.) One… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • demoniac — c.1400 (adj.) possessed, insane, earlier (late 14c.) as a noun, one who is possessed, from L.L. daemoniacus (c.200), from Gk. daimoniakos possessed by a demon, from diamon (see DEMON (Cf. demon)) …   Etymology dictionary

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