12 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After 14 years, the Christian metalcore unit Demon Hunter shouldn’t have to prove their heaviness to anyone. That said, Extremist dials back some of the nonstop intensity that characterized the quintet’s work in recent years. That doesn’t mean the band has gone soft and fuzzy, however—there’s plenty of unalloyed aggression in the service of the Spirit here. What’s different this time is a greater emphasis on contrasting textures, heard most specifically in frontman Ryan Clark’s deft shifts between harsh and clean vocals. He alternately caresses and pummels the listener on “One Last Song,” “Beyond Me,” and “Gasoline” as Patrick Judge and Jeremiah Scott lay down bracing guitar firepower behind him. Strong melodic content and feverish energy make “Artificial Light” a standout, while “In Time” churns on with particular ferocity. If the album leans toward musical nuance, its lyrics are more uncompromising than ever. “Cross to Bear” (a tirade against false comparisons with Christ’s suffering) and “I Will Fail You” (acknowledging the fallen nature of Man) exalt God even as they condemn a sinful world.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After 14 years, the Christian metalcore unit Demon Hunter shouldn’t have to prove their heaviness to anyone. That said, Extremist dials back some of the nonstop intensity that characterized the quintet’s work in recent years. That doesn’t mean the band has gone soft and fuzzy, however—there’s plenty of unalloyed aggression in the service of the Spirit here. What’s different this time is a greater emphasis on contrasting textures, heard most specifically in frontman Ryan Clark’s deft shifts between harsh and clean vocals. He alternately caresses and pummels the listener on “One Last Song,” “Beyond Me,” and “Gasoline” as Patrick Judge and Jeremiah Scott lay down bracing guitar firepower behind him. Strong melodic content and feverish energy make “Artificial Light” a standout, while “In Time” churns on with particular ferocity. If the album leans toward musical nuance, its lyrics are more uncompromising than ever. “Cross to Bear” (a tirade against false comparisons with Christ’s suffering) and “I Will Fail You” (acknowledging the fallen nature of Man) exalt God even as they condemn a sinful world.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

468 Ratings

The Best of the Best

RebornLeader1,

This album I can tell is gonna be the best they've had. Just think about the song "Artificial Light". Great lyrics and the music makes sense with what is presented. It's fantastically done and darn near perfect. This has been my favorite band since I heard them back in 2007 during a dark time in my life. And they've brought me to the light with how they know what others go through and put it into music and words so well. I've never lost faith in them on how well they'd make a new album and so on. Sadly I can't purchase their bundles this time around but I'm happy to see them progress like they have.

I don’t like it

Fallen 43,

The other one-two start raters just seem like people who don’t know what they’re talking about at all, so this is probably going to be the first legitimate two star rating review to go onto this album.
I’ve been listening to Demon Hunter for a long time. I didn’t know about them until Triptych, but I’ve bought all their albums since first hearing them and loved the first three albums and have had split feelings on the rest. This is the first one I’ve had just bad feelings all around for. Its slow and soft, which mind you, is not a bad thing in itself. Some of Demon Hunter’s best songs are ballads. But this album is boring slow. I have tried listening to the entire thing multiple times in one sitting and I just find myself tuning it out or just ignoring it all together. I have to constantly look at which song is which because there aren’t enough stand out qualities on most of the tracks to be remembered. I do like a couple of songs. Gasoline is my favorite of this album and will be in playlists that I make, and I do like Artificial Light, but most of the songs are just boring and I feel weren’t written very well at all. I love Ryan and his reasoning behind what he writes, but I really feel like this was some of his weakest work in many ways.
Overall, weakest album to date by Demon Hunter. I don’t care that it isn’t heavy like their earlier stuff, because I enjoy soft music as well, but as I said before this is just boring soft. I still support Demon Hunter and will until they’re finished, but this is not an album I will listen to very much.

About Demon Hunter

Sgt. Serpent, Chuck Knuckles, Utah Biggs, Arm, and John Gredal comprise the heavy, aggressive metal sounds of Seattle's Demon Hunter. They hooked up with Aaron Sprinkle (MxPx, Dolour, Poor Old Lu) for their Solid State self-titled debut, which appeared in fall 2002. Their individual identities were later revealed as brothers (and ex-Training for Utopia members) vocalist Ryan Clark and guitarist Don Clark, drummer Jesse Sprinkle (ex-Poor Old Lu), bassist Joe Dunn, and guitarist Kris McCaddon (ex-Embodyment).

Summer of Darkness was issued in mid-2004, after which a couple membership changes occurred. Sprinkle left to join Dead Poetic and was replaced by Timothy "Yogi" Watts (ex-Lonely Hearts), and McCaddon exited to be replaced by Ethan Luck (formerly of the O.C. Supertones). Triptych followed in 2005. Demon Hunter's fourth album, Storm the Gates of Hell, marked their debut on the mainstream U.S. album chart in late 2007. The concert albums 45 Days and Live in Nashville arrived in 2008 and 2009, respectively, followed in 2010 by the all-new studio recording The World Is a Thorn.

The group's sixth full-length outing, True Defiance, arrived in 2012, and proved to be their most successful outing to date, reaching number 36 on the Billboard 200 and number two on the Top Christian Albums chart. Arriving in 2014, Extremist was another strong entry into their discography, debuting at number 16 on the Billboard 200. In 2017 Demon Hunter issued the PledgeMusic-funded Outlive, their much anticipated eighth studio album. ~ MacKenzie Wilson

  • ORIGIN
    Seattle, WA
  • GENRE
    Rock
  • FORMED
    2000

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