Demon Hunter, an American Heavy Metal band formed by the two Clark brothers, emerged the scene in 2000, and are out with their eleventh studio album “Songs of Death and Resurrection” which was released by Solid State Records on March 5, 2021. Ryan and Don played together previously in Coalesce and Neurosis.
Ryan had previously played guitar in hardcore band Focal Point, and released an album on Tooth & Nail/Solid State when he was still in his teens. Don left the band to pursue a career in Graphic design and family obligations. As a headlining act, Demon Hunter helped introduce audiences to bands like August Burns Red. They’ve co-headlined with Red and toured as direct support for both In Flames and As I Lay Dying in the United States and parts of Canada. They’ve travelled to South America, Europe, and Australia, headlining major festivals and club shows alike.
Songs of Death and Resurrection is an acoustic album with some of Demon Hunter’s ballads stripped down and given a second life with a great emphasis on keys and ambient soundscapes. The album opens with a humble “My Throat is an Open Grave” which is hypnotic, melodic and has a darker theme which is accentuated by the pairing of keys with the fiddle. “Dead Flowers” starts off with a marching drum beat and beautifully strummed acoustic guitars, the vocals take the lead and move song forward to drive the melody through and through. The song perorates with the repetitive chorus and bagpipes in the end.
“The Heart of a Graveyard” lifts the overall mood as it takes a happy and groovy turn on the track-list, and as it gives the listener some hope and consolation. “Praise the Void” is built on great soundscapes that pours a multitude of instruments giving it the magnificence and the soul of the orchestra. “Blood in the Tears” a tad bit slower on the tempo, is supported with powerful verse, repetitive throughout the track, puts emphasise and leaves a mark.
“Loneliness” loads up the baritone and builds a definite structure around the song, but by the second chorus we hear a beautiful melodic vocal which adds a lot of colour to the track. “I Am a Stone” catches a happy rhythm paired well with a marching drum beat. Ryan showcases his vocal prowess as he brings about different melodies and drives the song. “I Will Fail You” will win your heart with its beautiful acoustic intro, an up-beat track compared to its predecessors, nevertheless a ballad, although the string section towards the end brings in a cinematic quality to the song.
What stood different with “Deteriorate” was how Joanna and Ryan paired up on Piano and vocals to deliver a haunting and inspiring track. Pure bliss to my ears! “Carry Me Down” is lyrically a great song, and Ryan brings about magic with his voice. This new take still resonates and does justice to the original song.
“The Tide Began to Rise” takes time to build up as it quickly shifts and imbibes the intro melody to its verse. The song has a great chorus and we feel the whole band coming in and bring on great contours and texture to the song. The album culminates with “My Heartstrings Come Undone” starting off with the strings which carries the song forward where it meets Ryan and the way voices overlap creating a hypnotic soundscape, something of grandeur scale.
Production: The production, mixing and recording of the Acoustic Guitars alongside String section and Piano have been done really well. The sound is crisp and clear and mellifluous.
Conclusion: The juxtaposition between the original songs and the ones on Songs of Death and Resurrection shows the remarkable ingenuity from the band. Although I had my doubts earlier, but gave the album another listen and found it quite appeasing.
Written by: Ankit Sood
01. My Throat Is An Open Grave (Resurrected)
02. Dead Flowers (Resurrected)
03. The Heart Of A Graveyard (Resurrected)
04. Praise The Void (Resurrected)
05. Blood In The Tears (Resurrected)
06. Loneliness (Resurrected)
07. I Will Fail You (Resurrected)
08. I Am A Stone (Resurrected)
09. Deteriorate (Resurrected)
10. Carry Me Down (Resurrected)
11. The Tide Began To Rise (Resurrected)
12. My Heartstrings Come Undone (Resurrected)
Ryan Clark – vocals
Patrick Judge – acoustic lead guitar
Jeremiah Scott – acoustic rhythm guitar
Jon Dunn – acoustic bass guitar
Timothy “Yogi” Watts – drums
Peggy Clark – additional vocals
Joanna Ott – piano
Chris Carmichael – strings arrangements
Release Date: March 5th. 2021
Record Label: Solid State Records
“Demon Hunter” (2002)
“Summer of Darkness” (2004)
“The Triptych” (2005)
“The Triptych Deluxe Edition CD/DVD (2006)
“Storm The Gates of Hell: Fan Edition (2007)
“Storm The Gates of Hell: Special Edition CD/DVD (2007)
“Storm The Gates of Hell (2007)
“45 Days CD/DVD (2008) [review]
“Live In Nashville” (2009)
“The World Is A Thorn”: Deluxe Edition CD/DVD (2010)
“The World Is A Thorn” (2010) [review]
“Death, A Destination” [3 album set] (2011)
“The World Is A Thorn”: Deluxe Edition (Digital) (2011)
“True Defiance” (2012) [review]
“Extremist” (2014) [review]
“Outlive” (2017) [review]
“War” (2019) [review]
“Peace” (2019) [review]
Video for ‘I Am A Stone’ (Resurrected) (Live in the Studio)
Lyric video for ‘ My Throat is an Open Grave’
Lyric video for ‘Dead Flowers’