Demon Hunter over the years, have made themselves a household name in the industry. Formed in 2000 out of Seattle, they have been instrumental in shaping an industry in terms of their influence in the music world. Over their lifespan their music has taken noted steps of maturity. Though not the most ground breaking unit out there, their albums seem to always catch the heart of their fans, and one can rely on their consistency to bring home a album that will satisfy.
What “True Defiance” brings is a clean, polished album of all the right bells and whistles shuffled into what one would expect from a Demon Hunter record. Heavy verses and clean singing choruses abound. Ryan Clark is a great vocalist, and he proves it again on this album, with his polished style of delivery that is fuelled with energy and commitment, and is a major strength base to each of the songs on the album. This album injects all the right goods to attract younger fans to their brand experience. So this would be on my list of bands to share if one was to get into metal-core. It holds down the fort well, and Ryan’s vocal transitions are comfortable and appealing. “My destiny” is one of my favourites on this release encompassing some great drumming by Timothy Watts, and overall does well on this album. The guitar work by Jeremiah Scott and Patrick Judge do their typical Demon Hunter riff thing, and keep it fashionably interesting throughout. “Tomorrow Never Comes” and “Dead Flowers” are good ballads, and rather than detract from the album, enforce the maturity and creativity of the band. It’s also great to see bands that live out their convictions, and are open about their faith and belief, and this is another consistency that Demon Hunter put through in their albums. Songs like “We don’t care” and “Someone to hate, are straight shooters in that respect, and drive hard the faith fuelled God focused message with conviction and urgency!
True Defiance is a roots album, its innovation and pace are synonymous to previous releases, and more than being different, its more nostalgic in value, and on that premise to a otherwise brilliant metal-core album could be the Achilles’ heel in terms of breaking new ground. Don’t read this wrong, this is a brilliant album, but it’s a side left instead of a step forward. They are just staying true to that which has served them well over the last years. There is nothing wrong with following a recipe that works, and is a known factor to the success it brings. But, If you expecting a new thing, you’ll find it lacks punch, but if you are new to the band, you will be pleasantly comfortable with the formula.
Even in its weakness it will catch you singing along, and is a tribute to the musical skill of Demon Hunter.
In conclusion its not an album that will tire one easily with its great melodies abounding through-out, locked in and loaded with great lyrical discourse that are seated in insightfulness and depth. The guitars come in strong throughout, and the riffs are heavy and catchy, and the entire assemble roots the album as a credible and leading purveyor of the metal-core genre. Both old and new fans will enjoy the overall package. It’s no award winning release, it isn’t going to leave you drop jawed in awe, but its tidy and clean production is a welcomed pleasantry in a over-populated and bloated genre. It’s one of the reasons, that a good album like this might be overlooked in the midst of an aging genre. The question is, is it strong enough, or good enough to let its head rise up amongst the countless amounts of rubbish bands that the genre has been infiltrated by?. Well one can only hope that the passion, excellent music and lyrical skill that this album exudes will penetrate past the sceptics, and doom Sayers of the genre, to stand noticed and counted. The album has become a commercial success, reaching No. 36 on the Billboard 200 and No. 2 On the Top Christian Albums charts. Well done guys!
Band influences are as follows: Coldplay, Radiohead, and Travis to more obscure bands such as Elbow, South, and Soundtrack of Our Lives. Obviously the Heavy side of the stuff comes from bands such as Metallica, Pantera, Sepultura, Prong, Machine Head, and Living Sacrifice
Review by Donovan de Necker
2. God Forsaken
3. My Destiny
5. Tomorrow Never Comes
6. Someone To Hate
7. This I Know
8. Means To An End
9. We Don’t Care
11. Dead Flowers
Ryan Clark – Vocals
Patrick Judge – Lead Guitar
Jeremiah Scott – Rhythm Guitar
Jonathan Dunn – Bass
Yogi Watts – Drums
Record Label: Solid State Records, April 2012
Demon Hunter, 2002 [Solid State]
Summer of Darkness, 2004 [Solid State]
The Triptych, 2005 [Solid State]
The Triptych Deluxe Edition CD/DVD, 2006 [Solid State]
Storm The Gates of Hell: Fan Edition, 2007 [Solid State]
Storm The Gates of Hell: Special Edition CD/DVD, 2007 [Solid State]
Storm The Gates of Hell, 2007 [Solid State]
45 Days CD/DVD, 2008 [Solid State]
Live In Nashville, 2009 [Solid State]
The World Is A Thorn: Deluxe Edition CD/DVD, 2010 [Solid State]
The World Is A Thorn, 2010 [Solid State]
Death, A Destination [3 album set], 2011 [Solid State]
The World Is A Thorn: Deluxe Edition (Digital), 2011 [Solid State]
True Defiance, 2012 [Solid State]
Buy the album here:
Holland & Worldwide: First Paradox Metalrecords