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Friday, July 13, 2012

Demon Hunter -- True Defiance

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8/10

After two albums that didn't quite live up to their legacy, Demon Hunter return with their best work in seven years, True Defiance.
True Defiance features well-written songs, performed passionately and with skill. From the attitude and spirit of "Crucifix"'s garage-quality intro, it's clear that Demon Hunter are making a statement. And while I could nitpick that the drums are still a little too flatly produced for my taste (though Yogi Watts active playing is excellent), or that the instrumental, "Means to an End," is a little too simplistic for this talented band to include, or even that the two penultimate tracks are weaker than the rest of the album (despite the nice apathy/action juxtaposition they afford), True Defiance is overall a very solid effort. Standouts include the entire first half of the album. The band balance the heavy and the less heavy perfectly. Ryan Clark is back to passionately screaming and singing melodies that are excellent, and yet don't sound like they should be playing on your local pop station. The albums first ballad (of two), "Tomorrow Never Comes," is one of the best the band have ever recorded. It's full of emotion, a song for us closet-optimists everywhere.
This album, Demon Hunter's sixth, is about defiance, though. The band do a great job of combining the more overt Christianity of their last few albums with the deeper, more thought-provoking lyrical material of their earlier work. Also, they absolutely jam while doing so (and Patrick Judge's guitar solos are killer). True Defiance gives fans of Demon Hunter what they want, and it expands the band's sound just a bit more. The thrash of "My Destiny" is particularly satisfying.

If an album can make me headbang and have feelings at the same time, it is a winner in my book. For heavy music's sake, I hope Demon Hunter have at least another six in them.

2012 Solid State Records
1. Crucifix 3:44
2. God Forsaken 5:49
3. My Destiny 4:15
4. Wake 4:12
5. Tomorrow Never Comes 4:54
6. Someone to Hate 5:24
7. This I Know 4:04
8. Means to an End (Instrumental) 2:50
9. We Don't Care 3:37
10. Resistance 4:25
11. Dead Flowers 5:23

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