Released: 2007, Solid State Records
Whether we like it or not the fire of metalcore continues to burn brightly, despite the fact that the genre stagnated about four years ago, and hasn’t produced a single new thought since then. Kids these days...man I just don’t know anymore. But I digress...
As you may have guessed Demon Hunter is a metalcore band. They’ve been around for awhile now, releasing their debut back in 2002. STORM THE GATES OF HELL is their third album and the twist with these guys is that, wait for it, they are Christian. I point this out so that those of you still reading a metalcore review that are bothered by Christian music can click “Back” now.
Personally, I don’t really give a shit which side of the coin a band is coming from so long as the music is good, and thankfully Demon Hunter do not take the overly preachy route with their lyrics. So, having addressed that elephant in the room, let’s move on.
Remember a couple of paragraphs ago when I said that metalcore hasn’t had a new idea in four years? Well, unfortunately Demon Hunter bears out my comment. Everything on STORM THE GATES OF HELL is rehashed ideas from metalcore releases gone by. The speed, the breakdowns, the twin pseudo-Maiden guitars, the angry verses, the melodic choruses – it’s all here, slavishly following the blueprint set down in 2001. Mind you, Demon Hunter are certainly capable musicians, and Ryan Clark has a good voice (a point where many metalcore bands fall down come chorus time), but there’s just nothing here that gets a rise out of me.
The other thing I’ve noticed about today’s metalcore is that some bands seem to know that they’ve stagnated, so they attempt to branch out to either be really “heavy”, or really melodic. Well, Demon Hunter is definitely on the melodic side of that scale. Once past the obligatory fast and harsh opener, sugary choruses are the order of the day, as the band flirts with modern rock at times. Seriously, “Carry Me Down” could be from the latest Nickleback album.
So yeah, this is another metalcore release. If Christian metalcore floats your boat, then climb aboard. I’m just too bored to care.