Ranking Demon Hunter’s Discography
March 17, 2011Posted by on
Say what you will about the name of their band and their logo, I am a fan of Demon Hunter. So much so that I, like many of the “Blessed Resistance” who I’m not affiliated with, wanted to get a tattoo of their infamous logo. It all started when my two metal-head youth pastors introduced me to Demon Hunter and they instantly became one of my favorite metal bands and practically aided in my introduction to the genre itself. With such a passion for the band the task of ranking their albums seems a daunting one. So below I will attempt such a feat.
#5 Self Titled
After the short-lived Focal Point (which I mildly enjoyed) and the departed Training For Utopia (still to this day I can’t get into), Demon Hunter mysteriously burst onto the scene with a sound that mixed nu metal, Slipknot, and hardcore. While it didn’t take long for the band member’s identities to be revealed, the music spoke for itself in a way that hard-hitting but melodic. While “As We Wept” and “Turn Your Back And Run” can easily get stuck in my head, the album’s highlight is definitely the catchy and brutal “Infected.” While I love the brief hardcore Demon Hunter, they would later perfect their mix of melodic and extreme years later.
#4 The World Is A Thorn
Despite being promised this album would be Demon Hunter’s heaviest effort and delivering on this promise, the album has everything going for it mixing the heavy and progressive of their older work but doesn’t completely satisfy. You’ve got a new guitarist, who sounds great by the way, but maybe it was Don Clark’s departure that made the difference. While I adore the title track and “Tie This Around Your Neck,” the majority of the songs (mainly the ballads) are good but doesn’t reach the epic replay ability that I usually got from a Demon Hunter album. Maybe I didn’t give this album much of a chance and left it on the shelf too long, but “The World Is A Thorn” can’t compete with their other work.
#3 Storm The Gates Of Hell
Progressive and experimental are dangerous words when you consider a band like Demon Hunter. No doubt this isn’t as serious a change in style like Emery’s “I’m Only A Man” phase, but reception to this album was definitely mixed. But similar to my unyielding faith to Emery, I still enjoy what DH did here with “Storm The Gates Of Hell.” I admit plenty of the songs don’t have the staying power of their earlier material, but “Carry Me Down” has become one of the songs I want played at my funeral and the bonus tracks definitely makes it a complete package for all those skeptics. I mean, where else can you find Bruce Fitzhugh of Living Sacrifice (the first guest artist since “Summer of Darkness” on an Demon Hunter album) and Ryan Clark in a song together? Ah! That’s music to this metalhead’s ears.
If I were to pick one Demon Hunter album that I’d recommend a newcomer to the band or metal in general, it would be “Triptych.” It’s takes away much of the angst and darkness of “Summer of Darkness,” adds more slower songs, and even has a great cover song and piano ballad to end it all with. While the edginess of their last album is lessened, there is creativity to behold: The intro leading up to the beginning riffs of “Not I,” the song dedicated to our soldiers fighting abroad in “The Soldier’s Song,” the calling out of Scientology with “The Science of Lies,” and the last remaining trace of their self titled album in “Fire To My Soul.” While “Triptych” is a perfect example of today’s Demon Hunter and my passion for it is high, the level of perfection found in their previous album can’t be matched.
Summer of Darkness
As Demon Hunter switched from hardcore to their now perfected melodic metalcore, there is the stepping-stone of Ludicrous-Speed called “Summer of Darkness” that literally makes my brain go to my feet. Essentially it’s their self titled sans any hardcore feel and replaced with more metal, more effective use of clean vocals, and an additional ballad (if you can count “I Play Dead”). Not to mention that “Summer of Darkness” has plenty of additional artists (Trevor McNevan needs to be in more songs in metalcore) contributing to an already dark album and you have one of Demon Hunter’s best records in my book. But the reason that this is considered their best is because “Summer of Darkness” has an amount of creativity, edginess, and dare I say darkness than anything that the band has ever released in a cohesive package of shredding metal. For me anyways, I’m going to go with the darker album versus the album that best personifies what the band is today.
How would you rank them?