Demon Hunter
Storm the Gates of Hell


3.0
good

Review

by Steven McMahan USER (49 Reviews)
November 6th, 2007 | 112 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Demon Hunter’s fourth album is a mixed bag of improvement and regression, and the overall quality is about the same as their last release (if not just a little below it).

Demon Hunter is:
Ryan Clark – Vocals
Don Clark – Guitar
Ethan Luck – Lead Guitar
Jonathan Dunn – Bass
Timothy “Yogi” Watts - Drums

With every new release, a band faces the question of what to do with their sound. How will they change? Or will they change at all? Will they progress, or get worse? The results can either be:

A) They will progress and get better

B) They will stay almost exactly the same

or C) They will get worse

So what has the melodic metalcore band Demon Hunter done with their fourth full-length album? The answer is a mix of all three. They try several new things, and succeed at nearly all of it.

But whereas the addition of lead guitar parts to their last release was quite an improvement, for some reason the guitars on this album have gone backwards. While Ethan and Don have never matched the technicality of a band like Killswitch Engage or Unearth, the Triptych showcased a lot of nice leads and two full-on solos. Even though they’ve bumped up the number of solos to three, too much of this album is composed of uninspired palm-muting. As a whole, though, the guitar work here is not too much lower than the previous album.

As with the previous openers, the title track is fast and brutal, pummeling you with DH’s take on metalcore. Unlike previous openers, however, there is no sung chorus in this song; in fact the only clean vocals in it are a few spoken phrases in the bridge before the breakdown. All in all a pretty good opener, but the best is yet to come.

Sixteen is probably the best song on this album, if not of their career. It begins with dark, somber strings that will probably make one expect a ballad that the band does so well.
But before too long the guitar and drums come in pounding. This all goes into a quick, almost punk-ish riff, which continues for about 25 seconds while the strings continue to play in the background. Then, in true DH form, a quick grunt from Ryan lets loose a monster guitar riff. The pre-chorus contains guest vocals from Bruce Fitzgugh of Living Sacrifice (Still one of the top Christian metal bands past or present, and one whose place in Christian metal Demon Hunter has said they want to fill. Also cool on a personal note, because part of an email I once sent the band said they should have him do guest vocals). After the sung chorus, verse and repeated chorus, a short but sweet guitar solo tops the song, which would certainly be a better single than Fading Away, which follows it.

While I personally find nothing really wrong with the single, it is one of three slower songs on the CD, and even though it’s definitely the fastest or most energetic of the slower songs they’ve done, the song is definitely not a good representation of what one should expect. (Think "The Arms of Sorrow" from Killswitch Engage). The lyrics are also rather plain, especially when compared to much of Clark's better songs.

Another (pretty well done) ballad of the album, Carry Me Down follows it, and things slow down only once more for another standout track, Thorns.
Several songs feature some experimentation with electronics, strings and piano, while also switching up the screamed verse, sung chorus formula once (see Follow the Wolves). Ryan's screaming sounds a little bad, probably because he's been doing "extreme" vocals for many years.

The bottom line: It’s pretty unlikely that Storm the Gates of Hell will win over any new fans, but it should please those anticipating its release. They try some new things and succeed, but the quality of the guitars has gone down (although not by too much). All in all, I’d say it’s at or just below the quality of their last release.

Pros:
-Not much has changed
-The vocals and lyrics are excellent as always
-Subtle experimentation, and some songs that not really like anything done before

Cons:
-Not much has changed
-The guitar work has gone backwards from their previous release
-Bad choice for first single

Recommended songs:
Storm the Gates of Hell
Sixteen
Carry Me Down
I Am You
Thorns




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user ratings (339)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
comebacktome (4)
A fast paced, aggressive album with some great vocal work and amazing tracks....

Joseph Scott (4)
This album is simply....HEAVENLY!!...

ThyCrossAwaits (4.5)
Demon Hunter tosses a juicy steak of an album to the ravenous wolves....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
November 6th 2007


15980 Comments


While Ethan and Don have never matched the technicality of a band like Killswitch Engage or Unearth
So, the guitar players are farily average then...
even though it’s probably the fastest or most energetic slower song they’ve done
I know what you're saying, but I still think that line is funny

Anyway, I've never heard them, and this review doesn't help any because it's geared towards people already familiar with the band.This Message Edited On 11.06.07

Digging: Necropoli - I

i am the robots
November 6th 2007


1027 Comments


lol so boring

BallsToTheWall
November 6th 2007


44407 Comments


Good review. Going to get this.

Digging: She Past Away - Belirdi Gece

ninjuice
November 6th 2007


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

[quote=WillieFisterbut]So, the guitar players are farily average then...[/quote]Sadly, yes.
[quote=BallsToTheWall]Good review.[/quote]Thanks.
On a personal note, this seems to have made me a "Contributor". woohoo!

i am the robots
November 6th 2007


1027 Comments


VERY POOR

BallsToTheWall
November 6th 2007


44407 Comments


Not as great as Triptych or Summer but good so far.This Message Edited On 04.22.08

elusive1
November 6th 2007


5 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review, ninjuice -- short and sweet. I agree about their consistency. I don't think
it's a bad thing at all, considering I've always liked their sound, but I would like to see
more deviation.

And "Sixteen" is definitely brutal.This Message Edited On 11.06.07

Otisbum
November 6th 2007


1912 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

3.5 for me at the moment.

It's like Triptych pt.2, but just not as awesome.

roofi
November 6th 2007


959 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's like Triptych pt.2...

Very much so.
...but just not as awesome

Disagree, I think this is as good as the Triptych, maybe a little better.
Congrats ninjuice. This Message Edited On 11.06.07

jrowa001
November 6th 2007


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

this album is incredibly boring

Wizard
November 6th 2007


19410 Comments


Not a bad review, album made me literally fall asleep.

Digging: Khonsu - Traveller

Crimson
November 6th 2007


1935 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Blandness

Chaosweaver
November 7th 2007


110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I am going to give this album a whopping 4.5

For me (a long time DH listener) the albums have gone in this order: DH, Triptych, SOD.
this one however tops them all, great ballads, crushing rifs, good clean vocals, nice harmonies, the list goes on. Plus I think that the band has matured in their sound a great deal. They seem to have upped the technicality a bit from the Triptych. Sprinkle did a nice job of adding some sweet stuff to the songs as well.

A few other recommended songs to add to the list:
Follow the wolves
Fiction Kingdom


botb
November 7th 2007


9681 Comments


Since I adore Solidstate and enjoyed the tryptich, I'll be looking into this.This Message Edited On 11.07.07

Itwasthatwas
November 9th 2007


769 Comments


The Triptych sucked and so does this... i fall asleep within two seconds of listening or so. The only vague interest i can ever find in demon hunter is that some of the clean vocals are good.

ddnyy11188
November 15th 2007


38 Comments


i loved the triptych, huge improvement over the stale summer of darkness. if this is close to that, ill have to check it out.

south_of_heaven 11
November 15th 2007


5433 Comments


This band sucks hard.

botb
November 15th 2007


9681 Comments


^^^
Not necessarily, though they do have their moments of mediocrity and less.

Slaytan
November 26th 2007


1186 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I could never really get into Demon Hunter, good review though.

jrowa001
December 15th 2007


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

this album sucks balls



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