Review Summary: a good release.7 of 9 thought this review was well written
Demon Hunter are an American metalcore band, formed by the Clark brothers, that have achieved a fair amount of commercial success.They are known for their breathtaking vocals and the diversity of styles they can play in. The World Is A Thorn was their fifth studio album, and contained 11 tracks. It was given mixed reviews by critics, some saying it was a good album, and a step forward, whilst others claimed it to be a terrible release from the band. I confess that i fit into the first category, for a number of reasons.
The song Tie This Around Your Neck from this album was the first song i ever heard from the band, and is a fair inclination to the sound of this band, as well as being one of the better songs on the album. It has a very fast, heavy verse, with a pulsing beat to it that flows tremendosly. The guitar work is nicely done as well, with some incredibly angry screams from Ryan Clark. Then, the song shifts into its incredibly melodic chorus, with some fantastic clean vocals, before going into the heaviest section of the song. A fantastic song, that gives a good idea to how this band sounds when they do their songs correctly.
Collapsing is another highlight of the album, featuring Bjorn Strid of Soilwork. This is a much softer song by the band, in the vein of a song such as Carry Me Down from Storm The Gates Of Hell. It is a very nicely written song, with some great lyrics to it, and is really sing a long friendly, without ever compromising its musical integrity. This is one of the best songs the band ever put out, with that really nice guitar intro, and the incredible vocals from Ryan.
Descending Upon Us is a magnificent intro to the album, containing a beautifully composed clean intro, some amazing drumming, great screams from Clark and decent guitar work. However, it really comes into its own during the chorus, which contains one of my favourite moments of Ryan's clean vocals. He really does sound fantastic on here, and it is clear he has come a long way since the days of Infected.
The title track is a thrashing, heavy song that never takes its foot off the listeners throat, Driving Nails has some of the best clean vocals from the album, and Just Breathe has a almost dubstep intro that really adds to the song for once, before having a fantastic chorus to it, and even a good solo. These are the other three songs that are really worth a listen. They all have good elements that make them worth a listen. If only the whole album were like this.
However, the band made the poor decision to include some songs that either go on too long or do not have enough going for them, or even a song that is completely redundant in every sense of the word. This song is Lifewar. Lifewar attempts to bring back the relentless feeling of the title track from Storm the Gates of Hell or some of their earliest material, but fails completely. For one, Ryan Clark's screams are not quite as powerful as they were back then, plus there is the completely pointless series of screams of "LifeWar"that take up the last half a minute. A truly terrible song.
Shallow Water has a very good drum intro from Timothy Watts, before the guitar comes in. And it is around there that the song starts getting back. The guitar work is bland, and completely devoid of emotion, and Ryan's cleans on here are some of the worst on the album. It is not a bad song, but it does not stand up to the stronger cuts. The screaming takes away from the song as well, as he attempts too much layering at times.
This album still manages to be one of the strongest in the band's catalogue, whilst not being as good as their first album or my personal favourite, Storm The Gates Of Hell. The already mentioned good songs are the reasons to pick this album up, as with any album. They are really solid tracks, where the musicianship is as tight as ever. Just ignore LifeWar and Shallow Water. 3.5/5