Demon Hunter
Extremist


4.5
superb

Review

by Thomas Carpenter USER (4 Reviews)
May 3rd, 2014 | 50 replies


Release Date: 03/18/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Demon Hunter finally embracing their strengths....

Demon Hunter tends to be a divisive band in the music world; a considerable amount of metal fans write them off as contrived religious nonsense, and the average angst-filled Christian teenager heralds them as some sort of modern Metallica. The reality is that neither of these points are truly valid, and Demon Hunter fall somewhere in between. Each of their albums has its high points, including those that have received a less than positive reception (The World Is A Thorn in particular). Extremist's predecessor, True Defiance, saw the band pursuing a significantly heavier sound, but also expanding their melodic sensibilities. This lent the album a well-balanced dichotomy and came off easily as one of their best efforts to date. A sizable portion of the standout tracks from the release happened to be Demon Hunter's trademark melancholy ballads, and they seem to have recognized this to a fuller extent on Extremist.

Often labeled a metalcore band, Demon Hunter casts off much of their association with the genre on Extremist. It may come as a surprise to the uninitiated, but this album really isn't very “extreme” at all. The style flits seamlessly between various genres, including mainstream rock, melodic death metal, thrash metal, and even a surprisingly effective, borderline pop rock, song as a closer. Currently their most diverse effort, Demon Hunter show no fear of experimentation. Of course, they are a band that can afford to do this, thanks to their long-established fan base.

Extremist opens with Latin chanting and the sounds of pages being ripped from Anton Lavey's Satanic Bible (no one ever said Demon Hunter are subtle in their message), and segues smoothly into an absolutely relentless two minute display of heaviness. Sure to be a adrenaline-pumping opener live, "Death" prepares the listener for 50 minutes of sheer brutality and extremities. However, this is quickly found to be entirely misleading

The first two tracks are typical Demon Hunter fare, comparable to “Crucifix” and “God Forsaken” from the previous album. They turn out to be two of the most memorable points of the album, with choruses that will stick with you for days. Yet, it is not until the fourth track, “The Last One Alive”, that things start to get extremely interesting. Demon Hunter begins to exhibit a new knack for mainstream rock and metal, and this is not at all a bad thing. They certainly take cues from past ballads for melodies, but add a generally heavier/darker musical backdrop to the style. This results in a sound that is defiantly Demon Hunter, but differs greatly from their previous outings.

Naturally, heavier offerings make sporadic appearances throughout Extremist's runtime, the most notable being “Cross To Bear” and “Gasoline”. The latter is actually a quite satisfying hybrid between the aforementioned new sound and a more customary metallic riffing style. In direct contrast, “Cross To Bear” is a ferocious display of thrash prowess and makes use of especially vicious lyricism as Clark bellows, “not one of you bastards has a cross to bear!” repeatedly. These tracks are likely to sit well with longtime fans of Demon Hunter's brand of metal.

The production of Extremist is leagues better than True Defiance (which I found quite weak), and possibly their best yet. The sharp punch of the drums perfectly accentuates the technical riffing and smooth distortion of the guitar, and the bass is rendered virtually inaudible, as is sadly conventional. Instrumentally, the band has come miles from their lackluster nu-metal debut, making ample use of tasteful guitar solos like never before. Ryan Clark is stunning as usual, displaying an amazing amount of versatility and control over his vocals. There are not many faults to be found in these areas, or in the album as a whole. Demon Hunter have succeeded in making a record that is enjoyable from start to finish, while continuing to diverge from their established sound. They have demonstrated that they are not fading with time, and will instead continue to be one of the most prominent and evolving bands in the scene.


user ratings (161)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Elhanan (4)
    Extremist proves to be an incredible return to form for Demon Hunter....

    Christopher Geriak (4.5)
    Extremist is a phenomenal asset to Demon Hunter's discography as a whole and is well worth...

    Lakes. (3.5)
    The Switchfoot of Christian metalcore....

    JDOG (4.5)
    Demon Hunter release a career defining album and one of the best metalcore releases of 201...

  • GrimReaper (2.5)
    After releasing their two heaviest (and greatest) albums back-to-back, a more experimental...


Comments:Add a Comment 
LIONFURY
May 3rd 2014


62 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

my first review, I hope I did alright

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
May 3rd 2014


8062 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review, dude. Album is good and really consistent throughout, but I don't think I'm too crazy about this band in general.

Digging: David Bowie - Blackstar

LIONFURY
May 3rd 2014


62 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks! I guess I'm pretty biased -- I've listened to them since middle school

ScuroFantasma
May 3rd 2014


4909 Comments


Fantastic review! Especially for a first. Very well written.

Digging: Hexvessel - When We Are Death

Toondude10
May 3rd 2014


8571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

a considerable amount of metal fans write them off as contrived religious nonsense, and the average

angst-filled Christian teenager heralds them as some sort of modern Metallica.




You'd be surprised actually, a lot of people I know aren't religious at all and they enjoy Demon Hunter a

lot.



Nice review, but make sure you italicize the albums.



However, this is quickly found to be entirely misleading




Also, put this in the preceding paragraph. It draws focus to it and not many people are going to get it.

Digging: Dream Theater - The Astonishing

Toondude10
May 3rd 2014


8571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

And this got flagged? Nice job!

savaah
May 3rd 2014


516 Comments


this is a very solid review for a first. just listen to better music ;)

Toondude10
May 3rd 2014


8571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nah this is perfectly fine

Toondude10
May 3rd 2014


8571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm going to predict that he will say that he doesn't need to :P

Friday13th
May 3rd 2014


4513 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

My friends love Demon Hunter and Red, but I tell em all the same. Toon and Snide, you guys should prog

;)

Toondude10
May 3rd 2014


8571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm actually digging Porcupine Tree and it's really solid stuff. Not to mention I did listen to BTBAM's Colors album, which was amazing.

savaah
May 3rd 2014


516 Comments


Guys, just admit this is generic as metalcore or whatever can be, even though they have some catchy tunes here and there. I did liked The Triptych (a LOT) when it came out but that's about it.



Friday13th
May 3rd 2014


4513 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nice! Keep it up. Before you know it you'll succumb to my elite prog lists muahaha

Toondude10
May 3rd 2014


8571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Mongi's getting me into prog actually. Though for some reason I just can't get into Tool, though Eulogy is fucking amazing.

savaah
May 3rd 2014


516 Comments


lol

"I can't accept that people have different opinions."

and no, I bet this album is the same as The Triptych and anything else they've ever done

Toondude10
May 3rd 2014


8571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

There's more Soilwork influence on this really, not to mention the vocal quality is a hell of a lot better than the Triptych

Toondude10
May 3rd 2014


8571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Seriously dude, let it be.

titanslayer
May 3rd 2014


2713 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

"Well if you're so damn sure about it, go listen to it then.

Fucking hell."

Dude, I don't waste my time listening to stuff I don't think I'm going to like unless I know someone irl that wants me too.

savaah
May 3rd 2014


516 Comments


↑ yes, most reviews here act for that sole purpose

and what's with the fiery comments, ugh

Toondude10
May 3rd 2014


8571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

welcome to sputnik XP



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