Demon Hunter
Extremist


4.5
superb

Review

by Thomas Carpenter USER (4 Reviews)
May 3rd, 2014 | 87 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 (132)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Lakes. (3.5)
    The Switchfoot of Christian metalcore....

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

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

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

  • Elhanan (4)
    Extremist proves to be an incredible return to form for Demon Hunter....


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


6042 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: Aphex Twin - Syro

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


1933 Comments


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

Digging: Eluveitie - Origins

Toondude10
May 3rd 2014


4032 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: Queens of the Stone Age - Songs for the Deaf

Toondude10
May 3rd 2014


4032 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

And this got flagged? Nice job!

ASnideReturns
May 3rd 2014


4948 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is a really good first review. Have a pos.

I'm Agnostic and I love this album.

Digging: Rebirth of Enora - Downgrading

fromtheinside
May 3rd 2014


18363 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

pretty good review. i tried listening to this drunk months ago and it was one of the worst experiences i've had this year. you almost made me want to relive half that equation



Digging: Gehenna - Seen Through the Veils of Darkness

savaah
May 3rd 2014


416 Comments


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

Toondude10
May 3rd 2014


4032 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nah this is perfectly fine

Futures
May 3rd 2014


11185 Comments


lol

Digging: Gerard Way - Hesitant Alien

ASnideReturns
May 3rd 2014


4948 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Savaah, that's really not a good attitude to have.

this is more than fine [2]

Futures
May 3rd 2014


11185 Comments


lol [2]

ASnideReturns
May 3rd 2014


4948 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Futures have you even listened to this band?

Toondude10
May 3rd 2014


4032 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

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

ASnideReturns
May 3rd 2014


4948 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'll second that prediction Toon.

ASnideReturns
May 3rd 2014


4948 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Andy smiles at the fact that you're missing out on a great band by not checking out Demon Hunter.

Friday13th
May 3rd 2014


2478 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
;)

Digging: Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Solar Fire

Toondude10
May 3rd 2014


4032 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


416 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.





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