Branden William Byrd

Reviews 12
Approval 95%

Soundoffs 2
Album Ratings 1125
Objectivity 65%

Last Active 01-24-18 3:38 pm
Joined 04-29-17

Review Comments 18

12.21.17 Soilwork Albums Ranked11.18.17 Demon Hunter Albums Ranked
11.03.17 Celtic Frost Albums Ranked11.03.17 Top Eight Doom Metal Riffs
10.24.17 Top Ten Classic Swedish Death Metal Ban10.09.17 Mechina Singles Ranked
10.04.17 Mechina Albums Ranked05.09.17 Top Ten Christian Älvestam Songs

Demon Hunter Albums Ranked
8Demon Hunter

These were indeed Trying Times for the band, and I think Jesus Wept a little bit upon hearing this. Bad song puns aside, Outlive was not a bad album. "Cold Blood," "Died in My Sleep," "Half as Dead," "Patience," and "Slight The Odds" were all very good songs, however there were too many moments that held this album back from being as good as it should have been. "Cold Winter Sun" was a hot mess of a song, and "One Less" just felt like an average at best Summer of Darkness B-side. It's still a good album in its own right, but the combination of how high expectations were for this album with how poorly executed it is makes for an experience that is overall pretty disappointing.
7Demon Hunter
The World is A Thorn

The World is A Thorn was Demon Hunter's first attempt to expand upon the melodic death metal sound introduced on Storm The Gates of Hell, and a pretty damn good one at that. Swedish melodeth vocal gods Björn "Speed" Strid of Soilwork and Christian Älvestam of Scar Symmetry made appearances on the fantastic single "Collapsing" and the crushingly heavy "Just Breathe" respectively, and other fantastic tracks such as the emotionally driven ballad "Driving Nails" and the incomprehensibly brutal title track gave the album enough variation to keep it from dragging too much. It's no The Living Infinite or Holographic Universe, but it's definitely worth the time for any self-respecting modern melodeth fan.
6Demon Hunter
Summer of Darkness

Summer of Darkness was in many ways an expansion upon the alternative groove metal sound introduced by Demon Hunter on their self titled debut, but this didn't come without a price. While Summer of Darkness had its share of amazing moments (among these "Not Ready to Die," "Annihilate The Corrupt," and "I Play Dead"), the entire project lacked the consistency that it needed to outshine its predecessor. Another issue with this album came in the form of its use of guest appearances, specifically Howard Jones' (Killswitch Engage) appearance on the admittedly fantastic "Our Faces Fall Apart," which is barely audible. On the other side however, Thousand Foot Krutch vocalist Trevor McNevan's contribution to "Coffin Builder" is one of the albums finest moments, and The Agony Scene vocalist Mike Williams' screams on "Beheaded" make it far more brutal and well executed than it would have been otherwise.
5Demon Hunter
True Defiance

True Defiance was an album that took a long time to grow on me, but the reward was definitely worth it. Fully embracing the melodic death metal influences present throughout The World is a Thorn, this album is home to many of the very best tracks in the entire Demon Hunter catalog, be it the Dark Tranquillty-esque "God Forsaken," the overwhelmingly heavy yet very melodic "Someone to Hate," or the emotional closing ballad "Dead Flowers." I could go on and on about how fantastic every song on this album is, but your time would be far better spent just listening to it for yourself. It honestly kind of hurts to put this less than half way up the list.
4Demon Hunter
The Triptych

The appropriately titled third album from Demon Hunter marked a change in their sound that found them right in between the alt-metal rawness of their first two albums and the more melodic metal sound that the band would later develop. This is one of the most epic albums Demon Hunter has ever released, with opener "The Flame That Guides us Home/Not I" and "The Science of Lies" serving as prime examples. That said, the best songs on this album come in the form of its two softest tracks: the emotionally overloaded and painfully existential "Deteriorate" and the tear-inducing closing track "The Tide Began to Rise." I don't know whether it's due to how well the album flows, how great each song is, how hard "Deteriorate" and "The Tide Began to Rise" hit me, or how well the band worked operatic vocals and harpsichords into earlier parts of the album, but there's just something about The Triptych that makes me fall in love with it every time I hear it.
3Demon Hunter
Storm the Gates of Hell

Take how good I just said The Triptych and True Defiance are and combine the two. That's how good this is. Whether it's the thrashiness of the title track, the impassioned desperation of "Lead Us Home," the dissonance of "Sixteen," or the dramatic dynamism of "Fading Away" (how's that for the best four opening songs on an album?), there is nothing not to love about Storm the Gates of Hell. Maybe it isn't quite their best, but if there is one album that best defines Demon Hunter's sound, Storm the Gates of Hell is it. There's really not much that needs to be said here; this album is one that speaks for itself.
2Demon Hunter

Like True Defiance, Extremist took a long time to grow on me, but this time the reward was even greater. This may be the single most dynamic and emotionally driven Demon Hunter album, and while Christian metal is viewed by many as just mindless worship music with distortion, Extremist is one of the most genuine and human albums I have ever listened to. The sad truthfulness of "What I'm Not" and "I Will Fail You," the slow, punishing heaviness of "Death" and "Cross To Bear,"and the heart-wrenching dynamics of "Gasoline" are only part of the overwhelming and passionate experience that is Extremist. This is the band at their most mature and most relentless stage of their career, and while it lacks technically (Demon Hunter were never a very technical band, but melodeth is a fairly technical genre), it makes up for this a thousand-fold with its emotional weight.
1Demon Hunter
Demon Hunter

Sometimes a band comes straight out the gate with an album that is so good that finding out where to go from its release is their biggest challenge. Demon Hunter is one of those bands, and while their 2002 self-titled debut isn't as mature as the rest of their work, the raw intensity and simple yet effective songwriting makes for an experience that is unmatched by almost anything else. The infectious "Infected" (pun intended), the Soulfly-esque "I Have Seen Where it Grows," the utterly hellish "Turn Your Back and Run," and the short, relieving ballad that is "My Throat is an Open Grave" are only some of the standouts on this chaotic masterpiece of a release. It's essentially nu-metal on steroids, and while some people may prefer bands like Five Finger Death Punch or Slipknot, I personally believe that with this release alone, Demon Hunter completely demolishes those bands. Call me biased, but I personally believe that this album is essential for any metal listener, regardless of faith.
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