Review Summary: The album has it's moments of glory, but some of these are overshadowed by almost forgiveable mistakes.
Demon Hunter, part time band from Seattle, Washington, take another swing with their album "The World Is A Thorn". Overall different from previous releases, but also a product of them. DH's last album, Storm The Gates Of Hell, was more experimental, depicting a band stepping out of their comfort zone. In their newest album, they incorporate some of those concepts, but altogether take a step back. That's not to say they didn't improve. Don Clark, guitarist and brother of lead singer Ryan Clark, left the band after STGoH, and his replacement, Ryan Helm, does a better job. The guitar work is much more technical, not up to par with other great metalcore bands, but still better than previous outings. The drums are pretty much the same, nothing stands out, but nothing's bad either. Bass is inaudible, as in 99% of metalcore bands.
One thing that's really taken a hit is Ryan's screamed vocals. They don't sound as powerful as they once were with their first release or his previous band, Training For Utopia. Albeit different styles, his voice is noticable worse. Better than some other bands of the genre, but worse for him. However, his singing voice gets better and better. His voice was good, though rather immature on their self titled debut. Now, with three more records under his belt (I don't believe he sang in his former band), his singing is stronger and better all around.
With that out of the way, this record features seveal guest vocals, and that is Dave Peters (Throwdown), Bjorn Strid (Soilwork), and Christian Alvestam (Miseration) on the tracks Feel As Though You Could, Collapsing, and Just Breathe, respectively. They all do a great job, though I think Christian's part could be a bit bigger on Just Breathe.
Every song on here stands out in some way; whether it's the marching beat of Lifewar, the melody of Collapsing, or the heaviness of the title track. Demon Hunter is trying to be different, which is a very good sign. When they try to stand out, it usually works, but sometimes it just doesn't seem to. The band's ballads return in the form of Driving Nails and Blood In The Tears, and they don't disappoint, though Driving Nails could be better. The album has it's moments of glory, but some of these are overshadowed by almost forgiveable mistakes.
This Is The Line - Nice heavier song with a chorus that's rather cheesy, but shout-worthy.
The World Is A Thorn - Heaviest song by the band, and one of their best.
Just Breathe - A lighter song featuring Alvestam, and my favorite.
Blood In The Tears - One of Demon Hunter's famous ballads. This is one of their best, emotional and great. The other ballad, Driving Nails, is worth a listen, hough is not as good.