Demon Hunter
Peace


3.5
great

Review

by Mason Pearmain USER (58 Reviews)
March 2nd, 2019 | 72 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Demon Hunter have aged, but they haven’t lost a shred of their ambition or self-confidence.

Double albums are interesting. When factoring in how tough of a sell they can truly be, they take quite a bit of confidence in one’s craft to even think about going forward with. Releasing multiple albums within the span of about one or two years is a surefire sign that the band are ambitious enough and feel confident enough about their work to pull it off. The drawback? Well, double albums can stretch bands thin and leave listeners wondering why they didn’t cut the weaker tracks entirely to create a superior album instead. What makes War and Peace such an intriguing effort is that while some moments could have used refinement, Demon Hunter have largely avoided the issue of bloat that projects like this can suffer from. As expected, War is the heavier piece of the puzzle, as it bears more similarities to their pre-True Defiance material while retaining the refined sense of melody found on albums like Extremist.

On the other side of the aisle lies Peace, which features a far more subtle side of the band that we haven’t really seen to this degree until now. The band’s focus on this half is not so much their tried-and-true aggressive writing but rather the more atmospheric elements they’ve been working in for the last few albums. Opener “More Than Bones” should tell you this right away; while it could have worked as a softer cut off True Defiance, the inclusion of a synth line sets it apart from previous work. This take on their formula continues with songs like “When the Devil Come”, “Bet My Life”, and “I Don’t Believe You”. The synth-driven “Recuse Myself” sounds like if “I Will Fail You” was filtered through the lens of Blue Stahli and given a fresh coat of paint. Not every song does as well at painting a peaceful picture though, as the title track “Peace” isn’t quite up to the task when it comes to capturing the essence of the album, and “Loneliness” feels almost like a B-side that could have been traded in for an interlude of sorts.

In contrast to War, Peace shows a more tranquil side of the band, serving to accent the dynamic of the project. That’s not to say there aren’t heavier moments on this album; “Time Only Takes” and “Two Ways” could have fit on the latest album from All That Remains, and “More Than Bones” builds up to a heavier breakdown, for examples. However, while the album still contains plenty of sections that throw the more hardcore listeners a bone, they’re fewer and further between. Singer Ryan Clark trades in his usual scream-sing dynamic for a much softer performance, somewhat similar to the vocals from a post-Discouraged Ones Katatonia album. On the instrumental side of the album, guitarists Jeremiah Scott and Patrick Judge trade in their blistering metallic fury from War for what seems to be a more developed version of what they’ve already done with the slower material off Extremist. Their drummer doesn’t miss a beat either; Tim Watts may not be up there with the likes of Alex Bent, Luke Holland, or Daniel Furnari, but he can hold his own just like he did in years’ past.

It’s plausible to argue that Peace is a bit of a regression musically, not only from its counterpart War but also much of their pre-Outlive material. Despite that, Demon Hunter manages to make it just as worthwhile of a listen as its ferocious twin brother. Whether it’s the gloomy pondering of “When the Devil Come” or the more tranquil yet somehow uplifting closer “Fear Is Not My Guide”, there’s plenty to offer on Peace. Aside from maybe “Loneliness”, nothing quite qualifies as filler, as every song serves its purpose in its own unique way. It’s not the opus that such a daring effort would suggest, but it’s a solid ten-track chunk of melodic metal mixed with a doubleshot of electronic ambience. I don’t know everything, but this much is true: Demon Hunter have aged, but they haven’t lost a shred of their ambition or self-confidence.



Recent reviews by this author
Parkway Drive ReverenceAmerican Football American Football (LP3)
Holding Absence Holding AbsenceBuckcherry Warpaint
In Flames I, the MaskBadflower OK, I’M SICK
user ratings (46)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
AgentDeathbat
March 2nd 2019


9596 Comments


Had this one on the backburner before I wrote my In Flames review, after this I'll be taking some time to relax on the writing for a bit.

Digging: Attalus - Into the Sea

Lucman
March 2nd 2019


2138 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice. Funnily enough, "Loneliness" is one of my favourites here.

Digging: Emily Scott Robinson - Traveling Mercies

AgentDeathbat
March 2nd 2019


9596 Comments


@Lucman: Thanks! yeah that one just comes off as too generic for even me. That chord progression in the chorus seals it. Sure Ryan Clark sounds great but that one just feels kinda...eh.

Lucman
March 2nd 2019


2138 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, that's fair. I'd say "More Than Bones" is my top pick followed by "I Don't Believe You." I just really like the opening trio on this one but the t/t kinda steers it off course a little.

Toondude10
March 2nd 2019


13740 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this probably could've been a better sit-through had they rearranged a couple of the tracks



still though, good album

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 2nd 2019


8883 Comments


Not too bad of a review. I think you repeat yourself/don't develop on points enough at times, which seems to be a bit of a reoccurring theme in your work. It's well-written overall though.

"could have fit on the latest album from All That Remains"

Confirms I will not listen to this lol

Digging: Ni - Pantophobie

AgentDeathbat
March 2nd 2019


9596 Comments


Lol, it's not an overbearing similarity but it's there. Ryan Clark is a much better singer than Phil Labonte so there's that.

bananatossing
March 2nd 2019


704 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good album, but War is far superior and probably my favorite Demon Hunter already.

AgentDeathbat
March 2nd 2019


9596 Comments


War's a lot more straightforward, I still like this a bit more because of the experimentation. Bands that stay the same from album to album get boring after a while. Plus it's nice to have isolated albums based on the heavier shit and the lighter, more atmospheric shit.

Inx5
March 2nd 2019


32 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Plus it's nice to have isolated albums based on the heavier shit and the lighter, more atmospheric shit." [2]

CaliggyJack
March 2nd 2019


2781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This band has never released an album below a 4 and you can't convince me otherwise.

Space Jester
March 2nd 2019


5896 Comments


How can these guys be happy with not progressing in any way for the last decade at least



Source
March 2nd 2019


9378 Comments


I did not see it coming that this band would last so long

CaliggyJack
March 2nd 2019


2781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Space Motorhead did it for 3 decades and they didn't have an issue



if it ain't broke don't fix it

Toondude10
March 2nd 2019


13740 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

some bands do it better than others tbh

Space Jester
March 2nd 2019


5896 Comments


Motörhead was also a pioneering band so their work is more acclaimed in general. Doesn’t mean they should get a pass for stagnating, I’m sure most people would agree their discog isn’t perfect.

Demon Hunter though...ugh, I just feel like they don’t even try. Nothing interesting going on in a single area, which is funny because I remember awhile back Ryan Clark wrote this bullshit article about “real” metal and called out bands that use synth beats over breakdowns for being insulting to the genre. Meanwhile Demon Hunter is writing poppy alt-metal songs that could easily get radio play on Christian stations and probably are. A Christian alt-metal band trying to gatekeep the metal scene is fucking hilarious tbh

CaliggyJack
March 2nd 2019


2781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRgDJ5yQhUA



This pretty much sums up my feelings on the band. Yeah they maintained a usual style that they constantly used every album, but they also used multiple music genres to add to their repertoire. There isn't a single album that is the same, even though the foundation has never changed.



They did not "stagnate"

Space Jester
March 2nd 2019


5896 Comments


Oh that’s an hour long

I’m gonna pass

Storm In A Teacup
March 2nd 2019


26389 Comments


Not a bad band.

Source
March 2nd 2019


9378 Comments


I like their first two albums



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy