Demon Hunter has released their seventh studio album “Extremist,” which shows off their talents, as well as diversity, as a group. Nearly achieving what almost every other artist cannot, Demon Hunter’s sound is something that can be compared to fine wine: it just gets better and better with time. You’ll hear that each song is totally different from the one before it, yet each still maintains the trademark sound Demon Hunter is known for. “Extremist” draws from metal and rock influences, leaving the listener anxious as to what will come next.
The album begins with “Death,” an epic intro to get fans pumped for what’s to come. The second track, “Artificial Light,” is the epitome of who Demon Hunter has become, and is probably the reason why it was released as their first single from the album. The song blends naturally from old-school metal to a thrashy riff that could get any crowd going. Ryan Clark (vocals) discusses the meaning behind this song in an interview, and he relates his distaste for lyrics without meaning.
I heard the voice of change / Behind a vacant note
Sadly, he hits the nail on the head. Many artists claim to have a message that they want to share with their audience, but have little substance to back their words. Various groups, especially in the metal/metalcore/hardcore genre, are attempting to be trendy by adopting this outlook of “positivity.” In any case, Clark uses this song as a message for everyone to heed.
The song “I Will Fail You” comes to grips with the truth of the human condition and our failures. Musically, the song takes a mellow approach to contrast the lyrics and the harshness of the truth behind Clark’s words. We will fail, and in some way or another, fail each other. This also coincides with our relationship with God and how our sins are representative of us failing Him.
Examining each song would surely be time-consuming, but “Extremist” is truly an album worth looking into in detail. I find myself enjoying Demon Hunter’s music on a different level than I would other artists. While many bands rise and fall in terms of their sound, Demon Hunter continues to put out material that is exciting and relevant. Fans of Killswitch Engage, Trivium, or As I Lay Dying, can truly appreciate this release. Clark provides both the screaming and singing vocals in the band, which makes for seamless transitions and a stark contrast to what new bands are churning out. What do I mean by that? Well, as where most new bands have a young, high-pitched singer, Ryan Clark keeps true to the metal sound with a voice resembling Jesse Leech (of Killswitch Engage). He also doesn’t confine the singing to every chorus of the songs, but places them in various spots to liven up each track. This album proves to be a career-defining project, and a CD worth purchasing.