Demon Hunter Extremist

Solid State Records 2014

The hunt winds down.

Demon Hunter - Extremist


Extremist” is about as galvanizing of a title choice one can make while still keeping it classy. A word powerful enough that you’d expect it to encompass an ironclad statement; or at the very least, an album far more empowering than the conflicted mess of passive melodeath riffery and downcast choruses Demon Hunter deliver here.

The ominous trudge found on the opening cut “Death” does little but deceive in its projection of being a harbinger of darkness to come. To the album’s credit, “Artificial Light” keeps up the heavier front, bowing close to modern Soilwork and the like while drawing tactics from the Demon Hunter repertoire. It’s really not until three songs in when “What I’m Not” hits that it becomes clear: Demon Hunter have become more lamb than wolf.

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For it is on that particular track that the group unload an overbearingly sappy chorus that drags any of the accompanying chugging riffs and barked vocals into an abyss of rock radio-friendly mediocrity. Songs like the “The Last One Alive” and the acoustic-tinged “I Will Fail You” do little to correct the bland descent; eagerly adopting the mid-career bloat that bands such as Staind and co. have yet to fully recover from.

From then on a blur of half-hearted attempts at masking hooky choruses with the occasional barbed riff and hoarse bark ensues. “Cross To Bear” recaptures a bit of the bands fiercer side but it’s a mere skirmish in the overall campaign; a war ultimately won by a glut of tepid melodies and hollow refrains.

The obscured new wave/goth elements of the closing track “The Heart Of A Graveyard” are catchy enough to deserve a mention. But if anything it sounds like a slightly beefed up version of HIM. They say you can’t judge an book by its cover, nor can you judge an album by its title. Demon Hunter‘s “Extremist” is a prime example of why that rings true.