Monday, April 5, 2010


Demon Hunter has unleashed another platter of metal mayhem upon the world. Entitled The World is a Thorn this is the Hunters fifth studio release. It contains just what you’d expect from the Demon Hunter crew, intense vocalizations with melodic harmonies, strong guitar riffs with pounding drums and bass.

Opening with a strong composition, in ‘Descending upon Us,’ that has some strong riffing and a very good chorus. I felt primed to hear some new intense Demon Hunter sounds. Yet after a rather odd short composition with ‘Lifewar’ the disc moves into its first blatant single in ‘Collapsing.’ I must admit at first hearing what sounded like a sequenced guitar or keyboard part my excitement dropped the first time. The song has a good melody and hard moments but it felt to me like such a blatant attempt to get radio play.

‘This is the Line’ moves the aggression meter up a few notches again with strong guitars and intense vocals. Yet when ‘Driving the Nails’ comes on it again felt to me like a blatant pandering to get radio play. Complete with a string arrangement; the melody is haunting and effective however ‘Heartstrings Come Undone’ from Summer of Darkness is still the quintessential Demon Hunter ballad. Any attempt to copy that previous blueprint is just not going to work.

The brutality comes back with the title track ‘The World is a Thorn’ is heavy fast and strong. The song is very reminiscent of the title track on their last album Storm the Gates of Hell. Is a formula here being developed? ‘Tie this Around Your Neck’ & ‘Just Breathe,’ ‘Shallow Water,’ and ‘Feel as tho You Could’ all slip into a more classic Demon Hunter sound of strong powerful modern metal. Harsh vocals, loud guitars and up tempo songs rule this back part of the disc. Why weren’t the songs ordered differently I wonder? That might’ve given the disc a harder feel.

Album closer ‘Blood in the Tears’ is yet again a ballad; A bit of melodic whimsy with a similar feel as ‘Driving the Nails’ minus the strings but perhaps a more genuine feel.

I’ve liked Demon Hunter since I first saw the video for ‘Infected’ on MTV2’s Headbangers Ball. At the time I couldn’t believe I was seeing a Christian band playing this style of tunes this well. That was 2003 and Demon Hunter has continued to grow and improve with each disc. However since The Triptych it just seems to me that their producers have continued to mold them into something that they weren’t originally. Slick and polished with a perfect sound. There’s nothing wrong with that but it almost feels like all the emotion is stripped out of the performance.

I think The World is a Thorn is a good Demon Hunter album. If the songs were in a different order it would be much heavier in feel. Yet the way it’s arranged it feels like a slickly produced modern metal album which aims for perfection with studio tricks and high tech production. That’s not all bad but it just feels like I’ve heard this before.

6 axes

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