Keven's Music Review: DEMON HUNTER – True Defiance

Demon Hunter have risen far beyond the stigma of being just one of 'those Christian metal bands' ever since their blistering debut in 2002. Every couple years fans can count on some amazing album art with a powerhouse collection of tracks to back those sweet sleeves up. 'True Defiance' is the bands best since 'Summer of Darkness'.

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The sixth studio album from Demon Hunter is without a shadow of a doubt the band's heaviest since 2004 when they unleashed their sophomore effort 'Summer of Darkness'. From the opening and appropriately titled 'Crucifix' the guys are on fire. They still have many of those 'nu-metal' clean sweeping choruses amidst the chaos, but because they're so well done I don't find it to be radio catering. There will always be a place in metal for clean vocals and Demon Hunter has always maintained the balance between screams and singing very well, dating back to their debut.

Throughout the years I have noticed Demon Hunter mellowing out a little more than usual and exploring many symphonic elements in their sound, especially on the two records prior to 'True Defiance'. With their new album however the band has managed to recapture that angst of their early catalog and sprinkled that new style amidst the heaviness. The end result shows Demon Hunter at their absolute best. Don't get hung up on an intro track called 'Crucifix' as a sign that the guys will smash you with 'spreading the word' or something like that.

What I've always loved about Demon Hunter is how they've managed to create such great heavy music without ever coming across like they're shoving their religion into our faces. The messages will always be there, but you don't have to feel like you've just went to metal church after listening to the album. 'True Defiance' continues this trend and shows that you don't have to carry that label of 'Christian Metal' anymore. Personal values 'can' be incorporated into music without feeling preachy and Demon Hunter are masters at this.

'Someone to Hate' is an epic warrior anthem with one of the most badass yet subtle choruses I've heard in a long time as it involves weapons washed in blood. Album closer 'Dead Flowers' is one of the record's mellowest tracks but it's also the best song Demon Hunter has recorded since 'Not Ready to Die'. 'True Defiance' had a lot of pressure living up to that amazing album cover and thank metal Jesus it did just that.

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1. "Crucifix"
2. "God Forsaken"
3. "My Destiny"
4. "Wake"
5. "Tomorrow Never Comes"
6. "Someone to Hate"
7. "This I Know"
8. "Means to an End" (Instrumental)
9. "We Don't Care"
10. "Resistance"
11. "Dead Flowers"

4-5 Stars