DEMON HUNTER – Storm The Gates Of Hell

DEMON HUNTER - Storm The Gates Of Hell
  • 7/10
    DEMON HUNTER - Storm The Gates Of Hell - 7/10


Solid State
Release date: November 6, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Demon Hunter from Seattle, Washington, found their home on the small label Solid State which is dedicated to Metal music with a Christian background. When you know that Demon Hunter are a Hardcore/Metalcore band, it sounds like a contradiction to combine harsh shouts with Christian messages, but -– it works. Storm The Gates Of Hell is Demon Hunter’s fourth album, and it seems although they are virtually unknown in Europe, they gathered quite a following in the United States and are able to sell a six digit number of albums, as they proved with the predecessor, The Tryptich.

Metalcore in general has a bit of a problem these days as many bands keep altering the same recurring recipe only slightly to compose their songs, and if that kind of Metal does not suit you, Demon Hunter will probably not change that. Then again, their sound is not exactly the typical NuMetal production, but has a tendency toward traditional Heavy Metal and Hardcore. The opening and title track bears witness to the latter. It is a strange choice for an opener as it is brutal (good for starting an album with), but lacks a rememberable chorus (not so good). Maybe it’s their way of saying “we may be on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball, but we still think mainstream sucks.” Most can relate to that, right?

Later tracks may not all show the same brutal straightforwardness, but can score with good melody and diversity. Of course, the appropriate breaks between fast and groovy parts are all there, but instead of ever repeating the same blueprint for their songs, there are a few variations audible. Most notably there are several slow songs on the album, some of which rightfully may be called ballads, like “Carry Me Down” and “Fading Away.” One of the slower songs is also one of the most impressive, “Thorns,” which lyrically deals with suicide from a Christian point of view. Another strong effort is “Sixteen,” which shows a range of sounds and varies between heavy riffing and mellow string parts. Again, the lyrics are well crafted and less preachy than Christian Metal bands often think necessary.

With about a dozen songs, the exact number depending on which of the three versions available you hold in your hand, it is no surprise that Demon Hunter cannot keep that level up throughout the whole album. A few merely mediocre tracks taint the overall impression, and for the true Metalcore fan, this album has probably too much of a mainstream approach as several of the choruses are unexpectedly catchy. Still, their sound is solidly rooted in Metal, and whenever it becomes a bit too mellow, singer Ryan Clark screams at the top of his lungs. This is the most striking difference to many other Metalcore bands: the vocals are diverse and always powerful. Demon Hunter is probably a real treat on stage if Ryan can recreate the performance live that he did on this record.

Bottom line, these guys know what they do, and they do it good. If you like Metalcore, you should definitely give these guys a try, even if they cannot reach the quality level of the last As I Lay Dying, Unearth, or Shadows Fall. Also, their melodic moments cannot compete with the top Melodic Metal bands. But, the mixture is quite interesting and original.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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