music-review_-demon-hunter-extremistDEMON HUNTER
Extremist
Solid State Records
2014

Extremist is Demon Hunter’s most melodic and–dare I even say it–commercial sounding release since The World Is A Thorn. I don’t mean that as a slam, either. Because, even though it does lack a significant portion of that ferocious heavy METAL I prefer, I still find myself popping this one on more often than not. I don’t know why, really. Because, while I can take or leave The World Is A Thorn, Extremist is pretty much in the same vein, but I listen to it much more often than I should.

It could very well be that, when this came out, it was at a very dark and turbulent time of my life, and the video pre-release they put on YouTube for “I Will Fail You” struck such a nerve that I imprinted on it, maybe? I’m reaching, I know.

Getting on with the music, the album starts off very strong with the song “Death”, which is a plodding, heavy-as-stink death metal bit that lulls the listener into a false sense of security before the more commercial sounding “Artificial Light” follows. Really, the jarring shift can give you whiplash. The next four after that one follow along with in the hard modern rock vein with “What I’m Not”, “The Last One Alive”, the aforementioned “I Will Fail You” and “One Last Song”, before getting a bit more of their old selves on “Cross To Bear”. “Hell Don’t Need Me” goes back to the heavy, melodic style, while “In Time” gets heavier, with a good opening riff and guitar solo. “Gasoline” is a curious one, as it’s technically a ballad, all melancholy and such, but then the chorus itself kicks into a mosh riff. It makes me want to not like it, but then hits with an awesome bit that…I’m torn. Really. Good job, guys. The album closer, “The Heart Of A Graveyard”, is probably their most commercial radio-friendly on the collection, with a straight-forward guitar riff and melodic structure. Decent song, yes, but doesn’t seem to fit in the band’s playlist.

Overall, while the music on Extremist once again leans more towards the melodic commercial side of the metals, I have to admit that this is the kind of modern melodic metal that I rather dig. Again, I don’t know why, as I’m a dyed-in-the-steel fan of the blast your face off style of death metal that Demon Hunter does so very well. If, however, there must be melodic commercial sounding metal to be had, at least this is done right. Not exactly heavy entirely, but pretty good. Recommended.

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