Demon Hunter

As a Christian metal band, Demon Hunter stands true to their name in their newest album entitled Outlive. Their lyrics are packed with religious connotations and, well, Ryan Clark’s bone chilling screams sound like the roars of a demon—quite impressive.

But don’t let that scare you off: he and the other band members sing with that typical manly gruffness, but every now and then they’ll flip a switch and show a sultry sensitivity in their voices like they do in “Died In My Sleep.” Even when they slow things down, however, an edgy undertone lingers beneath the surface. On the other end of the spectrum, songs like “Jesus Wept” have their foundation built on the machine-gun speed of the bass drum, and I must beg the question of how that is physically possible. No matter the mood, nearly every song has that classic wailing guitar solo which either puts on an epic performance or cries out in heartbreak. Outlive is a proper representation of what every metal fan expects to hear.

. . . with the addition of a few surprises. One of the most extreme songs on the album is “One Less.” During the refrain, the drums will come to a complete stop and leave Jeremiah Scott to strum his guitar on each beat. A possible reason for doing this could be to put special emphasis on the lyrics: “I never wanted to be counted with the others; I’m not afraid to be the only one alive.” Yet another song, “One Step Behind,” is entirely different with its soothing vocals and a tempo that slowly ambles forth. Unlike the other songs, it features an electronic sound which carries a melody so chill, it’s reminiscent of Owl City. “Patience” begins with a gloomy piano solo which is abruptly cut off with that same-old metal sound, so fast it seems to run with the wind. Outlive ends with a song called “Slight the Odds” that ingeniously blends an edgy guitar with a classical violin which diverges from the beaten path of the entire album.

Metal has an acquired taste, but Demon Hunter has provided an album that sticks to the basics while spicing things up now and then to hold the listener’s attention. It is highly recommended for anyone who is new to the genre because it will provide a small nudge out of your comfort zone while adhering to the typical song-writing conventions. The only thing is, you should grow out your hair before listening to Outlive because you’ll want to properly head bang to that heavy beat.

-Sabrina D