Throughout the past five years, Demon Hunter has elevated to icon status in the hardcore/metal scene. Any time you hear about heavy metal music nowadays, you're likely to hear the name of this band. Their fourth record, aptly titled Storm the Gates of Hell, picks up where their hit record The Triptych left off. This album may be one of the hardest DH records so far, and yet the most melodic at times, as well. Not one to disappoint their legions of fans, the band is releasing three versions of the same album, which include a regular edition (which will be reviewed here), a fan edition, and an ultimate collector's deluxe edition.
The album as a whole has a feel of taking on adversity as a Christian, not standing for compromising the faith and letting sin creep in. It doesn't make it fully as a concept record, but to a point, that concept can be seen and heard, especially in the content of the lyrics. Even with the title track, which doubles as the intro to the record, we see and hear the ferocity of Demon Hunter, and the meaning is evident. "Wake the lifeless, die to fight this, stand beside me, Storm the gates of Hell…" is just one line in a c all to arms for Christians who are tired of others who are living a lie. Other highlights include the pulsing hardcore of "A Thread of Light," which has such a driving drum beat and guitar sound that it feels like bullets in your ears, "Sixteen," a song written about Christians who don't live the way they should, and the closing two songs, "Fiction Kingdom" and "The Wrath Of God." These two songs end the record well, leaving only a short quietness between the tracks, creating a dark yet beautiful craftsmanship of metal/hardcore intensity. The album is not without its slow moments, as evidenced on "Carry Me Down," and the emotional "Thorns," which includes the cringing line, "Sister, don't you sleep through your own eulogy, don't sever what you are for what you couldn't be."
Overall, Demon Hunter has done it again. With intriguing and even haunting lyrics, emotionally driven moments sewn all the way through almost an hour of mayhem, and the intensity that the band has become so well-known for, Storm the Gates of Hell can almost be called the best album the band has released yet. While a few of the softer moments seem thrown in just for good measure, they add a distinct quality to Demon Hunter, setting them apart from other heavy metal acts. This is one record that metal fans should not pass up, while non-metal fans should take at least a listen, and see if they won't get pulled in to the band's infectious sound.- PReview date: 10/27/07, Review date: 11/3/07; written by Justin Mabee
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