Demon Hunter is big. They've headlined their own tour, had huge success with their single "Infected" on the now defunct mp3.com, and they're one of the premier names in Christian hardcore. So what's next on Demon Hunter's list of things to do? Release a disc as stellar as their debut, of course.
That's right. All of the hype, all of the praise, and these guys only have one record to their name. But that no longer remains the case. So, is Summer of Darkness as loud, in-your-face, and passionate as their self-titled debut?
The disc opens with the explosive "Not Ready to Die." Ryan Clark screams and growls his way through the verses, before moving into more of a melodic tone as he chants "I'm not ready to lay. I'm not ready to fade. I'm not ready to die" during the chorus. The song, talking about getting life right before the end, has a dark tone, as does most everything Demon hunter has recorded. But optimism is far from lost, "If 33 years could save my life, I've had 23 more to make things right…I'm burning bridges for the last time. I'm breaking habits for the first time."
"Not Ready to Die" fades and "The Awakening" begins, continuing the "growling verses and melodic chorus" formula. "Beheaded" is much more aggressive and features a guest appearance from Michael Williams of The Agony Scene.
Continuing the tradition of one peaceful ballad among the havoc of the rest, "My Heartstrings Come Undone" somehow fits perfectly with the rest, as "My Throat Is an Open Grave" did on their self-titled album. This time around, the subject matter is a bit cryptic, however.
The rest of the disc is jam-packed with blaring guitar and Clark's screams (As well as another guest appearance. This time from Trevor McNeven of Thousand Foot Krutch and FM Static). But this entire disc seems a bit more laid back, if there is any way to say that properly. Most of the tracks will leave you wanting to catch your own breath, but melody is carefully instilled in opportune places to make this release more accessible to rock fans.
Still, if you didn't dig Demon Hunter's first try, you won't find much to like about this one either.
But the rest of us will feel right at home in this Summer of Darkness.
- Review date: 05/10/04, written by Josh Taylor
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