If there’s only one well-known Christian metal band, it’s probably Demon Hunter. They’ve been out for over 10 years now and they've become somewhat of a household name. We always have to hope that when a well-seasoned band like Demon Hunter comes out with a new album, it’s going to be a little better that what we’ve heard from them before. And I think True Defiance gives the fans exactly what they need and perhaps a bit more.
Let me start of by saying that this is probably the most aggressive Demon Hunter album I’ve ever heard. There seem to be less slower and emotional songs on this album than I’m used to hearing from the band. Lots more screaming, lots more double bass, and lots more double picking are all used in True Defiance. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a full Demon Hunter song where there was nothing but screaming and no clean vocals, but the albums opener, “Crucifix”, finally gives us that. Other songs like “Someone To Hate” and “My Destiny” follow the same heavier trend. I don’t really associate Demon Hunter with anything else than alternative metal, but in True Defiance, they actually straddle the lines of a few different subgenres. Some songs drift into a little bit of groove metal and there are a few metalcore-style beats thrown into the general mix of the songs. It was great to hear some of these different flavors that help it drift away from the same alt-metal sound we're all used to hearing.
Of course, there are still the slower ballad-type songs Demon Hunter usually does pretty well. Songs like “Tomorrow Never Comes” and “Dead Flowers” are prime examples of those classic Demon Hunter ballads. “Means To An End” is a slow, instrumental track towards the end of the album, but it feels more like a repetitive time filler than anything else. Actually, there seems to be more of the heavier songs than the slower on True Defiance. Usually slower songs on a metal album help provide some contrast and a little more substance. But with True Defiance having less of that contrast, the faster songs start sounding a little too similar. When I first listened to the album, the heavier songs started to lump together in my mind and unfortunately started to get boring. I had to return to the songs I favored more just to keep me going.
Amidst some of the boring parts, it was actually a good album. I have to admit, I initially didn’t like True Defiance. I have been a marginal fan of their work in the past but never a dedicated fan. True Defiance really grew on my over these past days It’s certainly not perfect and not the best album I’ve ever heard, but probably the best effort I’ve ever heard from Demon Hunter. It’s a must for fans, and a definite recommendation for alt-metal fans.
Favorite Songs: "Crucifix", "My Destiny", "Tomorrow Never Comes".