Apparently Seattle, Washington’s DEMON HUNTER are the best thing since sliced bread. Of course, this view seems to be primarily prevalent amongst Christian music critics and lovers, and this is because DH are a Christian Metal band. In my research to find out some facts about the band (Metal Archives doesn’t even list them) I came across some reviews of the band that were not only obviously a bit biased based on theological lines, but also ones that are built around complete ignorance. At the risk of being controversial I think some literary criticism is due here. Over at jesusfreakhideout, writer Justin Mabee writes, “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” (caps are from me). Ah, the next time the word “icon” is in the same sentence as DEMON HUNTER it will most likely be the first time, Mr. Mabee excluded. “Storm The Gates Of Hell” is DH’s fourth full-length album, deluxe editions notwithstanding and it is quite simply the end result of the worst path Metalcore could possibly take.
To even consider this album Metalcore does most bands in that genre a disservice, and it takes a lot for me to say that. Those who think this album is a hard or Thrash album need their fucking heads examined or only listened to about 20% of “Storm The Gates Of Hell”. That is unfortunate, as the album starts out quite well with a speedy Deathcore track in the title cut; mixing a Hardcore sensibility with some tolerable vocals. From there STGOH takes a turn straight for Crapville and never returns. What DEMON HUNTER truly present to the listener on “Storm The Gates Of Hell” is a Melodic, at times Pop Metal album with some harsher moments thrown in for whatever reason I don’t know? The band should have just stuck with being a simple, melodic outfit with this release instead of the pretence that they are really some kind of heavy band. “Lead Us Home” exemplifies this with a punchy opening and middle surrounded by a painfully sweet chorus that is shoved down your throat. I guess some people think you only need to play a few rough, coarse blasts for an album to be considered really heavy. Bullshit! DEMON HUNTER aren’t Metalcore with elements of NICKELBACK like so many Metalcore acts; no they’re NICKELBACK with a little Metalcore mixed in; therefore providing my thesis, that this is the worst avenue Metalcore can go down, with its facts.
The songs on this album follow an almost perfect musical algorithm: Metalcore- melody-Metalcore-melody-melody-Metalcore-melody-melody…barf! Sorry, this type of Metal (?????) just makes me queasy, and there’s nothing on the album that redeems its nauseating tone. Let me just say also, my opinion has nothing to do with lyrics or DEMON HUNTER’s Theological beliefs; I could give a damn witch metaphysical inanity a band sings about be it Heaven or Hell.
(Online January 1, 2008)