With the lackluster release of their sophomore effort, “Summer Of Darkness”, DEMON HUNTER struck a nice little groove of writing generic and rather boring Metalcore. Of course, thanks to a nice little stint of video play for the single on the album this little Christian Metalcore act garnered even more momentum behind their outfit. Thusly, their third release, “The Triptych” came swiftly. Luckily for the band and for their fans, this release is a far more appropriate and memorable album allowing them to spread their wings a bit further.
On its foundational levels, “The Triptych” continues on the Metalcore path that their previous album had laid the bricks for. This album just happens to be far better written and performed. The band does experiment in little snippets here, but on the whole the band just writes a better Metalcore record. Some of this new found vision and energy might be related to the fact that DEMON HUNTER had acquired two new members (in drums and lead guitar), which are both a strong factor in how much better the album is.
Firstly, it must be noted that the guitars have taken a massive step forward here. There is now far more duel layered guitar work and leads that leach through. Hell, a solo even appears on “The Soldier’s Song”. This new layer adds a load more depth and interest to the album and is one of the biggest reasons that this album is as solid as it is. Too bad many of the leads and mini solos are pushed back in the production, but one can’t win them all, I guess.
Thusly, DEMON HUNTER has released a fairly solid Metalcore record so far, but the band does like to experiment with little nuances and details that may be lost on just a general listen. The easiest one to spot is the use of orchestration on the album. The opening track is a nice little operatic lead in for the first song (which finds a break in the song “Not I” itself) and is used later on in a few tracks including the piano driven ballad that ends the album. “The Triptych” uses even more experimental elements though including a random blast beat in “The Science Of Lies” or some Thrashy elements like a few riffs in “Fire To My Soul”. These just overall give a more diverse and deeper listen for the band and album that makes it worth at least a few spins.
The album’s largest flaw comes in the fact that over time some of the songs lose their steam and tend to feel far too long and far too much like filler. The end of the album drops off a bit and even the band’s nice use of Pop like sing-a-long vocal parts in their heavier songs and their ballads lose a bit of their memorability. This album produces some great tracks but just like the rest of their releases, it loses too much steam at times.
This album is better written and a far better listen then their last effort, but DEMON HUNTER still has a long way to go. I do have to give the band credit (and half a point) for their ridiculously bad ass cover of PRONG’s “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck” which is one of the best covers of the song I have ever heard. But for their own material, “The Triptych” is good just not quite to great status yet.
Songs to check out: “Not I”, “Undying”, “One Thousand Apologies”.
(Online July 20, 2010)