March 18, 2014
Streaming bright light into darkened corners, Extremist by Demon Hunter spreads truth and hope through the soothing sounds of Death Metal. Bearing the old school, classic sound with brutal fury, they will melt your soul while firing up a mosh fest. The title says in a nutshell what the record sounds like. Extreme lyrics, music, and intensity, the Extremist will lift your spirits, encourage your soul, and pound you like a jack tamper!
Still gargling with sharp rocks and spilling poetry, Ryan Clark is lead vocals; Patrick Judge and Jeremiah Scott show no mercy with guitars; holding down the bottom end, Jonathan Dunn destroys on bass; and everyone’s favorite bear, Yogi Watts, utterly abuses the drums.
The first track begins with a tribal beat and Latin chant. It rises in volume and then, under the heaviest of rhythms and powerful description, heads straight into two and a half minutes illustrating “Death”. “Artificial Light” fluxes between Ryan’s guttural punch and his melodious clean vocals, all while the Demon Hunter crew exercises brutality with a mild breakdown.
“What I Am Not” is a classic heavy metal song that tells about the spiritual struggle we all face, and “Last One Alive” carries that classic sound through heartfelt poetry. In these songs, Ryan uses his clean range to bury the lyrics deep into your mind. When I think of Demon Hunter, I think of the lyrics and their delivery whether it’s extreme metal or mellow and full of melody. “I Will Fail You” is one of those songs that burns into my soul, without the music being insane.
“One Last Song” is tucked in the middle of this musical gem with intense rhythms, heavy hand on the snare, and speed to spare. While on the subject of speed, “Cross to Bear” is venom towards fake martyrs taking on their own punishments and the fact that they have no idea what it means to bear a cross. It goes beyond simply dragging one down Sunset Strip. Crucifixion was no joke and was meant to cause the worst of pains and an agonizing death.
“Hell Don’t Need Me” is a mid tempo ditty about finishing the race of this life into a better one, crossing the finish line, even if you’re the last one across.
Okay, enough with the merry melodies, because here comes the pain. “In Time” is an execution in brutality. The chorus breaks down a bit as well as the ending, but everything else is pure power. “Beyond Me” is a beckon to not let your heart grow hard and wander a road beyond the love of God.
Back to the grind in a slow-fast-slow fashion with another set of lyrics that light up the fire in your soul and smothers out the flames with “Gasoline”!
Extremist ends with “The Heart of a Graveyard”, a mid-tempo classic 80’s hard rock sound, (de-tuned of course) that poses the question of, “where do you find your hope?” He begs, “Tell me that your final home is not a shot in the dark/ tell me that your hopes and dreams don’t end in the heart”.
As a long time follower of Demon Hunter, I would say it’s like Part 2 of The Triptych. The heavy, powerful, and melodic tunes are equal, the lyrics cut to the heart, all from a band that makes no apologies.
Vocals are what matter, here and on every Demon Hunter record, the music is gravy. Demon Hunter delivers with Extremist, an album that will make you feel every emotion from sadness to happiness, loss to freedom, and finally hope. They constantly challenge the listener to look deep in their soul and seek truth. Demon Hunter embodies boldness, humbleness, and honesty, and they do it loudly. This record gets a 10 for its extreme stand for righteousness and extremely powerful band of musicians that make each song memorable.
Written by Tim Duran