I am going to start off this review with the admission that I am not much of a “metalcore” fan. Very few of the “core” bands really appeal to me. I find their music to be far too simplistic, repetitive and too similar to all the other core bands – very few of them really stand out. I occasionally will listen to a metalcore band, but tend to limit my consumption to Lamb of God, Sevendust, or some limited selections from Trivium. That’s about it, because they seem to bring something slightly different to the genre. I volunteered to review Demon Hunter’s True Defiance with hopes it would be something different.
I was let down. The music is usually very simplistic and lacks some creativity, particularly in the construct of the songs. This is not to say there were no redeeming values of the music on True Defiance. I liked the speedy parts of Crucifix. I also enjoyed a couple of the nicely executed guitar solos (Resistance in particular), but they weren’t nearly enough of them. The riffing mostly left me indifferent, lots of breakdowns, and I really wanted some of the songs to end quickly. The drumming was fast and solid, but again, lacked much creativity. The clean singing was not as strong as I like, actually kind of weak in places. Admittedly the lyrical content is different from most bands, having an overtly Christian theme. That is certainly different and sort of refreshing. The cover art is also cool, but I am not going to sit and look at it – it’s the music that truly counts.
Where Demon Hunter truly lost me was what sounds like the use of a voice modulator in the second verse of the song Tomorrow Never Comes (an otherwise decent ballad) – something that would be used on a rap album or some kind of pop song, I suppose. That should NEVER be used on a metal album. NEVER. I was a bit shocked and really disappointed that they did that. With a name like Demon Hunter, I pretty much expected all out aggression – not that tripe. There are really no memorable tracks, hooks, melodies, or choruses to be found on True Defiance. The best song was probably Someone to Hate, but it isn’t one I am going to be listening to much at all in the future.
I keep trying to find some of the more “modern” bands that I like, but their sameness just gets old after a while…a short while. As a consumer of a wide variety of metal, Demon Hunter did nothing but confirm my antipathy for the metalcore genre by not bringing anything new to the table and sounding like a thousand other bands out there. There may be fans of Demon Hunter who think this is Album of the Year, but not in my book. True Defiance didn’t seem to defy much of anything in the conventional metalcore world.
For my Christian metal, I will take these guys:
I hear the sound in a METAL way.