Produced by Aaron Sprinkle (Anberlin, Emery) and mixed by Jason Suecoff (All That Remains, Trivium), True Defiance finds Demon Hunter continuing in their hard rock evolution while embracing the components that have always formed the backbone of their music: true metal, dark rock and balladry.
“This record is without a doubt our most aggressive,” says vocalist and band co-founder Ryan Clark. ”Every Demon Hunter record must be a step up from the last. I know that’s a goal for every band, but it seldom works that way -– especially today, especially in metal. It seems like most bands’ prime years are long behind them. I refuse to let that be the case for us.”
On True Defiance, Grammy-nominated artist Ryan Clark, Tim “Yogi” Watts (drums), Jonathan Dunn (bass) and Patrick Judge (lead guitar) are joined by their longtime friend Jeremiah Scott (guitar), whose credits as a metal musician (The Showdown) and producer (Living Sacrifice) are well established. The partnership marks a vital new chapter in the celebrated history of Demon Hunter, breaking and erasing the rules of hard rock. Not ones to rest on their laurels, however, the members have created an album that not only lives up to their own lofty standards, but sets a new high-water mark for what DH is capable of.
The DVD contains discussions for 12 songs, interviews & acoustic performances of "Means to an End", "Tomorrow Never Comes" and "I Am a Stone".
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Demon Hunter's "True Defiance (Deluxe)"| Posted June 20, 2015
In recent years the Christian music scene has really exploded into all corners of the music spectrum. Whereas before you had mostly worship music with the occasional rock or rap album come out, now you have genres such as EDM and heavy metal represented as well. Demon Hunter have shown themselves to be one of the pioneers of Christian metal music. Starting off in Training for Utopia, frontman Ryan Clark and guitar player Don Clark then went on to form Demon Hunter in the early 2000s, releasing their self-titled debut in 2002. Summer of Darkness followed two years later, with The Triptych appearing in 2005 and Storm the Gates of Hell in 2007. Two live compilations followed and then DH reappeared with The World is a Thorn in 2010. True Defiance was released two years later and their latest release, Extremist, came out just last year.
Describing the musical qualities of Demon Hunter briefly is a difficult undertaking, although many of their songs feature heavily distorted guitars with southern-rock guitar solos, speedy drum beats, screaming lyrics mixed in with clean vocals, and an all-around powerful edgy sound. This record displays much of that stereotype, but “I Am a Stone” features beautiful strings throughout the song and DH brings an instrumental to the mix (“Means to an End”), adding to some of the diversity.
This album is solid lyrically. While Clark uses Hell quite often, it is always to describe the place of eternal damnation. However, in “What is Left” a line reads “One solemn night I’ll take you / Down the barrel of my gun,” a reference most likely to Satan, but could confuse listeners.
Most of this record is honest about being depressed in our sinful tendencies. “Crucifix” relates to the “perverse generation” of Jesus’ time and how he took it all on the cross. “God Forsaken” sees us giving up the true satisfaction of Christ “For the passing vain inhale.” “My Destiny,” “Wake,” “This I Know,” “We Don’t Care,” “Resistance,” and “I Am a Stone” wrestle with similar issues. “Someone to Hate” resists the cultural norms and leaves us as being someone to hate, but it says something worth noting, “Taught to write the scriptures for our lives / We inherit the lies,” which most likely means that we should live by God’s standards not our own, but it also got me thinking about how we tend to take little “Scripture nuggets” and make the Bible serve our own purposes rather than what it actually means.
In the past few years, Demon Hunter have grown increasingly dissatisfied with the metal genre, much like August Burns Red’s J.B. Brubaker, who said "I feel like anyone who can pick up and play a guitar and learn to play a metalcore riff and any drummer who can learn to play a thrash beat over a breakdown is doing it . . .” Ryan Clark feels the same way, and he said of True Defiance, ““We’ve been extremely underwhelmed with metal for the last five years or so, and that’s been the fuel to create this record.” While it may not be my favorite album out there, Demon Hunter sure have stepped it up with this record and its success attests to that fact.
Graff, Gary (2011). Metalocalypse Now!!! Mayhem Fest 2011. Revolver. pp. 42–43. 1527-408X.
not as bad as twiat but not great| Posted September 17, 2012
Love the classic more retro metal feel in the clean vocals, hate the screamo direction on a couple tracks. love the new movement towards a more cleancut unit. some tracks are worth keeping, others are a drag. highlights are
4.5/5| Posted April 10, 2012
Demon Hunter's latest album True Defiance is an excellent metal album that captures everything that the band has learned from the past 10 years. The band has always wanted to one-up themselves on every album they make and this is no exception. It feels more aggressive than their previous album and they experiment a bit more with their sound by adding little touches here and there that break from the norm. This is part of why every song on this album is unique in its own way. Another reason is that Ryan Clark's vocals continue to be whatever the song calls for. They could be aggresive on one song, low and haunting on another song, or sweet and soothing elsewhere. The vocal diversity remains astounding and is one highlight of the album. The lyrics are also really good with songs that deal with growing up, death, life, and resisting temptations (which is a major theme of this album). You also have to be careful as many of the lyrics contain double meanings which could put some people off if they are not listening that closely.
Overall, True Defiance is another excellent addition to the discography of Demon Hunter. It contains many things that you would find on any other metal album, aggresive guitars, searing guitar solos, thumping double kick pedal, and an intense sound. It also contains many unique elements that break away from the monotony like vocal depth, experimental sounds, and great themes and lyrics. With all this in mind, this might be the band's best album to date and I look forward to what they cook up next.