Demon Hunter – Storm the Gates of Hell

20 11 2007

Storm the Gates of Hell Cover

Well here is the long overdue review of Storm the Gates of Hell that I promised in my last blog. Enjoy 😉

The follow up to their hugely successful third release, The Triptych, Demon Hunter returns with a new album, entitled Storm the Gates of Hell. The major impression I get from the album as a whole is that they are sticking with a winning formula, as the sound is very similar to Triptych, with very little variation on the same recipe that made that album so successful. The guitars are loud and screaming, the vocals run the gamut from deep throaty growls to clean, easily distinguishable lyrics and the production is slick and smooth. The band has evolved a lot since their first release, most notably due to the increase in popularity and thus from increased attention from the label. At least, that is my theory.

As to be expected, there are some good and bad songs on the album, but I will get to that a bit later, when I do the track by track review. The 12 songs on the album amount to just under 51 minutes, which is a pretty good length for an album these days. When listening to the whole album from start to finish, it feels short somehow. I’m not sure exactly how or why, but it feels like it is over very quickly. Strange that, but anyway, here is the track by track review.

Track 1 – Storm the Gates of Hell. The title track of the album does little to ease listeners into the album. Right from the get go, your ears will be assaulted by what I can only describe as typical Demon Hunter guitar riffs, coupled with aggressive drumming that sounds like it has been lifted straight out of Triptych. Vocals are also typical Demon Hunter style, with deep growls that still remain understandable. Unfortunately, for those not familiar with previous Demon Hunter work, it’s kind of hard to describe.

Track 2 – Lead Us Home. It begins with aggressive, frantic drumming, which one quickly gets used to during the course of the album. The guitar hook before the first verse is kind of catchy though, and gels nicely with the rest of the song. The chorus is typical Demon Hunter, with clean, melodic vocals singing catchy lyrics. The bridge is also very similar in style to Triptych, with aggressive vocals spoken more than sung. Nothing special, but a nice piece of fluff anyway. The line “Lead Us Home” gets a bit tired towards the end.

Track 3 – Sixteen. I’m getting a bit sick of saying that it is very Triptych, but it is just such an accurate description that I cannot help it. I guess you have to actually listen to the song to appreciate what I mean. The song takes a while to actually get started, but when it does, the familiar voice Jon Dunn carries you away to pleasant memories of Triptych. The chorus is clean while the verses are growled, which, at the third track, is already starting to get a bit stale for a formula. The bridge is this song’s saving grace, as there is just something about the harmony of the band as a whole that makes it appeal to me. And the guitar solo just after the bridge is another bright point in the song.

Track 4 – Fading Away. The fourth track mixes up what was becoming a stale formula of growled verse – clean, melodic chorus. This time, the verse is sung in a a mostly clean style while the verse is a combination of growls and relatively clean vocals. The end part of the chorus is a highlight of this track, as the drumming goes into overdrive and the whole piece just has a lot of energy, which I like. Overall one of the better tracks on the album.

Track 5 – Carry Me Down. This track has one of the catchiest, albeit shortest, guitar hooks on the entire album, which plays at the start of the track and makes you want to listen to the rest of the track just to hear it again. This song is a bit of a shakeup, as the entire song is melodic, although the typical guitars feature still.

Track 6 – A Thread of Light. This track starts off rather promisingly but then quickly degenerates into mediocrity. Aside from a slightly catchy chorus, there is nothing special about this track. Typical Demon Hunter stuff.

Track 7 – I Am You. This song is rather fast, and is comparable to almost any other Demon Hunter track, aside from the slower stuff like Deteriorate and The Tide Began To Rise. Again, the chorus is rather catchy with a nice harmony going on between vocals, guitars and drums, but it quickly comes crashing down when the next verse starts. All in all, a rather forgettable track, with the chorus saving it from utter obscurity.

Track 8 – Incision. This track, like many before it, has little redeeming value and quickly blurs into the rest of the album, almost like background noise. If you are still awake and concentrating, the lyrics of the second verse are pretty good – “We held you up on high so why did you abandon us? We never thought you’d be the one to fall so far”.

Track 9 – Thorns. Track 9 starts with a rather interesting piano accompanying the guitars and drums, however, it quickly disappears before the first verse starts, only to reappear in the final seconds of the song. A real pity because I felt that it added a much needed dimension and interest to the song. However, even without the piano, Thorns is still a relatively strong track, with solid lyrics and a nice harmony throughout the chorus and the verses. The drum beat is steady and rather catchy, especially during the chorus.

Track 10 – Follow The Wolves. Follow The Wolves is another average track, with a beat so steady it could put you to sleep if you’re not careful. At least during the verses anyway, as the chorus mixes it up slightly with some double bass and a nice backing track for the guitar solo. In the end however, it’s just more background noise with very little to distinguish it from the rest of the album.

Track 11 – Fiction Kingdom. If you’re still awake by this time, you will be in for a pleasant surprise. The chorus (once again) is a major highlight of this track, and is catchy and has a nice harmony. Clean vocals sung in a very upbeat, uptempo manner, a very listenable drum beat and guitars that are not too intrusive all come together to create one of the best choruses on the album. Unfortunately, the track as a whole is let down rather badly by rather clinched verses.

Track 12 – Wrath of God. The final track in the regular edition of Storm the Games of Hell, this track features a very vocal approach, with verses done in a guttural growl, which are juxtaposed against the clean vocals of the chorus, with very little variation from other instruments between chorus and verse. The guitar solo in this track deserves special mention, as it sounds pretty impressive, and is well backed up by the drumming. However, it is only a brief respite from the mediocre that is the rest of the song, and indeed, this album in general.

As you can probably tell from the track by track review above, I was not that impressed with this album. It is a lot softer than any of their previous releases, which seems to be a sad affliction that is hitting a lot of bands these days. Would I recommend that you buy this album? Well, that is a difficult decision. I think if you are a fan of The Triptych you will like this, but don’t expect this album to be as good as it. Think of it as a little brother of Triptych: Still pretty good, and very similar to it, but not quite as good. I feel that the emphasis on the music has shifted to a more radio friendly approach, which has not translated well into the actual music.

Additional Links: Wikipedia Article

This blog reflects the opinions and personal feelings and biases of the individual reviewer. Bet This Is Original Reviews cannot be held responsible for any regret/anger/shame etc. or any negative emotion experienced from a decision made due to reading this blog. Always experience the product being reviewed personally if possible before making a decision to spend money on said product. Thank you for the time you have spend reading this blog. Any feedback in the form of comments is greatly appreciated and don’t forget to tell your friends if you think this blog is good and worth recommending.




2 responses

24 11 2007

I cant believe I haven’t heard about this album until I read this!!! I absolutely loved the last two albums, I’m sure I’ll enjoy this one! Thanks for the heads up. Nice review.

12 12 2008

hey can i use this image to put on a T shirt send me an answer on my email at pleaze

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