Solid State Records
There's a spiritual war brewing across the globe, in the heart of humanity - a war within, and without. Now is the time to lay aside the fruitless distractions of the world, to stand in the face of adversity, stake your claim and choose your side. Now is the time to join with Demon Hunter and Storm the Gates of Hell.
Demon Hunter's boldly titled new album arrives as the groundswell beneath the band threatens to erupt and dominate all in their path. It's fair warning to the cookie-cutter bands cluttering the scene and the vacuous mainstream alike. The "Hunters" in the "Blessed Resistance," as the band's most devoted fans are known, have championed the cause since day one and are making their voices heard throughout the underground.
Storm the Gates of Hell contains Demon Hunter's most jaw-dropping and aggressive material, recalling the best and brightest of thrash metal's glory days on tracks like the barnstorming opener and "The Wrath of God." Alternately, songs like first single "Fading Away" give the best of Modern Rock a run for its money, and the ballad "Carry Me Down" threatens to eclipse previous fan favorites like "My Heartstrings Come Undone."
"To deem the entire heavy metal genre as somehow morally unacceptable is a naive thing to do," notes singer and lyricist Ryan Clark. "What we do, as Demon Hunter, tends to appeal to young people. But instead of giving them a message of despair and hopelessness, we offer hope."
"Sixteen" directly addresses the milquetoast bands overcrowding magazines and clubs with this message: as more authentic music crawls and fights its way through, your fifteen minutes is nearing its inevitable end. "Thorns" is infused with a romantic darkness on the musical side, with a firm message against suicide in the lyrics. "Lead Us Home" is as big an anthem as the band has ever written. "I Am You" is another song to rally behind, letting the listener know that struggles are shared and that hope exists. "Follow the Wolves" encourages us to stand apart from the pack, to seek the truth and serve.
Lead guitarist Ethan Luck sets the frets on fire on Storm the Gates of Hell, with drummer Tim "Yogi" Watts raising the bar even higher than before alongside longtime bass player Jon Dunn and founding members/ songwriters Ryan and Don Clark, on vocals and guitar, respectively.
Produced by Aaron Sprinkle (The Almost, Emery) and mixed by Machine (Lamb Of God, White Zombie), Demon Hunter's new album follows in the wake of The Triptych, which has sold over 100,000 copies in the US.
"Undying" and "One Thousand Apologies" were staples on MTV2's Headbanger's Ball and Fuse TV. Ryan Clark was featured on the cover of Revolver in 2006 as part of their "Christian Metal" cover story. AOL Music named Demon Hunter one of ten "Artists to Watch."
The Clark brothers cut their teeth in the Northern California hardcore scene before forming Training For Utopia, an experimental and genre-bending noisecore outfit reminiscent of Neurosis and Coalesce who helped to shape and redefine the parameters of possibility within the scene.
An instantly iconic symbol (the skull of a dead demon with a bullet hole through its head) and an air of mystery fueled interest in Demon Hunter before they ever recorded a note of music. The brilliantly catchy and wonderfully metallic self-titled debut that followed more than delivered on that promise in 2002.
The band's classic sophomore album, Summer of Darkness, boasted guest appearances from members of Killswitch Engage and other friends and contemporaries. A heavy blast of power, the album also featured the beautiful ballad "My Throat is an Open Grave," which has become a centerpiece at many fans weddings. It also spawned the single "Not Ready to Die," which was featured on the soundtrack to Resident Evil: Apocalypse.
Demon Hunter's level of commitment to the quality and presentation of their music is matched only by their attention of detail to their packaging and overall aesthetics. The Clarks graphic design firm has been twice nominated at the Grammys in the design category. And their fans match their passion, proudly displaying their Demon Hunter tattoos in the "top friends" on the band's MySpace and other social networking websites.
Demon Hunter is an anomaly in today's heavy music scene, jettisoning fashionable trends and easily recognizable cliches in favor of traditional heavy metal power and melodic hooks. Storm the Gates of Hell recalls the best of the genre's past, from Pantera, Metallica, Sepultura, Believer and Living Sacrifice (vocalist/guitarist Bruce Fitzhugh guests) while looking forward at the same time, pushing the envelope with flourishing keyboards and vocal highs.
These are dark times which call for dark, aggressive and heavy but ultimately uplifting and spirit-filled music to help power us through. Demon Hunter's powerful symbolism speaks to greater truths that are out there to investigate. It is time to conquer the darkness. It is time to Storm the Gates of Hell.
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