Hello again!

As you understand, we don’t often see the so-called “double” albums among the reviews, which come out in pairs on the same day. For example, the last such album was Oroboros from Scriptonite in two parts a few years ago (by the way, both albums were very cool by the standards of Russian-speaking rap, and by the standards of modern music in general). This release is an example of a double album in modern metal and, as usual, if you want a short opinion on this album and do not want to read the entire review in its entirety (which is understandable), the album is very good in its sound and content, but I could not hear nothing outstanding and super-new, which in this case is rather a plus than a minus. The album is a great combination of already well-established and traditional approaches to writing and performing, and as a result gives a product of a level “above average”, which is pleasant to listen to and which certainly does not claim to be of higher ranks.

This is Demon Hunter – American Christian metal band, which I learned from the comments of subscribers and thanks to the donates on our traditional streams, when we listened to the tracks of these guys with you. At that time, the band was interesting to me and I decided to check out this double release, although, as you understand, I don’t have that much context for listening to this band. That is, I didn’t really hear the earlier works, and therefore I don’t know what the guys did before and I don’t have anything to compare with, which is why I’m looking forward to your comments on how this work differs from previous releases of the band in the best or the worst.

The album consists of two parts “War” and “Peace”, respectively, and they are represented with separate releases, which is quite correct in its own way, because they are more than equal to the names in terms of mood and general sound. Some clever bloggers (such as reviewers from Metalsucks) believe that such a number of tracks on two albums is an indicator of the group’s self-confidence and their desire to give everything out and at once in the conviction that both albums will have amazing success among the listeners. In my opinion, this approach to the presentation of a fairly contrasting material is very literate and I support it because the mere fact that all the tracks were not squeezed into one release prevents the listener from getting tired and/or bored. Moreover, each listener is given a choice: either listen to a tougher and more aggressive “War” or check out a more emotional and ballad-ish “Peace” and this is a good curtsy towards different categories of heavy metal listeners rather than a desire to please everyone than in one specific listener group.

Nevertheless, as you can guess, the albums are also interconnected by some conceptual meaning, despite the fact that they are perfectly perceived and are easy to listen to separately. Album covers are made in contrasting colors: black – for “War”, white – for “Peace” and there is nothing particularly surprising about this. What is more interesting, these are phrases in Latin on the sides of both covers. I do not really understand Latin, but a clumsy translation of both phrases, if you put them together (yes, quotations are in Latin along both contours), then we get something like “war – in each breath, peace – in death, a needle – in the egg, the egg – in the duck ” (It’s a joke-reference to an old Russian tale, had to explain that if you’re curious). But seriously, these two phrases are characterized by the promises of both albums, which is clearly visible in the text.

The text of both albums is rather straightforward and eloquent in order to understand its religious foundation, but not to be stunned by its religious agitation of the type “repent, for it is coming!”. To be completely honest, I first read the text, noticed some religious biblical references, and then I read that Demon Hunter was playing the Christian metal. So, the text of the albums is presented by the image of a man who fought battles and wars, watched death and destruction, and suddenly he wondered: “Is that all?” and in his aggressive stories about emotional throwing from side to side, he says that he does not know what he is fighting for, that his world does not allow to have relativity and half tones in thinking and his world only consists of black and white (good and evil) and who absolutely rejects any help and participation in solving his personal internal problems. And in the text of this album there is an absolutely dark desperate side of human nature, mired in the struggle for something.

On the other hand, the text of “Peace” tells the reverse, more enlightened side of the personality through the rejection of all emotional negative and slag, acceptance of one’s nature and (obviously) acceptance of the divine in one’s existence. That is why it is often the feeling that the second album tells more about the afterlife, full of calm, lack of fear, anxiety and problems. And in fact, the comparison of mortal existence with war, and the enlightened life in God – with the world can be seen with the naked eye. Example, if in the text Cut to Fit is sung about “Now, I know my way, I found a world of pain and cut out a place in my heart to fit into it”, then in the same track Recuse Myself it is sung “Let me give up on myself, lose myself, exclude myself from this world”. Personally, I do not agree with the reasoning of the hero of the album. I generally disagree with the arguments of believers regarding reality, but as a piece of creative content, the text very well keeps within one framework and shows the progress of the hero of the album: from mortal existence in the struggle to calm and happiness in God and non-existence, something like that. The story is presented quite well and consistently, and agreeing with it or not is already the choice of everyone.

Musically, we have an appropriate contrast, albeit a much lower level of originality and creativity. In general, I don’t know that the guys played before, but with this album I got the impression of an average power-metal album with inclusions of metalcore and melodeath metal in its two parallel roles. The most important and most noticeable thing in both albums is the vocal, which makes the whole picture for both of them, because it sounds accordingly aggressively and toughly in “War” with transitions to chants and scream, and in “Peace” it sounds ballad-ish and more melodious. And yes, not to say that the couplet parts of vocals sounds something close to special and diverse, but the fact that I remember the choruses of the tracks even from the first listening already hints at more than sensible vocal songwriting.

From the instrumental point of view, I cannot say that I discovered something new and interesting in composition and performance, but I really enjoyed the content, sound and atmosphere of the tracks Cut to Fit, Unbound, Negative, Gray Matter in “War” and I was really hooked on the track “More than Bones” in “Peace” just because they sounded like good old alt.metal, power metal and melodeath. And yes, in terms of expressiveness and some kind of memorability purely from a musical point of view, “War” wins in my opinion because more light rock metal in “Peace” didn’t always come as memorable for me personally.

And yes, I will not be me if I did not say about the timing and duration of the album. I perfectly understand the fact that modern music industry is built on maximizing listens of tracks, which is achieved simply by increasing the number of tracks and I am very pleased that such a palette of 20+ tracks on both albums allows listeners to choose something according to their taste and listening preference, but personally in my opinion, it was worth weeding out a good half of each album, connecting the rest with some kind of skits or interludes and submitting them as one polarizing album “War and Peace”. In my opinion, by increasing the concentration of really punching and memorable tracks, the album certainly would have reached a greater favor among the listeners. Here, nevertheless, the effect of blurring out this concentration isn’t very cool and I cannot fully describe this album as a top one. Still, it is more than worthy of your attention, if you like Christian rock or metal. 3.5 out of 5.

 

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