“In seven albums, none of us have ever been this proud of what we created. It feels like we channeled DH from 2018 (minus any out-of-touch old man issues that some bands face later in their career),” states DEMON HUNTER vocalist Ryan Clark when speaking of EXTREMIST. Set for release on March 18, 2014 via Solid State, I checked out an advance stream here at Rock Father HQ this weekend, and while it would be easy to discount Ryan’s statement as being simply PR hyperbole… I think he’s right.
If the band did, indeed, channel a version of themselves from the not-so-distant future (after all, 2018 is only four years out), then we know that they’re in a pretty good place for a band that’s nearly two decades and seven records into their career. The first three tracks to be revealed to the masses, “Artificial Light,” “The Last One Alive” and “I Will Fail You,” are good representation of EXTREMIST as a whole – a record that rides in perfect balance between the heavy and melodic, infused with detailed lyrics and a sense of urgency usually reserved for young bands with something to prove.
Sample, Experience and Explore EXTREMIST via the Playlist Below:
Opening the album with an element of doom, “Death” is perhaps the Anti-GHOST, despite beginning with similarly-ominous chants before blasting into a caustic rage, clearing a path for “Artificial Light” and the remaining ten tracks to follow. Among them, “One Last Song” and “In Time” stand as highlights, while “Cross to Bear” is my personal favorite, having been replayed a few times already.
Listening to EXTREMIST this weekend, I’m very much reminded of how I felt when reviewing the CELESTIAL COMPLETION record by DEMON HUNTER’s Solid State labelmates, BECOMING THE ARCHETYPE back in 2011. EXTREMIST is an album that closes just as strong as it opens, plays well in pieces, but is a record that likely will not tire from being experienced as a collective whole. And the closing track, “The Heart of a Graveyard” stands tall as a poppy, yet spooky surprise – one that might even secure a spot on my annual “31 Days of Halloween” countdown later this year.
The Rock Father Rating: 5/5
Pre-Order EXTREMIST and more DEMON HUNTER via (my affiliate) Amazon (or iTunes):