It's rare that a heavy metal band delivers on the promise of a record that's "heavier than ever yet more melodic," but Demon Hunter has done exactly that with The World is a Thorn, their fifth studio album.
The World is a Thorn follows the breathtaking and sometimes heartbreaking documentary 45 Days and a catalog of landmark albums that have made the band one of the most important in the genre. It was produced by longtime collaborator Aaron Sprinkle (Acceptance, Anberlin, The Almost) and mixed by Jason Suecof (All That Remains, Trivium, Chimaira). It's a pairing emblematic of how skillfully Demon Hunter has always blended metallic might with melody.
Songs like "Descending Upon Us," "Lifewar" and the title track are by far the most aggressive of the band's career and tracks like "This is the Line" and "Collapsing" are hard-driving, fist-pumping anthems while "Driving Nails" and "Blood in the Tears" are ballads the likes of which their fans, "the Hunters," both expect and cherish.
Guitarist Patrick Judge, who made his debut with the band on the Live in Nashville collection, is joined by new guitarist Ryan Helm (The Ascendicate). They lend their talents to a new batch of songs written by co-founder / vocalist Ryan Clark. Yogi Watts returns with another jaw-dropping drum performance, backed up by longtime bass player Jonathan Dunn. The World is a Thorn recalls the best of the genre's past while pushing the envelope forward at the same time.
"The album title refers to the often harmful and destructive world that we live in," explains Clark. "Most of the songs deal with the current state of the nation and the world as a whole. In particular, the lyrics take aim at the ideals of a Godless people and the depletion of our morals and values."
Demon Hunter has always been a Christian band and has represented their point of view strongly, despite the larger trend of watered down philosophies that straddle the line for popularity's sake. This stance has won them respect from fellow believers and opposite points of view alike.
"In this age it has seemingly become more and more detestable to be a Christian," Clark elaborates. "Our opinions on social and political issues are no longer tolerated as valid and we are commonly viewed as the enemy. Subjective truth, self-love, unrestricted perversion, the destruction of morality: these are the things that have ultimately brought us to a place of depression and madness.
"This album is the antithesis of the modern way of life."
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Rockin' But Weakly| Posted March 22, 2010
I like The World Is A Thorn. It was just too weak. I think Aaron Sprinkle didn't make the drums strong enough. The stand out songs were "Collapsing", "Driving Nails", and "Shallow Water". I just hope they do better next time.