Saturday, April 8, 2017

Demon Hunter - Outlive (2017)

Whenever I do a review of a band that I have reviewed before, I tend to check back on my older reviews, to remind me of what the previous records sounded like, and while most of my older reviews are of lesser quality, they still have some good points that I still stand behind. One perfect example is the review of Demon Hunter's "Extremist", where I stated that the band always have one or two songs per album, with the rest being filler. Well, another album is here, and it is truly the same old song and dance.

Another cover with their trademark devil skull, another 12-pack of decent to mediocre metalcore songs, and another clean but stale production work. yeah, it is more of the same that we have been used to from the band, and it is just tiring at this point. This band has its own sound and obviously know how to make great songs, they just do not make enough of them to fill a full album. At this point, they are becoming a Motörhead of metalcore, just not as witty or interesting.

As stated before though, there are always a couple of songs that do catch my interest in every album, and the same goes for "Outlive". "Jesus Wept" is one of those few really heavy outbursts the band manages from time to time, and it works well sitting behind the slow opener "Trying Times", jumpstarting the album with its aggressive tone. It does feel out of place with the rest of "Outlive", but trust me, it is a much needed track when you know about the rest. "Patience" is also a nice song, a classic Demon Hunter song that is very easy to like, with good rhythms and a pleasant chorus. The last song "Slight The Odds" is fairly decent too, experimenting with violins to give a more classical sound (it is a little dragged out though).

The rest of the album is just one big meh, nothing to really discuss about. I think the main problem here is that most of the songs on "Outlive" just does not have any energy at all, playing in a lifeless manner that does not require much effort at all. It does not feel like the band is trying at all here, and if they are, then they are clearly stuck, because it is just more of the same. Close to everything in here is so incredibly bland, nothing is memorable (well, except for the god awful Hatebreed/Cradle of Filth/Lamb of God ripoff "One Less", you will remember that). It just makes me feel more and more tired, and that is definitely not a feeling I want from a metal album, that is for sure.

I try to find as many positive things here as possible, but there are few straws to be found. The performances are just really forgettable, the production does not help to raise the quality at all, and the lyrics are nothing special either. However, I should mention that we are not dealing with a bad album here, just a really bland and uninspiring one. The band still does their own thing, and while it may not be very original, I gotta commend them for sticking to their guns. Still, it is guns with little to no real ammo.

In conclusion, "Outlive" is just like any Demon Hunter album out there, only that it is way more tiring. It got some neat songs, but that is about it. The band is still in their little limbo, trying to mix in the soft and the heavy in a mix that just does not mix very well. When the one thing that has changed the most between records are the album artwork, then that is evidence enough to that you might want to search for a new direction, something to shake the life out of this band. I really want the band to succeed some time in the future, just once make an album that is kickass all the way through, but I am afraid that train has already left the station

Songs worthy of recognition: Patience, Jesus Wept, Slight The Odds

Rating: 4/10 Trying Times

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