Metal-Bro (mini) Album Review: “The World Is A Thorn” by DEMON HUNTER

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Tonight’s the night, Bros and Brodettes! Demon in the flesh at the Manning Bar in Sydney! Stay tuned in the next few days for a detailed recount of the night. I’m sure you’ll not be disappointed.

I wanted to get through more DEMON HUNTER related posts this week, but a new course has taken up much of my commute blog time. In place of my many missed posting opportunities, I thought it fitting to talk briefly about my favourite DEMON HUNTER album, “The World Is A Thorn” (2010).

My first experience of DEMON HUNTER was when I purchased their fourth album, “Storm the Gates of Hell”. At the time, this was one of only a few Christian Metal albums in my collection. It took pride of place with my two LIVING SACRIFICE albums and got a lot of playtime. I think even then, I felt the album was great, but not all it could have been.

Fast forward a few years and I finally get my hands on “The World Is A Thorn”. I was commuting by car a lot from Sydney to Wollongong and back. This is around an hour each way and provided ample opportunity to get in some serious, 11 volume metal. “Thorn” was took up this time with gusto.

What I love about “Thorn” is that it is clearly a profession in the bands development – which may have been the appointment of Pat Judge as guitarist. All of sudden, DEMON HUNTER went from a top scene act, to a top metal act. I remember commenting on the DEMON HUNTER app that “The World Is A Thorn” is the best metal album I had heard to date, bar none. The album is almost a tribute to everything that is great about metal. You can hear elements of more classic metal, thrash, death, hardcore and the occasional ballad all through their songs. I remember hearing Ryan Clark comment that as Pat Judge is such a talented guitarist, they were no longer limited in what they wrote. When you listen to all the DEMON HUNTER albums up to “Thorn”, you can understand what he meant.

Even now, when my playlist is saturated in Christian Metal, “The World Is A Thorn” is a standout from the opening electric wail of “Descending Upon Us” to the final violin chord for the bonus track of “Driving Nails”. I would find it hard to single out a personal favourite from the album as each song stands strong as simply one of best in the genre of Heavy Metal. You might consider them to stand apart from what is becoming a very generic metal scene and showing us what metal purists should aim for.

If this was an official review, “The World Is A Thorn” would get the perfect score. It did when I first heard it and I’ve never had to rethink my score.

More recently, DEMON HUNTER, released “True Defiance”, their sixth album with Solid State Records. This follows the development that DEMON HUNTER showed with “The World Is A Thorn” but has the band settle into a more levelled sound, and doesn’t feel like the tribute that “Thorn” did. Again, the band stand apart with their last album and some of the moments blow my mind, like the guitar solo which sounds like the guitars gone plain mental one of favourite tracks, “Resistance”.

My train has just pulled in to Town Hall, so thanks for reading. I’ll post again soon to tell you about the gig. This metal-bro is extremely pumped! Woot!

God bless, Bros and Brodettes.

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