The World is a Thorn (Solid State)
On Demon Hunter's fifth album, they're throwing everything they've got at the listener, hoping something will stick long enough for their pro-Jesus message to sink in. The fast, heavy songs ("Descending Upon Us," "LifeWar," the title track, "Tie This Around Your Neck") blend nü metal and metalcore, with Mudvayne-ish choruses; the slower tracks ("Driving Nails," "Feel As Though You Could," "Blood In The Tears") slather on the electronics and synthesized string patches, winding up in Linkin Park territory. The breakdowns and bottom-heavy riffing that dominated previous DH albums The Triptych and Storm The Gates Of Hell are still very much present, though the occasional rapped vocals of earlier years have been replaced by even more shouting (and a little bit more crooning). They're committed salesmen of spirituality, and they're clearly unwilling to take no for an answer.
FROM FIRST TO LAST
Throne to the Wolves (Rise)
From First To Last are coming out swinging, determined to earn back fans' trust after their disappointing third album, From First To Last, released to a resounding thud on Geffen imprint Suretone in 2007. Vocalist/guitarist Matt Good has finally become a true frontman; his sneering, whisper-to-a-scream vocal assault is captivating, and the band create a whirlwind of metallic riffs and thunderous beats (some real, some programmed) behind him. "I'd rather be a starving artist than a wealthy critic," Good howls on Throne To The Wolves' lead cut, "Cashing Out," and he's utterly convincing. With the support of a new label, Rise, FFTL have nothing to lose by being utterly themselves. The blazing electro-thrash of "Elvis Said" is balanced by the prog-metal balladry of "You, Me And The Significant Others," while the album's closer, "Now That You're Gone," creates dissonance with synth and Auto-Tune. Even with only two founding members still around, it's good to have the old, weird FFTL back.