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Demon Hunter: Extremist

No seventh heaven for Christian groove metallers

After abandoning many of the hardcore and thrashier elements that endeared them to those outside the Christian metal scene, Demon Hunter’s seventh effort sees them cementing their flag in the plodding groove metal slipstream created by Avenged Sevenfold and Five Finger Death Punch’s overwhelming success.

But whereas the latter pair’s brand is built on unashamed swagger and a fair bit of belligerence, there’s very little that Demon Hunter can present that sets them up as anything but a band treading water.

The clear and commanding roar of Ryan Clarke stands Extremist in good stead, and there are some impressive riffs protruding from the crushing Cross To Bear, but on the whole, the meat’n’potatoes metallic crunch of Artificial Light and bland, radio-friendly balladry of I Will Fail You clog up the album with one spirited but unremarkable chorus after the other.

In fact, it isn’t until the final one-two of the repetitive but muscular Gasoline and synth-led The Heart Of A Graveyard close festivities that the band manage to break the monotony.