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A Heavy Metal band formed in the early 2000s, Demon Hunter is one of the most popular Christian heavy metal bands outside of the genre's own community; along with bands such as Underoath, Thousand Foot Krutch, Red, Pillar, and Skillet, they are among the most known Christian metal bands in recent history. The band has their own nickname for their fan base, similar to how Slipknot calls their fans 'maggots', calling their fans members of 'The Blessed Resistance', as seen on their website. The band has released 5 studio albums to date, Demon Hunter in 2002, Summer of Darkness in 2004, The Triptych in 2005, Storm the Gates of Hell in 2007, and most recently, The World Is a Thorn in 2010, all of which have received critical acclaim. True Defiance was released on April 10, 2012.
The band's music is classified by many as a unique cross between Metalcore, Groove Metal, and Alternative Metal, with a little bit of Nu-metal as well, particularly in their first two albums. The band's vocal style and instrumentation is often compared to Slipknot, although they are far more respected than Slipknot. Despite critical acclaim and the many aforementioned fans outside of Christian groups, the band has found little mainstream success as of yet, though they have had some of their videos played on MTV's Headbangers' Ball, and has had Howard Jones on one of their songs, vocalist for the hugely popular fellow heavy metal band Killswitch Engage.
They are also known for their iconic mascot, the symbol of a bull-like demon with a bullet hole in its head, which has appeared on stickers, t-shirts, hoodies, and every single one of their album covers.
- Ryan Clark: lead vocalist
- Jon Dunn: bass guitar player
- Timothy Watts: drummer
- Patrick Judge: standard guitarist and backing vocalist
- Ryan Helm: rhythm guitarist
Demon Hunter provides examples of:
- Christian Rock: They said so themselves that they are. It's actually really hard to tell, though, even if you listen to their lyrics, as they never openly use the words 'God' or 'Jesus' in any form of praise. Hell, their name is Demon Hunter, for crying out loud.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Usually an 8, sometimes crossing into the range of 9. Their softer songs, however, drop down to around a 6. 'One Thousand Apologies', which is a bit different in style, is about a 7, and 'Storm the Gates of Hell' (the song, not the album) may be as close to a 10 as any non-death metal band in Christian music has ever gotten.
- Metal Scream: They do this rather frequently.
- Metalcore: Arguably the biggest component of their sound.
- Thrash Metal: A few of their songs have elements of this.
- Bald of Awesome: Ryan.
- Soprano and Gravel: Around 90% of their songs have this.
- Younger Than They Look: It may be because he's bald and his beard is at times very huge, but Ryan could have passed for a man in his early forties ever since he was barely out of college (the music video for 'Infected' was shot when he was just 23 years old).
- Vocal Tag Team: Averted. Whenever a guest artist appears on a song by the band, the featured artist practically takes over the song. For example, in 'Just Breathe', the aforementioned Christian Alvestam, who sung on it, sings literally everything except for the verses. They might as well have put it on Scar Symmetry's album, for Pete's sake!
- Textless Album Cover: EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Ryan screams like no other.
- Careful with That Axe: They do this a lot, but especially on the title track on 'Storm the Gates of Hell'. It begins with quiet static, then the drums start to come in and Ryan lets out a loud-ass growl powerful enough to wake up a sleeping baby. And throughout the song, he sounds like he's trying to explode his throat.
- Rap Metal: In some songs, Ryan screams in an almost hip-hop rhythm, most notably on 'The Science of Lies', 'I Have Seen Where It Grows', 'Beauty Through the Eyes of a Predator', 'Life War', the second verse of 'Through the Black', 'Not Ready to Die', 'Beheaded', and 'Tie This Around Your Neck'.
- One-Scene Wonder: Trevor Mc Nevan's part in 'Coffin Builder'. You can't miss it even if you try.
- Mondegreen: In the song 'Our Faces Fall Apart', the line 'I built this anguish with my own hands' is sometimes misheard as 'I built this sandwich with my own hands'.
- Fake-Out Fade-Out: 'Deteriorate' sounds like it's finished around 3/4 of the way through, then the riff comes back out of nowhere and the chorus plays a few times.
- Epic Rocking: 'The Gauntlet' clocks in at just under 7 minutes.
- Cover Version: The band covered Prong's 'Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck'.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Their music is perceived as being very dark, despite the fact that they are a Christian band and are in reality anything but.
- Love Nostalgia Song: 'One Thousand Apologies'.
- This Is a Song: Not quite, but 'This is the Line' is pretty close.
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: They seem to have more and more per album. According to the song samples, True Defiance is only keeping this up.
- Not Christian Rock: Most fans don't know they're Christian until they look it up first.
- "I Am" Song: 'I Am You'.
- Iconic Logo: It doesn't really need to be explained.
- Fan Community Nicknames: The band's fans are called 'The Blessed Resistance'.
- Limited Wardrobe: Ryan almost always wears either a beanie and a coat or a vest.
- Special Guest:
- Summer of Darkness:
- The World Is a Thorn:
- Bjorn Strid of Soilwork on 'Collapsing'
- Christian Alvestam, formerly of Scar Symmetry, on 'Just Breathe'
- Dave Peters of Throwdown on 'Feel As Though You Could'
- Miniscule Rocking: 'Lifewar' from The World Is a Thorn clocks in at just under 2 minutes.
- Something Completely Different: 'Fading Away' sounds like something Avenged Sevenfold would sing.
- True Defiance features 'Means to an End', an acoustic instrumental song.
- Chewing the Scenery: "LIFE! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRR!"
- Darker and Edgier: Storm the Gates of Hell is considered their darkest album.
- Rated "M" for Manly: Oh, yes. Quite possibly the only Christian band that qualifies.
- Author Vocabulary Calendar: They have used the phrase 'reap what you've sown' more than a couple times.
- Groove Metal: The Triptych onward.
- Vocal Evolution: Ryan's clean vocals have remained pretty much unchanged since the band's beginnings, but his harsh vocals have significantly changed since their debut album, not just the way he sounds, but also the style. Compare his growls on Screams of the Undead to his growls on Crucifix, from their first and latest albums, respectively, and tell me you can tell it's the same guy.