Veteran Christian Metal band Demon Hunter has a new “hits” collection due out Friday. The 12-song compilation – Songs of Death and Resurrection — is an interesting offering that will mostly to the group’s most devoted audiences. That is due in part to the record’s featured songs, which will be addressed shortly. The arrangements in the featured songs are just as important to note as the songs themselves. They will be discussed a little later. The songs’ production works with the arrangements to complete the record’s presentation. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the compilation. All things considered, they make the compilation a presentation that while maybe not necessarily unique, is still a presentation that will appeal to most of Demon Hunter’s audiences.
Demon Hunter’s new acoustic hits collection, Songs of Death and Resurrection, is a presentation that will appeal mostly to the band’s most devoted audiences. That is due in part to its featured works. The band’s majority of the band’s 10-song catalog is represented through the course of its 12-song body. To be precise, eight of the band’s records are represented here. The only albums that are not represented through the catalog are its 2019 album War, and its 2017 album Outlive. As an added bonus, audiences also get a new song here in the form of ‘Praise the Void.’ Whether it is actually new per se or just a work that did not make the final cut for one of the band’s albums is unknown. Regardless, it is still an addition that the noted listeners will like.
Adding to the appeal here is that speaking technically, Songs of Death and Resurrection is Demon Hunter’s first actual compilation record. The band has released two dual-album sets in the form of Double Take and Death, A Destination. The problem is that the sets actually only offer audiences a total of three of the band’s 10 albums. Summer of Darkness is featured in each set while The Triptych features in Double Take and the band’s self-titled 2002 is featured in Death, A Destination. So in reality, audiences are still limited through those collections. This set meanwhile, gives listeners a rich overall picture of the band’s catalog as it pulls from almost every one of the band’s records. So while yes, the record is just a compilation, the fact that it pulls from so much of Demon Hunter’s catalog is its own undeniable positive. It is just one of the album’s positives, too. The arrangements themselves make for their own appeal.
The arrangements featured in Songs of Death and Resurrection are important to the compilation’s presentation because of their accessibility. While each arrangement is itself an acoustic take of songs from Demon Hunter’s catalog, the reach from full to acoustic was not far. That is because the songs that the band stripped down were already light (so to speak) to begin with. Each original song was one of the band’s “ballads.” They are much softer and introspective in comparison to the band’s clearly much heavier works. To that end, the change from full song to acoustic did not take much effort. Now keeping that in mind, it would have been easy for the band to just phone it in so to speak. Thankfully it is clear that the band did not completely go that route. The arrangements here mostly stay true to their source material. ‘I Am a Stone’ for instance is laden with strings alongside front man Ryan Clark’s vocals. It is already a soft work. The updated take is soft in its own way, what with Clark’s vocals set against the acoustic guitar and drums. It is still a soft ballad in comparison to the original work. Ironically enough, the acoustic take could actually be argued to be heavier than the original because of the addition of the guitar and drums, even still being a soft ballad.
‘My Throat is an Open Grave,’ by comparison, is softer than its source material, but still heavy even in its softer approach. The original song is best described as a melodic hard rock style composition, complete with vocal harmonies, heavy drums, and equally heavy guitars (at moments). The acoustic take featured here replaces the guitars with much lighter string arrangements and piano. The drums and bass are as heavy as ever, but set alongside the noted strings and piano, and Clark’s mournful vocal delivery, make for quite the contrast. The whole presents itself as a unique take on the song that while softer than the original, is still as heavy as the original in its own way.
Another example of how this record changes the band’s works successfully comes in the form of the acoustic take of ‘Loneliness.’ The chorus segments are equally heavy, though the verses sees the sharp, layered guitars are replaced with string arrangements and another piano line. The sense of melancholy established in the original work through Clark’s vocals permeates the song just as much here as in the original composition. The whole, which runs more than a minute longer than the original, is another strong addition to the record that follows the compilation’s overall stylistic approach, and does so just as well even adapting itself from what is one of Demon Hunter’s heaviest ballads. When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the record’s re-workings, the whole shows why the collection’s featured arrangements are just as important as the compilation’s chosen songs. The two items together make for plenty of reason for audiences to take in the record. They are just a portion of what Demon Hunter’s most devoted audiences will appreciate about this recording. Its production rounds out its most important items.
The production that went into Songs of Death and Resurrection is important to address especially because so many of the arrangements follow a similar stylistic approach, as already noted. That approach typically involves the use of strings and Clark’s vocals with the addition of a rich percussion and bass backing. Again, the arrangements each sound different from song to song, but the stylistic approach is relatively the same. That means that the utmost attention had to be paid to each work to ensure that the record did not become redundant. What’s more, those individuals had to make sure that none of the elements within the songs overpowered one another. That includes even the most subtle additions to each arrangement. Those behind the glass are to be commended for their efforts, considering that necessary attention to even the minutest detail. The stylistic approach, and all of its melancholic feel is there, but the songs’ identities come out well in each work. The result is a record whose content sounds almost identical to its source material, just toned down some. When this positive impact of the production is considered along with that of the stylistic approach to the arrangements and the very choice of songs, the whole becomes a presentation that Demon Hunter’s most devoted fans will appreciate.
Demon Hunter’s new acoustic hits compilation is an interesting presentation that will appeal to plenty of the band’s audience base. It will especially appeal to the band’s most devoted audiences. That is proven in part through the record’s featured songs. The songs in question represent nearly every one of the band’s albums. That means that they collectively give audiences a rich representation of the band’s body of work. The arrangements featured in the record’s chosen songs maintain the identity in each work while giving each work a unique sound and overarching stylistic approach. That familiar stylistic approach, together with the unique sound of each arrangement prevents the record from becoming monotonous. The production of the arrangements puts the final touch to the whole. It ensures that each arrangement’s instrumentation is expertly balanced, thus making sure one last time, that the compilation keeps listeners engaged and entertained. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the record. All things considered, they make Songs of Death and Resurrection a positive first full compilation from Demon Hunter. Songs of Death and Resurrection is scheduled for release Friday through Solid State Records. More information on the compilation is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
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