Song Spotlight: In Time by Demon Hunter

Demon hunter extremist

The song In Time, from Demon Hunter’s seventh album Extremist (2014), encapsulates why I love this band.  The album’s ninth song is a study in contrasts.  It is simultaneously melodic and crushingly heavy and abrasive. The song opens with a guitar riff that mirrors the 1980’s thrash metal scene.  The opening riff would not have been out of place on Metallica’s classic album Master Of Puppets (1986). Once the vocals kick in the listener is transported to the late 1990’s/early 2000’s with aggressive metalcore vocals. The velocity picks up as the metalcore vocals give no sign of relenting.  It would seem at this early point that the song is going to stay at the same high intensity dynamic.   Once the chorus starts, the tempo slows and the vocals shift from shouting to highly melodic singing.  With the shift the song loses none of its power or intensity.   In the hands of a lesser metal band the shift would be jarring. Demon Hunter makes the transition seamlessly.  The multilayered voices in the chorus carry a vocal dynamic in the spirit of  classic Alice in Chains. The melodic chorus seamlessly leads back into  the thrashing fury of the second verse.  From the second chorus the song shifts back into an up-tempo metal mode, setting the stage for the guitar solo.  The solo transitions from shred guitar runs, to melodic licks, to a near neoclassical motif in the span of nearly forty five seconds.  After the blazing guitar solo the song immediately goes back to the melodic chorus.   The song ends,  in many ways, as it began.  The chorus fades out.  Instead of 1980’s thrash metal the song ends with the sound of slowly fading acoustic guitars.  The sound and style are reminiscent of Metallica circa 1986.

Demon Hunter Extremist crop

I was a latecomer to Demon Hunter.  The band formed in the year 2000 and had already released seven albums when I  discovered their music.  Over the last several years I have made a few attempts to listen to the music of Demon Hunter. On the occasions that I explored their music I found that the band did not appeal to me.  After a few attempts I came to the conclusion that Demon Hunter was not for me.  That all changed in 2017 when I gave the band one more shot.  After several failed attempts, the band’s music finally clicked with me.  I can not explain what happened, but perhaps I just needed to hear the right album.  That album was Extremist.  Since discovering Extremist I have been on a slow journey exploring the band’s discography.

In the past I have made the mistake of going all in when discovering a new band.  In my excitement I purchased too many albums in one shot.   Instead of slowly savoring an album at a time, I made attempts to take it all in at once. Often times this approach was an overwhelming one.  It is nearly impossible to appreciate a band’s musical journey when listening to several albums at the same time.  Learning from the past, I am taking my time with Demon Hunter’s discography. To date I have purchased five of their ten albums.  They have quickly become one of my favorite metal bands.  Skilled songwriting, exceptional musicianship and stellar vocals are the reasons that I love this band.

Demon Hunter is an extremely  special band.  They are unfairly pigeonholed as a metalcore band.  Their brand of extreme metal is based heavily on metalcore influences.  However, metalcore is but one of the metal sub-genres that inform the band’s music.  Elements of metalcore mixed with thrash metal, nu-metal and groove metal are funneled through a highly melodic metal filter.   All of these factors are a part of the greatness that is reflected in the song In Time.

Demon-Hunter forest

Troy T.

4 thoughts on “Song Spotlight: In Time by Demon Hunter

  1. You’re very welcome. Tourniquet was like that for me. I knew of them but wasn’t until later in their career that I truly grew to like them.

    I’ve read a few of you posts Troy. I like what you are doing!! Keep rocking brother!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment. I guess I was not ready for the band until recently. Over the years I have been aware of the band but it just was not clicking. I am so glad that I gave them another shot. I absolutely love them now.

      Liked by 1 person

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