Demon Hunter has been around for a while so they can pretty much do whatever they want. War and Peace (Solid State Records) is proof that they probably shouldn’t. The compilations are polar opposites. War is alright—mildly entertaining filled with your typical Demon Hunter tracks. Peace is just a soft listen of nine uninspired songs and one decent ballad.
War’s strength is in about four songs. It’s heavier, but not astray from prior Demon Hunter releases. Not because only four songs are worth listening to, but those are the ones that stand out the best. ‘On My Side’ is melodically decent and features killer drumming that pretty much keeps the song alive.
‘Ash’ is fast and heavy. It’s a powerful song under three minutes that will make you wish there were more songs like this in the album. ‘No Place For You Here’ is memorable until the overproduced chorus hits and then makes you want to erase it from your memory; the auto-tune vocals are cringe-worthy and distracting. ‘Lesser Gods’ eerie opening is intriguing. It pulls you into a whirlwind of harmonized riffs with odd stylized vocals that are again distracting and questionable.
The strengths in Peace come across in only a couple of songs. If you tune out the overdone vocals in ‘Two Ways’ and focus on the groovy riffs it becomes a decent song. ‘Recuse Myself’ with its wannabe Depeche Mode opening is well-balanced with its theatrics. The piano in the ballad ‘Fear Is Not My Guide’ is beautiful and parallels the vocals nicely. There no weird generic computerized effects on this track. If Peace had more songs like this closer instead of the generic overproduced, auto-tune tracks it would have stood strong, next to War.
It may seem silly that a band with a strong Christian fan base excels at creating War better than Peace. There are strong moments in these two compilations that would have turned out to be one decent record. You can give Demon Hunter credit for trying something new but lets hope they have learn a lesson for next time.
6 / 10