Nothing says “Happy Easter” more than a blistering new album of Christian Metal, right? On True Defiance, Demon Hunter’s sixth, the Seattle natives up the ante, up the amps, and up the thrash for eleven tracks (thirteen if you pony up for the deluxe!) of unbridled metal fury.

When did Demon Hunter become Pantera? The moment “Crucifix” really kicks in, especially the repetitive riff drone in the middle, it’s apparent that these Christian metallers have taken a page from the Cowboys From Hell (See what I did there?). Add Ryan Clark’s spoken word baritone in the breakdown and the Dimebag-ish like squeals in “God Forsaken” and it’s very apparent that Pantera have a place in Heaven after all.

Like what I said about first single “My Destiny“, much of True Defiance is just plain vicious. The first signs of a slow down comes five songs in when “Tomorrow Never Comes” blares the sounds of an ’80’s power ballad revival out of your speakers. Then it’s back to the grind as the brutal march of “Someone To Hate” drives a power drill into your skull. Other highlights include “This I Know” which borders on technical metal with the metronome-like precision drumming by Timothy “Yogi” Watts and “We Don’t Care” that creates an Ozzy circa No More Tears meets Alice In Chains vibe.

Much like Killswitch Engage, Demon Hunter manage to keep the songs heavy but the content uplifting. If you’re already a fan, True Defiance is going to satisfy you to no end by adding more layers and depth to Demon Hunter’s already established sound.. If you don’t know Demon Hunter yet, check out “My Destiny” and be converted.

True Defiance is out on April 10th through Solid State.

Grade: B+

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