Metal titans Demon Hunter have nary a skippable song in their whole discography. Beginning in 2000, they’ve amassed ten full-length albums, remaining incredibly consistent throughout. They frequently cover darker themes such as death, pain, and depression, tapering them by either offering hope in Christ, or reversing it to show how life without God is fruitless indeed. One of the most unique things about the band is the mixture of metal growls and haunting cleans both done by founder Ryan Clark. This lends itself to both the harshest of metal sounds and their patented power ballads, resulting in cohesive albums that are an easy listen in one sitting. This type of quality being spread equally among their career makes choosing only 25 “best of” songs quite the challenge. Fortunately this is incentivized with the necessity of revisiting each album…a more than welcome task. So while I could probably make two or three such lists for the band, here’s my top 25 Demon Hunter songs…
25 Someone To Hate (True Defiance, 2012)
The galloping rhythm echoes the marching feet of those resolved in the “blessed above, in this ever consuming divide.”
24 Tie This Around Your Neck (The World Is A Thorn, 2010)
A great example of the band’s polarizing brutality and sing-song choruses.
23 Grand Finale (Storm The Gates Of Hell, 2007 Bonus Track)
An apocalyptic endeavor with one of the band’s most triumphant middle-sections.
22 Carry Me Down (Storm The Gates Of Hell, 2007)
Noting the band’s haunting graveyard motifs, this ballad offers hope for believing family members to “save sorrow for the souls in doubt.”
21 The Tide Began to Rise (The Triptych, 2005)
Beginning solemnly with a simple piano riff, this song builds more hopeful as it goes with an ingenious polyphonic outro.
20 The Science Of Lies (The Triptych, 2005)
A crushing main riff leads to an industrial type groove and a warning to the greed-mongerers who “buy into a faith that hasn’t permanent ground.”
19 On My Side (War, 2019)
A clearly deciphered lyric (a rarity for this band) melding the band’s faith with their fascination of dying, taken from 1 Corinthians 15…”where is the enemy when death is on my side.”
18 Jesus Wept (Outlive, 2017)
A brisk thrasher with a forward pace and deep meanings that should not be overlooked. “Give me eyes wide…so I don’t forget I’m why Jesus wept.”
17 What I’m Not (Extremist, 2014)
The best of Extremist’s poppy anthems, with powerful harmonies and a message that blurs the line between wavering and resolute.
16 Praise The Void (Songs Of Death And Resurrection, 2021)
A great example of the band’s reverse Christianity, this piano ballad details the despair of godlessness.
15 Not Ready To Die (Summer Of Darkness, 2002)
A classic that catapulted the band into the Christian mainstream. One of the best intro guitar riffs in Christian metal.
14 Not I (The Triptych, 2005)
Something about the vocal flow in the verses just gets me. Along with the fist-throwing chorus and the pummeling breakdown, makes for an all around smorgasbord of good metal.
13 Lesser Gods (War, 2019)
The most black metal DH’s ever gone. Shrill vocals, tremolo picking, and an overarching theme of offering ourselves as a living sacrifice. “Throw yourself upon the fire…sacrifice yourself or bow to lesser gods.”
12 I Am A Stone (True Defiance, 2012 Bonus Track)
The band’s best selling single on this drumless bonus track. Just strings and Clark’s resonant clean vocals.
11 When The Devil Come (Peace, 2019)
A unique wild-west atmosphere with mostly acoustic guitars, soft keyboards, and brush-stroked drums. The best experiment off the softer Peace.
10 I Play Dead (Summer Of Darkness, 2002)
The coolest “jump scare” in Christian metal, matching the emotions of hidden depression.
9 Patience (Outlive, 2017)
Layered, haunting, harsh. The most well-executed of Outlive’s wilderness undertones.
8 Cut to Fit (War, 2019)
Half-depressing, half-empowering, the band hits all the emotions with one of their catchiest choruses. Also love the unexpected acoustic solo.
7 Sixteen (Storm The Gates Of Hell, 2007)
Epic strings mixed with thrashy riffs. Pulling no punches in tackling the grisly topic of apostasy.
6 Dead Flowers (True Defiance, 2012)
At the crossroads of grief and hope, DH’s fascination with death and funerals are fully explored. Also love the solo-to-key-change transition near the end.
5 Soldier’s Song (The Triptych, 2005)
A classic tribute to our armed forces around the world, featuring some of the best guitar work on any DH song.
4 I Am You (Storm The Gates Of Hell, 2007)
An angry thrasher with a killer breakdown and an encouraging message that all believers share and fight in the same struggles.
3 I Will Fail You (Extremist, 2014)
Purposely-underwhelming, the music follows the words building in confidence only to shatter it by the reality of our sinful nature.
2 Thorns (Storm The Gates Of Hell, 2007)
A vastly underrated ballad showing how Jesus sympathizes with our pain, using a beautiful melodic chorus.
1 Undying (The Triptych, 2005)
The quintessential DH song. Using an anthemic chorus, inspired main riff, and the best breakdown in the band’s catalogue. “We are the ones who will still remain when all is laid to waste.”
Disagree with any of my picks? Let me know in the comments or better yet, make your own list, I’d love to see it! – Joel Zaloum