I Will Fail You
Last Easter I talked about how hard it is to find some decent Christian metal, so I won’t re-hash it this year. Instead, I’ll get straight to the music.
And I’m going to mix it up a bit: first the video, then some commentary on the song itself, instead of my usual general commentary about the band before ending with the video.
This is the latest video from Demon Hunter, who hold a rare place in the heavy metal pantheon: they’re a Christian metal band who are actually respected by mainstream metal fans and media. This makes them different from, say, The Devil Wears Prada, who are hated by pretty much everyone except their own fans.
I love everything about this song, except the music. Let me explain. The song is about the scrutiny they face from the general Christian community: how as a heavy metal band, they’ll never be “holy enough” for some people, no matter how much they express their belief. This is something most Christian metal bands and their Christian fans face, especially in the more conservative denominations.
I remember I once made the mistake of doing a Google search for “bands like Demon Hunter”. I ended up here. Good for a laugh, but also representative of how many conservative Christians view heavy metal.
The video for this is also kinda neat, especially the twist at the end.
But the music, dear Lord the music is killing me.
First off, the pitch correction on Ryan Clark’s singing – it’s so obvious and overdone I kept expecting him to break into a cover of Cher’s Believe. As for the music itself – frankly, it sounds like they’re turning into a bunch of pussies. Give a listen to this early single “Undying” and tell me their latest song isn’t the sound of a band selling out:
I Will Fail You is also their highest-charting single ever. It sounds like something Staind would put out. Demon Hunter is turning into a Christian version of Metallica: abandoning their roots and the fans who got them where they are for more airplay. There’s delicious irony in them adopting a more mainstream sound with a song complaining about how many Christians don’t like them for being a metal band. Maybe they’re jealous of Skillet’s mainstream success? I don’t know, although that would be funny, considering Skillet’s sound has been getting harder in recent albums.
I guess it just goes to show: you’re never too holy to sell out.