Overall, I’m not disappointed by this release. It’s solid, and while it’s somewhat predictable being pretty close to what you’d expect from Demon Hunter, this band takes a couple chances and tries some new things with this album.
Staying true to form (I mean that more literally than most would), the opener and title track is massive and intense. It’s a song you’d expect to hear on Summer of Darkness perhaps. For that matter, this album is probably closer to that one than any other, but with one important difference: Demon Hunter seems to be trying new things. There are some beats (Follow the Wolves) and effects that are cool and seem to be an attempt at keeping things fresh. This album even has some “metal” leads, like the one on No Reason to Exist (one of the bonus tracks).
But the real thing that sets this album apart from other DH releases is that the lyrical themes and topics are overtly and brutally Christian. As far as Christian music goes, this is usually a drawback in my book for the reason that most bands can’t seem to have their lyrics match the mood and tone of the music. Most super-Christian bands seem to be saying two things, and as a result, one or the other of those things seems fake or contrived. Unfortunately, it’s usually the music. This is completely not the case with DH, and especially not with Storm the Gates of Hell. I think the music is almost violent enough and the message is definitely militant enough to stand up and in opposition to albums like Demigod or Attera Totus Sanctus. That doesn’t mean that this release is better than those, but it’s in the ballpark. And that’s quite a feat, at least for me.