Demon Hunter Singled Out Week: Dead Flowers

Demon Hunter released their new album, True Defiance, this week. To celebrate we asked frontman Ryan Clark to tells us about some of his favorite tracks from the album. Today he tells us about "Dead Flowers."

Mortality is a subject that really resonates with people. That's probably why I'm so drawn to it when writing lyrics. For those familiar with our previous work, you can see death playing a fairly large role in most of our slower songs.

For me, if I put a couple slow songs right in the midst of a heavy record (which is something DH has always done), they'll settle into the mix a little better if the vibe is more melancholy than happy. We explore a wider dynamic than most metal bands, in regard to song style, but it's still important that the album flows appropriately. Most of my favorite metal records move in the same way- they're heavy most of the way through, but there are moments where things slow into a mellower atmosphere. A record that remains brutal all the way through loses its effect about halfway through. You have to have peaks and valleys to make an album truly interesting and exciting.

"Dead Flowers" was the last song I wrote for this record. It's not uncommon for me to write the slower songs towards the end of the writing process. Usually I'll be knee-deep in "heavy mode" while I write all of the more aggressive songs, and I have to make a conscious switch into "ballad" territory.

This is another perfect example of a song that didn't seem to reach its full potential until it was completed. I liked the demo, and I thought it would make for a great song, but it really came to life with every piece we added in the studio. I think it's quickly becoming a personal favorite.

The chorus for this song probably falls into the "top five" category for me, of all Demon Hunter songs- both in melody and lyrical content. I'm extremely proud of it. There are quite a few double-meanings within the chorus, which I think packs the song full of life. Dead flowers both symbolize and commemorate a deceased loved one. The water that once kept them alive is now being begged for as a flood of cleansing- like tears from the Heavens. And the sun that nurtured the life of the flowers is also used in reference to the son of God, offering eternal life.

This is the only Demon Hunter song to date that features a key change in the chorus. I love key changes, and it's something I've often meant to do in the past, and before I know it, the song is done and I forgot to make it a priority. With this song, I was determined to incorporate a key change. The step up happens directly in the middle of the guitar solo, so the final chorus (through the end of the song) is one key higher than the rest. The 2nd half of the final chorus also features a 3-part harmony, something I believe we've only done once before.

The addition of the harpsichord to the intro and verses was another Aaron Sprinkle idea. I originally had that melody mapped out with guitar, and it's still in there, but lower in the mix to allow the harpsichord to shine. The outro was also Aaron's idea, and is not only one of my favorite parts in any song, but the perfect ending to the record.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!

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