Released: 2012, Napalm Records
Huntress, a new, young band from California is quite the buzz band. There is a lot of hype surrounding the band and some of it in part because of their attractive lead singer, Jill Janus. Part of it this hype may also stem from the video from the first single, ‘Eight Of Swords’ which (as of time of writing) has almost 71,000 views. The high quality story-line video, features the scantily clad singer among other things. However, once people stop listening with their eyes they quickly realize there is a lot going on with Huntress.
Huntress is a quintet that play, straight-ahead traditional metal, maybe laced with a tiny bit more speed. The comparison to Three Inches Of Blood has been made and that is not unfair to my ears. The 11 song, 45 minute album is loaded with good ol’ metal, lots of drums fills, lots of riffs and solos, fists a flyin’ and heads a bangin’. The songs are pretty conventional, verse, chorus, verse chorus type songs in the 3-4 minute range, with good choruses and a fair bit of pace across the whole album. The production is bright, modern and shiny, not a ton of grit or punch but I like clear bright production that makes everything shimmer in the high-end. The lyrics are not earth-shatteringly original but tell the metallic tales well enough.
Jill Janus, looks aside, is certainly one of the bands strong points. Her vocals are quite unique and her delivery is also interesting. He does (at times) these sort of ‘witch-cackle’ type sounds and they sort of tie in with her image (assuming that is a representation of her) on the front cover and in the video. Her voice reminds me of a cross between Leather Leone and Dawn Crosby. She has quite a rasp to her voice that probably will grate on people who grew up on a diet of saccharine sweet, gothic sopranos. Check out her opening screams on the single ‘Eight Of Swords. It’s pretty impressive as are her final notes on ‘Night Rape’. Janus is strong front-woman, sexy but not slutty but I think she is going to catch some heat for her unique voice and delivery.
For some reason some critics I feel, have been unduly harsh, there are a few quite negative reviews of the band debut album floating around on the web, but I for the record, think SPELL EATER is a strong and entertaining first effort. Napalm Records saw fit to sign them and they had a decent North American tour and this rookie band deserves some attention and support.