Chuck Schuldiner Project

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Huntress Spell Eater

So today I'm reviewing an up and coming melodic thrash band from Southern California called Huntress. Featuring former opera singer Jill Janus, their debut album Spell Eater does not fail to impress. With roaring guitars, thudding bass lines and explosive drums the instruments provide a thrashy backdrop to the amazing voice of Jill Janus. Their sound is at once brutal and operatic, virtuosic and destructive, majestic and down to earth. In brief, Huntress is metal done right.

The guitar work on this album is quite excellent. The rhythms of Ian Alden are chunky and powerful. The intro riff to Senicide makes for obligatory headbanging. Ian is a big reason as to why the band can keep it's thrash metal aggression. Lead guitarist Blake Meahl adds a good power metal feel to a lot of the songs. Some of his riffs even go further into the melodeath range. His licks and solos often have the power thrash flavor of classic groups like Toxic. Together, Alden and Meahl are like battling brothers. They form an incredible sound that takes all of the aggression of thrash metal and combines it with the melody of bands like HammerFall and In Flames. This creates a rather innovative guitar sound that takes the music to a whole new level.

The rhythm section of this group is also rather amazing. The bass is powerful enough that sections like the intro to Snow Witch stay memorable and powerful rather than falling back into a boring morass. The might of the bass also comes in handy in many of the faster choruses which feature speedy power chord riffs that drive the music ever forward. The drum work is also interesting. There is a nice variety in the drum fills so that there are never 2 minute long rapid attacks on the toms. (*Cough* Dragonforce *Cough*) In brief, the variety shown in the riffs of both the bassist and the drummer keep the music fresh and sparky. They give the music brutality too, and that's a big part of how the band stays so firmly rooted in reality.

Finally we have the vocals of Jill Janus, which are some of the most fascinating that you will ever hear. From the start it is obvious that Jill has an incredible voice with her all powerful voice giving symphonic vibes to the debut track “Spell Eater”. Yet, for the majority of the album she keeps up a scary thrash growl. This growl is remarkably good, and it gives the band a different edge, an edge that isn't being done by any other band on the scene today. Huntress, is thrash with female vocals, and it doesn't clone Arch Enemy! Huntress is one of the most unique bands on the market today, and Jill is a huge part of that.

In conclusion, Huntress is one of the best and most real metal bands around today. They have the might, the melody, and the skill to become the best, and most of all they're hungry. With Jill Janus spearheading a killer line up, I could see this band getting huge fast. The combination of power-thrash guitars, creative rhythms and vocals that are to die for, Huntress proves itself as one of the greatest up and coming acts of the decade. So go check them out, you can not possibly regret it!

1 comment:

  1. Besides the lyrics in general sucking on most tracks (which is probably due to this being Jill Janus' first foray into metal and she went for ultra cheese), the musicianship is rather good and the female vocals give the band a fresh feeling that you don't often find with newer thrash metal bands. Good review Matt, could have touched on the lyrics but good review none the less.