Quickly following up on the success of 2012's Spell Eater, Huntress returns with their sophomore effort, Starbound Beast. If you haven't guessed by their name, or you've been living under a heavy metal rock, Huntress is a female-fronted traditional heavy metal band led by the exotic metal screamer Jill Janus.
While female-fronted metal bands are a dime-a-dozen these days, not so many are doing traditional heavy/power metal. Musically, Huntress strays little from Eighties metal, working largely from the American side of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Vocally, Ms. Janus generally sings clean and melodic, with an earthy timbre to her tone. Yet, on some of the songs here she sounds rough and raw, like she didn't bring her A-game to the studio, or muted, like somebody was messing unfavorably, possibly intentionally, with the mix. On several listens, I tried working with loudness, bass, and treble with little improvement to my listening experience. Conversely, on songs like the title track, Receiver, and the closing number, the genuinely epic, Alpha Tauri, Janus sounds terrific.
Yet, even with these reservations, Starbound Beast is, overall, a terrific platter of traditional melodic heavy and power metal. Huntress's strength comes from their ability to work from basic building blocks of the genre: strong rhythm section with a good groove, stinging melodic guitar solos, and clean vocals. Put together correctly and you have some solid 'keep it true' metal in Starbound Beast. It also doesn't hurt to have an experienced metal song writer in your corner. Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister penned the lusty I Want to F**k You to Death with Janus in mind, and probably much more. It's a rather catchy number. Once more, Starbound Beast is a solid and entertaining platter of traditional melodic heavy and power metal, and easily recommended.
Huntress's Starbound Beast is a solid and entertaining platter of traditional melodic heavy and power metal, and easily recommended.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]