Life is not always simple. Or easy. Or predictable. Despite our good intentions, and meticulous plans, life throws us curves. Sometimes those curves lead us to moments of magic, beauty, and happiness. More often they lead to bumps in the road. If you're dealing with cancer, that bump can become a mountain, followed by a canyon, and then a walk through a desert of unanticipated emotions and struggles.
Huntress vocalist Jill Janus found herself diagnosed with uterine cancer. For a woman, that's some scary shit. And, at a very young age, to defeat that motherless life-sucking beast, she had to have a hysterectomy, a procedure with signifant consquences, notably not being able to bear children, ever, and often a prolonged recovery. Not an uncommon a thing for a woman, but something all women hope to avoid. The good news: at the time of this review, Ms. Janus is on the road to recovery. God bless her.
Something even more positive, here's a new Huntress album, Static, and Jill Janus is in fine form. Now, don't get me wrong when you read the next sentence, especially after demonstrating my concern for her well-being. While I totally dig Huntress' old school heavy power metal American revival, I'm not a huge fan of her vocal style. Janus sings clean and melodic (having some operatic training). Yet she's more than a little screamo and not all that understandable, no matter how loud I play it. The lyrics were passed to me with the promo EPK, and you'll need them. With this said, in combination with the Huntress sound, and having heard previous albums, Janus and Huntress sound fit hand in glove.
As I said, I really dig the Huntress classic metal sound. After the vocals, the strong riffs with good twin guitar harmony immediately get your attention. From this swells massive and blistering guitar solos. These equally define the essence of "keep it true" heavy metal. How can you not like that. The rhythm section keeps the beat and groove steady and speedy, with that bass line offering a pummeling gallop. And most every song moves swiftly in that power metal style. The slight exception is the longest track Mania. It nearly dials downs to the pace of doom metal, being significanly heavy and plodding. Just after the five minute mark there's a signifcant breakdown, lighter guitar and drums underneath the vocals. I think the intent of the song was to be epic in dark heavy Wagnerian way, but I found it lumbering. Nevetheless, the rest of the album is pure head-banging, windwill swirling, classic heavy metal. Good stuff.
Static once more shows Huntress' command of classic old school heavy power metal in it's best American form, reviving it for a modern generation that desperately needs it.
In the early Eighties, one of the first American metal bands that caught my interest was New York's Riot, founded by guitarist Mark Reale (1955-2012). Albums like Narita and Fire Down Under were classics of ... [ Read More ]