Huntress were shot into the metal world’s attention with their very solid debut album Spell Eater, which took elements of trad metal and thrash and mixed it with very occult lyrics and the incredible voice of Jill Janus. They’re now back only a year later with their second album Starbound Beast, which has presumably been pushed out in order to capitalise on that publicity.
When first track proper “Blood Sisters” kicks in it’s hard to not laugh (not necessarily in a bad way) at the ridiculous nature of this album. It can be summed up with the words trad metal with female vocals, sadly there doesn’t seem to be much more to it. The guitar pairing of Blake Meahl and Anthony Cromaco do their job well but it does feel a bit stale as their widdly guitars could come off any other trad metal album released this year. While the second Janus starts doing her growling you are likely to start laughing all over again. When you follow this up with a track called “I Want to Fuck you to Death” it’s hard not to just give up to be honest. However, a quick bit of research should let you know that this was a track written by the legendary Lemmy and it therefore may not be taking itself entirely seriously as Janus sings “all of the lust held up in my breath, come closer love, let me suck your breath.”
Sadly this sense of humour is kind of missing from the rest of the album and we are left with 10 tracks of rather average songs that never really grip you. In fact the best track outside of “I Want to Fuck you to Death” is probably their cover of Judas Priest track “Running Wild” which shows that when this band have a good song to work with they are genuinely very talented. The rest of it just feels like rehash after rehash with “Starbound Beast” in particular having a riff that screams Black Sabbath rip off and possibly goes past tribute into full blown imitation.
There’s no denying that Huntress have quite a lot going for them. Janus can sing, and the band are all obviously very accomplished musicians. This album however feels like it’s missing songs. It also feels like it’s been rushed out to capitalise on the initial buzz that got them all this attention in the first place. If you really love trad metal and for some reason need some kind of average material to listen to then you might want to give this a listen. Although in all honesty even then you’d be better listening to Spell Eater.
For fans of: Manowar, Black Sabbath
Choice cuts: “I Want to Fuck you to Death”, “Running Wild”