Huntress – Starbound beast

huntress - starbound beastAmerican band Huntress are a band that are quickly making a big name for themselves.  Their singer Jill Janus is certainly someone worth talking about.  She’s a former opera singer with a staggering 4 octave vocal range.  For anyone who doesn’t know much about vocal ranges, most talented singers can with tuition get a 3 octave range, but above this is very rare.  What does it mean in practice?  In short it means she can range from the high ear piercing screams down to the deep grunts and growls.  A quick look at other singers with a similar vocal range tells the story – Freddie Mercury, Bruce Dickinson, Kate Bush, Myles Kennedy and Rob Halford – Jill Janus is up there with some very talented singers.

I certainly enjoyed the bands debut album, 2012’s ‘Spell eater’, so was looking forward to hearing how they’ve done with the second album, ‘Starbound beast’.

If you’re expecting something light and airy or symphonic metal having seen the fact that Jill Janus used to sing opera, well guess again – what you have here is proper traditional heavy metal, and damn good heavy metal at that.

Lyrically these’s more of the occult and mystical influence from Jill Janus.  Musically we get seriously heavy guitar riffs, pounding drums, and superb solos.  Pretty much the same basic recipe then as the first album – hell, if something works well then why change it too much?  That doesn’t mean things are unchanged – I’d say there’s more prominence for the guitars on this album, with the solos particularly, so there are changes but they’re more minor adjustments as the band strive to perfect their sound

Brief comments on a few tracks…

The album opens with ‘Enter the exosphere’.  It’s a short intro track around a minute and a half long, and with the exception of some screams is an instrumental.

‘I want to fuck you to death’ is a track written for Jill Janus by Motorhead legend Lemmy – what a romantic he must be to come up with a title like that.  As you’d expect for something written by Lemmy it’s a great track.

‘Receiver’ is a good solid metal track, with the pounding drums giving it a good pace and the guitars being nice and heavy.  Add some good solid vocals and you have a great track

The guitar riff at the start of ‘Alpha Tuari’ reminds me strongly of Rainbow, but made a bit heavier.

It’s a great album, but in my opinion the songs sound even better when played live – this is a band that really don’t have to rely on any studio trickery to sound good live – their classic heavy metal sounds great, and Jill’s voice handle’s a full live show with no hint of weakness.  I look forward to the band announcing a UK tour at some point.

A great album.

‘Starbound beast’ will be released on 8th July 2013

Rating: 8.5/10

Track listing:

1. Enter the exosphere
2. Blood sisters
3. I want to fuck you to death
4. Destroy your life
5. Starbound beast
6. Zenith
7. Oracle
8. Receiver
9. Spectra spectral
10. Alpha Tuari

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.