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Release Date: 25th September 2015

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland


It's a good sign for a band when you have heard the name around before you actually hear their music and this is my story with Californian metallers Huntress.

Formed in 2009 when trained opera singer Jill Janus hooked up with underground metal band Professor, they have made enough of an impact with their two full length albums and the tours to go with them for the name to pique my interest when this third album appeared in the review pile at MetalTalk.

Approaching this album with a fresh ear and open mind it turns out to be a pretty fine slice of old school metal. You can hear some thrash and doom influences here and there but overall this a straight ahead heavy metal album not a million miles removed from what they called straight ahead heavy metal back in the eighties.

Huntress have the tight rhythm section, a guitarist who can shred and riff and a singer who despite all the promotional material that talks about her four octave range has more in common style wise with Halestorm's Lzzy Hale and Hellion's Ann Boleyn than any of the operatic metal front women around.

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The songs themselves vary from chugging mid paced rockers like 'Noble Savage' inspired by Janus' own native American heritage to full on full speed sub-thrash rifferamas like opening track 'Sorrow'. There are some really nice memorable riffs such as the twisting, descending notes opening 'Flesh' and the insistent, catchy slabs of guitar which start 'Fire In My Heart'. Where things get really interesting for me though is when the autobiographical nature of the lyrics from the charismatic Janus get room to breathe and come to the fore.

'I Want To Wanna Wake Up' is a compelling vision of living life with a personality disorder and 'Mania' matches a huge Sabbath style riff with a focus on the bipolar disorder and schizophrenia which has plagued Janus all her life. The latter is particularly memorable and affecting with the passion in lyrics like "If you ever spent the night in my head, by the morning you'd be dead" matching the atmospheric riffing throughout.


Overall this is a pretty strong, straight ahead traditional metal style album with some great guitarwork and some very solid vocals. Add in hints in the lyrical content and some of the more atmospheric moments at some real depth and it's clear that Huntress have more to offer than just some big riffs and a four octave voice. Well worth checking out.

Line up:
Jill Janus – vocals
Blake Meahl – lead guitar
Eli Santana – rhythm guitar
Tyler Meahl – drums
Spencer Jacob – bass




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