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Huntress – Spell Eater

| 15 September 2012 | Reply

Label: Napalm Records

Release Date: May 8, 2012

Rating: 9/10

Reviewed by: ToddStar

With a name like Huntress and a debut disc called Spell Eater, I hope you weren’t expecting the Donny and Marie Variety Hour. This disc is exactly what I expected, and more. You never know what to expect from a debut release anymore, but this band really delivers. The musicianship is more than solid and vocalist Jill Janus really adds to the music, more so than a lot of her peers that rely on their image more than their ability.

“Spell Eater” commands your attention from the first notes. This track highlights quickly all that make this disc great. The lightning fast fret-work, the killer drum work, and vocals that make anyone stand up and take notice. I really like the way this is headed. “Senicide” keeps the energy level up and charges forward in true metal fashion. The music is brutal… brutally good!! The guitar solo, which leads into Jill giving her best chants, grunts, and screams, is killer. “Sleep And Death” is solid as well, in that it comes at you with great drums, courtesy of Carl Wierzbicky. We are also treated to great guitar work by both lead guitarist Blake Meahl and rhythm from Ian Alden. Of course, Jill throws her magic all over this one. “Snow Witch” comes in and let’s you know that this is going to be a song that makes the head bang… literally. I couldn’t get out of the groove of this track, no matter how I tried. This track is helping steer the disc in the right direction. Eric Harris and his bass help keep the track on course.

“Eight Of Swords,” the first single from this disc, is a lesson in rhythmic metal that lulls you into safety with a mellow intro. Soon all hells breaks loose and the listener is treated to killer riffs and enchanting metal vocals from Ms. Janus. “Aradia” slows down briefly, but is great metal regardless. The guitar solo is accompanied by solid playing from the supporting roles musically. Even Jill’s vocal meanderings laid over top are complimentary. This song pulls together so many different sounds, rhythms, and methods, but does so in a way that it works. “Night Rape” steps up and is more straight forward metal. Again, the fret work is amazing and the rhythm section really knows how to keep you engaged, until Janus throws her amazing vocals at you and lures you in.

“Children” is another example of how killer vocals can make a good track better. The growls and guttural sounds are something that you won’t normally find in my regular listening pattern, but I am so drawn in by the whole package here. “Terror” has the eerie intro that perfectly accompanies the title. The only terror I felt during the song was a fear that the song would end. Again, this song really drew me in with its musical strength and the power of the vocals. “The Tower” starts off with an all killer – no filler riff and rhythm guitar piece. Jill’s vocals are again a centerpiece, but not the only thing carrying the disc. This song could just as easily have been the first single.

I know what you are thinking: “All positive comments yet a 4-1/2 star rating?” The only thing that holds this back from being a 5 star affair is that a lot of the tracks, as strong and enjoyable as they are, sound similar sonically. I would love to see this young group branch out and experiment a little more. I think they definitely have the skills to do it, they just need the push. If you like your metal on the harder side, do not be a fool and miss out on this disc. You will be kicking yourself later!!!

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Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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