Review: Huntress – Starbound Beast

Huntress – Starbound Beast
Released: July 2nd, 2013
Label: Napalm Records
★★★★☆

Huntress-Starbound BeastBack in the day acts like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Motörhead emerged during the “New Wave Of British Heavy Metal” era of music. They pushed metal in a faster, meaner direction compared to previous acts like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Today you don’t hear too many bands incorporating that NWOBHM style and doing it well. With “Starbound Beast“, Huntress successfully blends melodic metal, along with elements of Thrash and even touches of Black Metal to create a killer, well rounded Metal album.

Huntress came about around 2009 when Jill Janus met a metal band in Los Angeles named “Professor”, an underground metal band from Highland Park, California. Admittedly, I do not own much heavy metal music with female vocalists. It’s not because I am some sexist prick though. It’s more due to the fact that many metal bands with female vocals have never appealed to me. Often the vocals border on high pitched pop rock choruses or never mesh well with the music. With Huntress however, Jill Janus is a perfect front woman for the music the band creates. Janus’ vocals stay towards the lower vocal spectrum, becoming almost gravely at times, just to flip around and become a seductive and melodic high pitched wail. With the song “Blood Sisters” she even throws in some Black Metal style growls.

The music of “Starbound Beast” is firmly rooted in melodic heavy metal. The tracks on the album are full of pummeling, rapid fire drumming along with catchy guitar riffs. The lead guitars sit up front, blistering through at lightning speed with the occasional squealing guitar solo. But Huntress isn’t a Thrash band. They do slow things down at times. Towards the end of the track “Starbound Beast“, Huntress even kicks out a doom metal vibe.

Tracks such as “Receiver” and “Spectra Spectral” lean heavily towards that NWOBHM sound with lengthy, wailing guitar solos, mid-tempo drums that thump and gruff but melodic vocals kicking into high pitch wails. One thing easily noticed when listening to “Starbound Beast” is that ALL the songs are catchy as hell. Two of the catchiest being “Blood Sisters” and “I Want To Fuck You To Death“.

My only “complaint” about “Starbound Beast” would be the lack of audible bass. The bass lines are so buried in the mix they are virtually unheard. I understand Huntress is focused on a “guitar rock” sound, but it would be nice if the bass was a bit more prevalent in some of the tracks.

That said, there is not a bad song on “Starbound Beast”. Huntress delivers with energetic and excellent Heavy Metal. If Huntress keeps cranking out albums with the same caliber as “Starbound Beast“, they will be well on their way to being a huge name in Metal. If you are a fan of old school heavy metal definitely check out Huntress and “Starbound Beast”.

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