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Huntress - "Spell Eater" (CD)

Huntress - "Spell Eater" CD cover image

"Spell Eater" track listing:

1. Spell Eater (3:57)
2. Senecide (4:00)
3. Sleep and Death (4:27)
4. Snow Witch (5:02)
5. Eight of Swords (5:42)
6. Aradia (4:08)
7. Night Rape (3:17)
8. Children (3:11)
9. Terror (4:45)
10. The Tower (4:31)

Reviewed by on April 3, 2012

"...there really is something for just about any fan of pure metal found on 'Spell Eater.'"

When I first heard "Eight of Swords" months before Huntress signed with Napalm, I knew there was something special about this band. The song nicely captured the spirit of metal as it was originally intended. It is a modern blast of traditional/power thrash with the “white witch” Jill Janus at the helm, who can belt it with the best female singers. With "Spell Eater," my suspicions were indeed confirmed, as what we have here is a stunning debut for all fans of traditional metal.

One of the most notable presences on "Spell Eater" is represented in the many shades of Jill Janus. At times, her vocals can be quite grating (no doubt the "evil, horny old crone" she refers to this character as), but she delivers by definition "the perfect female metal voice." You won’t find Angela Gossow or Tarja Turunen anywhere on this album. What you will find is a unique powerful vocal style that can best be described as the reincarnation of the late great Dawn Crosby (Détente/Fear of God) (see "Senicide" and "Children"). When Jill screams out "school is out forever" ("Terror") I ‘recognize her authority’!

Like the Détente of old, Huntress lays down a slab of unrelenting power. Whether it is through the galloping riffs of "Aradia," the haunting chorus of "Snow Witch" or the charging power thrashing hymn of "Terror," there really is something for just about any fan of pure metal found on "Spell Eater." However, the true classics of the album are the charging "Night Rape" and "Spell Eater" which are about as pure metal as it gets. Jill shines with the entire repertoire of characters wrapped around amazing riffs and a bucketful of tasty catchiness. Among other Janus highlights: the opening scream of "Eight of Swords" and the demonic end to "Children."

“Spell Eater” is an impressive debut from a band that I expect great things from in the coming years. With solid musicianship, a perfect blend of tradition with a spice of thrash and a vocalist that can carry the band to greatness, the sky is the limit.

Highs: Impressive debut of traditional metal with a dash of thrash.

Lows: Jill Janus' schreeching is as much endearing as it is grating to the skull.

Bottom line: If you don't find Huntress' debut impressive, Jill Janus will turn you into a horny toad.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)