Weighed down by depressions and a couple of different mental illnesses, Huntress front woman Jill Janus has become a strong presence in the heavy metal community. With the band supporting the likes of Lamb Of God, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy and Killswitch Engage, there is clearly something good going on in the Huntress camp. After extensive touring and promoting the band, they continue to express themselves with another album: ‘Shock’.
Do some research on Huntress and it immediately becomes clear that everything within and surrounding this band is concentrated on vocalist Jill Janus. She’s on the cover, she’s in the video’s and every single track on ‘Static’ has been produced to let her vocals come out best. To be honest, it’s not a bad thing to have Janus in view, or on vocals. She looks great and has a great vocal delivery, an amazing combo for every front woman.
That’s exactly the problem with Huntress. The band plays completely in service of Janus. There’s a lack of amazing, booming riffs, the solos are short, if there are any at all. Every single track has been arranged to have Janus steal the show, but the albums production leaves some problems. Jill Janus’ vocals are laden with effect, not a couple of different effects, but every single track, every single vocal note has the same sound to it. And that’s a great shame.
The feeling creeping up on me is that this could easily be the most disintresting album of the year. It sounds like every track is written with haste, without passion and without taking any risk. It doesn’t matter if you start with the fast, opening track ‘Sorrow’, or with title track ‘Static’ it more or less sounds the same. Even worse, if you put it on while doing something else, the album flashes by, without any highlight to really draw your attention or grab you by the throat. It misses power and it misses creativity, a lot.
It’s a shame that the talents of Janus don’t get exploited as much as they could. She has an amazing grunt, that we only hear for a couple of seconds on ‘Mania’, but it could easily have been a break in the mediocrity that ‘Static’ embraced. With their live appearances in mind, this band can do way better. It seems that Huntress delivered some pretty solid first two records, but unfortunately, what goes up, goes down. Let’s hope they won’t tumble head first into a free fall.
- I Want To Wanna Wake Up
- Four Blood Moons
- Harsh Times On Planet Stoked
- Noble Savage
- Fire In My Heart