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'Spell Eater' - 50%

Altair 4, April 15th, 2014

The much hyped full-length debut of Huntress, 'Spell Eater', is a decent slab of heavy metal featuring gritty vocalist Jill Janus. My first introduction to the band was their 2013 release 'Starbound Beast', and oddly enough this debut outshines it significantly. This isn't to say that it's without a good number of problems, much of the songwriting seems very middle-of-the-road as far as creativity goes, and the vocals are often annoying. Often times Jill Janus sounds like a cheap Mike Howe (Metal Church) rip-off, and her harsh vocals are frequently amateurish and don't mesh well with the music at all. These kinds of problems are frequent throughout the album, so naming particular offenders would be silly. On the whole though, the production is good, the songwriting is solid enough (if a little boring and uninspired), and there are indeed times when Jill Janus is impressive in her range and emotional conveyance.

The title track, "Eight of Swords", and "Aradia" feature some of the better riffs and vocals. Often chugging and tumbling, the guitars and rhythm section are tight throughout, though there are no prominent or attention-grabbing leads in the album. The lyrical ideas also seem more interesting on this album than what's found on 'Starbound Beast'.

Overall, however, there's simply not enough on this album to justify the purchase and attention. If you want the supreme package of what Huntress is trying to be, then I can recommend Wolf, as their vocalist also is reminiscent of Mike Howe, and their riffs/songwriting are top-of-the-line. While this is a decent, solid release, I can't really recommend it when other contemporary bands are doing the same thing ten times better.