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You Can't Be Serious... - 10%

doomknocker, November 24th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2012, CD, Napalm Records

When Huntress first came on the scene it was damn-near impossible to not have their name in your face. More so due to the relentless media storm Napalm Records felt necessary to undertake versus anything else, the words "Spell Eater" cascaded from the mountaintops for any and all to be crushed under for a good while. A new metal juggernaut looking to be the next big thing in heavy I've heard, anyway. But in the end this truly did not come to be, and instead we were all treated to a hollow and acidic experience bordering on bitter parody...

What we have here is, by and large, one of the most misguided and ignominiously horrible albums I've ever had the misfortune of hearing. Curse my curiosity and giving in to Napalm's repeated whoring of this collective of failure... The look and sound of Huntress has all the appeal of forty-somethings jamming in a garage for nothing more than shits, giggles and something new to try. I mean, even the band itself looks like a mid-life crisis quintet! But what makes Huntress even worse than that is that there's no sense of class or charm the aforementioned scenario always seems to have; their attempt at bringing the spirit of old guard heavy metal back to the masses has all the depth and value of something from the Dollar Menu. The guitars may have bite, the performance sticks together more often than not, and this may not have been tossed together over a weekend, but "Spell Eater" is really nothing special. Or, really, anything at all. I couldn't think of a single trait that stood out outside of tired musical cliches, predictable arrangements and an increasing urge to find something that would actually "wow" me, as for all the members' apparent skills at their respective instruments it all sounds so disingenuous and, well, fake. It's kind of insulting how this not only came to be but was as hyped as it was, as if the 'tress were meant to be something other than a two-dimensional product group offering so little to the table. There was a fleeting moment where I felt bad for them as a result of this...this may have been the best they could do, and it still fell a few dozen meters short. Nothing matters, no one track is better (or different, really) from the rest, kinda sad...

The band is bad, the music is awful, but at the top of the shit heap, there's Jill Janus. I didn't think I could find a vocalist so abhorrent as to threaten to kick Anette Olzon off the skeletal throne of "Worst Singers I've Ever Heard", but dammit if Jill doesn't try her best to make the seat her own. For whereas Anette has the capacity to sound decent in proper musical context and actually composes herself with a level of decorum, nothing Ms Janus does is good. Not a single thing. Her off-key Halford-aping, post-rawk chick screeches and undignified photo ops make me want to shove my head through a wall, so unnecessary and forced it all comes off as. If anyone ever needed a face to put with the description of "band gimmick", this is it; Huntress could have found any other motherfucker to front them and instead went with an annoying, vapid excuse for a singer with a heroin chic appeal (I'm not kidding on that, either...seeing them live a few years back, Jill stumbled to and fro in dirty jeans looking trashed out of her gourd...I had to leave the venue during their set because of it.). She is easily the worst part of this group, necessitating an entire paragraph denotation to her utter uselessness. Trust me on this if'n you're not familiar.

All in all "Spell Eater" takes every single negative trait in heavy metal and puts them on full display like patches on a denim jacket, "poseur metal" made flesh. Badly written and badly sung, I truly cannot recommend this to anyone, not even the Metal Elite, and the less said about the album and band, the better; there are other acts out there doing this type of sword-and-sorcery classic metal sound proper justice on a musical and aesthetic level without needing to shove a pair of tits in your face. Well, not literally, anyway, for I cannot speak for album art...but yeah. Huntress is the worst. Let's leave it at that.