Friday, June 28, 2013

Huntress: "StarBound Beast"

When the heavier bands from this style of post-new wave of British Heavy started trying to appease their record labels, the bands from L.A. who didn't try to follow Slayers lead, tried to take cues from bands like Queensryche and write subtly more commercial music. That is what is happening here on Huntress' sophomore album, calling it a sophomore s;ump might be taking to critical line of thinking.

The Lemmy co-written " I Want to F You to Death"  I find it hard to believe that Mr. Kilmister had much to to with this as there isn't really anything that sounds like Motorhead except the title. There are frequent James Hetfeild "yeah yeahs" smattered about . The chorus reminds me of Lizzy Borden, right down to Jill's vibrato.

"Destroy Your Life" takes off on a straight ahead gallop, with Janus' vocals taking on a gruffer lower tone. The title takes on a more mid paced arena rock chug along the lines of Accept until the doomy undertones of the chorus give it a little more Candlemass like shading. The slicker production and the more deliberate pacing of the songs takes the thrash edge off of most of these songs.The riffing is at times smarter and catchier though the bass is lower in the mix which gives them an overall cleaner but thinner sound. The vocals do benefit the most from the production and the firmly place themselves as more of a metal band than say In this Moment.

"Zenith" is one of the exceptions to the dialed back thrash rule. It sounds like it was left over from "Spell-Eater" and feature one of her more glorious head register yodels, though the claims of her having a four octave range I still hold suspect. "Oracle" starts off in an aggressive power-metal stance, the melodies just don't hook me in and give cause to wonder of this album was a bit rushed in the writing process. Songs like "Receiver" showcase the fact the albums strength in the more thoughtfully written guitar parts are in fact having to carry the weight for the bland vocal melodies.

The closer "Alpha Tauri"  offers more dynamics in this one song than perhaps the album as a whole. I think this would have been a great album if filled with these types of bells and whistles rather than the no frills arena metal occupying most of the album. I'll give this one a 5.5 as it has it moments but doesn't come close to Spell-eater leaving to look forward to their cleavage filled videos rather than give this one as half as many spins as it's predecessor.

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