How much of the attention garnered by California’s Huntress is due to the overexposed physique of vocalist Jill Janus is hard to gauge. Sure, metal could use more scantily clad ladies, after all, this is a genre largely dominated by hungry and hairy males with the kind of titties no one wants to see, but the blatant exploitation of her female attributes raises not only wieners but also a few questions, can she sing? If so, why does she need to oversex her music? Why offer a distraction like her perfectly rounded boobies if her band has the music to back it up? Needless to say, Huntress have taken the easier route, they have a hot lady at the mike and so she is up front, grabbing headlines and eyeballs.
The funny thing is Janus is also up front in the music and she is largely not the strongest link in the chain. Her presence in the photos seems to be a reflection of her ego at the mike, the need to push her forward perhaps seen as the quickest way to the top. Can Janus sing? Sure she can. She can sing high pitch and she can screech like a child, she can come close to King Diamond’s hilarious falsetto and she can go a little lower a la Angela Gossow. She’s got lung power and surely, she’s also got chest power but can she sing cool? That depends on your taste, one things is for sure, she can also annoy the fuck out of you.
That’s to say that in more than one occasion I found myself just wanting to listen to the music and not to her voice. That says something about how much you can stand her approach and not much about the music, because frankly the songs, though clean and competently executed do not go over the average standards of clean cut current heavy metal.
Huntress exhibit a traditional metal sound that in some of the riffage recalls early Helloween with an updated production. Occasionally, bits of black metal histrionics come into play via sped up passages, and a slightly rambunctious though sterile thrashy feel appears temporarily. This is in the end not enough to propel Huntress beyond any other run of the mill heavy metal band working today. They have the boobies though and that should count for something.
Written by Ignacio Brown