Metal!: Huntress, Surgeon and Extinction Protocol
On the 25th day of the 12th month of 2012, the Six-Tongued Hellgoat was summoned to arise from the ashes and bring darkness to this place called POPdose. Join him in his quest.
Ritual Thrust into the Profane Maw of Churning Filth
2012 was quite a year for Huntress as they got massive buzz surrounding their first album Spell Eater, hitting the scene on Napalm records. After listening to the record though, it was hard to understand what the hype was about because it just wasn’t very good. But when you looked at a picture of the band, it all became clear. Lead singer Jill Janus likes to take photos with barely any clothes on. Ah, ha! A metal record for college dudes! Thankfully, the Hellgoat is well…just that, a goat. And as such, he has no feelings for the female sex unless she bleats and rubs herself in hay. However, the Hellgoat’s human handler finds Janus ridiculously hot. And there lies the problem with Huntress. Jill Janus is a babe with a huge rack. And make no mistake, the band and label completely understand that boobs sell records.
I know what you’re saying – “you sexist mofo…” but anyone that has read the Hellgoat before knows that he cares about the music more than anything else and that if Janus covered her boobs up a little more, he wouldn’t even discuss it. But when you include a song on your record called, “I Want To Fuck You To Death” it’s hard to take your album very seriously (even if the track is co-written by fucking Lemmy!) But the Hellgoat listened to the album four times before even attempting this review just to make sure that he gave it a true musical shot.
That said, musically, Starbound Beast is a much better record than Spell Eater. Huntress haven’t changed their style at all, it’s still a very traditional heavy metal with some thrashing now and again but the melodies on this record are the best they’ve written as a group. A song like “Destroy Your Life” will be forever listenable due to its killer hook and the guitar work can be very good at times. The two issues with the disc are the fact that while there are plenty of worse singers, Janus’ voice simply isn’t great and there’s so little variations on the tunes that by the end, the record gets a little tedious. Forty-five minutes is about 15 minutes too long. A nice eight track, 30 minute disc would have been much better.
The Hellgoat only has a digital copy so he can’t see how many shades of near-naked Janus gets in the booklet but either way, this is a record made for horny 21-year-old dorm room stoners. It’s heavy enough for metal fans to take notice but anyone into metal strictly for the music will likely dismiss the record and not come back. That said, Starbound Beast does stand on its own better than anything Huntress has recorded so far.
Somnolent Regurgitation of the Scrolls of Proselytism
(The Hellgoat wishes to convert you to the ways of the metal. But he prefers to let the press release and bio do most of the talking on these nefarious black circles.)
Press: Surgeon propels an organic, flowing style of progressive metal with bold rock buildups, which also merges into the realms of epic, classic doom. Comprised of vocalist/bassist Sean Bolton, lead guitarist Lydia Giordano and drummer Ruston Grosse (ex-Rumpelstiltskin Grinder, ex-Woe, Master tour drummer), the band recorded their debut album Angry Guest at Electrical Audio in Chicago by Steve Albini, self-releasing it onto the masses in 2008. Their energy and attitude carries through both in the studio as well as on-stage, a feature that has helped the three seasoned musicians become known across the Philadelphia region, with Surgeon having shared the stage with Stinking Lizaveta, Howl, Black Cobra and others.
The Hellgoat’s Take (8.5/10): The Hellgoat wishes he had dug this one out sooner. It’s always the hope that the Hellgoat can find a progressive metal record that isn’t just 40 minutes of guitar wanking simply for the sake of showing off and there’s none of that on this record. Chemical Reign is an heavy record with just enough technicality to enhance some already great riffs. The Hellgoat really isn’t sure what to make of the oddly titled “Hamburger Factory” which sounds like grunge meeting metal but other than that, a comparison to former fellow Pennsylvanian’s Slough Feg is not far off base.
Press: Formed in 2010, Extinction Protocol merges classic death metal structures with breakdowns and grooves of modern, guttural slam while infusing the darkness of dissonant black metal into the proverbial cataclysmic blender. A nihilist death metal vortex, Extinction Protocol’s debut album, Aeonic Obliteration lyrically scrutinizes the greed and corruption of mankind thus concluding mankind’s eventual downfall due to genetic testing and world altering events.
The Hellgoat’s Take (9/10): Here’s another Pennsylvania band and this one has created a debut record that some veteran death metalers which they could have made. Aeonic Obliteration is technically solid, chocked with vicious riffs and creative passages throughout the disc. The mix of comprehensible death growls and the guttural brutal voice is great and it’s even challenging lyrically as this disc isn’t about the usual horror and gore. Aeonic Obliteration is a fantastic debut record no matter what way you look at it and hopefully a good sign for the future of this band.