According to Welsh folklore, Cŵn Annwn (probably not pronounced the way you’re currently trying to say it) were spectral hounds from the mythical otherworld of Annwn. The creatures were dubbed “hounds of hell” by Christians, although Annwn was actually less of an infernal landscape full of pitchforks and torture, and more of a heavenly afterlife of eternal youth and plenty. Oh well. Christians gonna Christian.Continue reading
Sad news has come down as singer Jill Janus of Huntress has died of an apparent suicide. She was 43. Janus had been open about her lifelong battle with depression and mental illness, all of her life. She also had a bout of Uterine Cancer and a resultant hysterectomy in 2015 that kept the band off of the road during their tour to support their album Static (Napalm Records). Static featured Lemmy from Motorhead on a track and was well-received. The news of her death was broken in posts by her bandmates. Casey Wood, who posted the following message on Facebook: “I’m in shock and can’t stop crying. My X best friend, singer has left the world. She was the biggest sweetheart and I hope that her Legacy lives on as it should! You were supposed to be on your way back here Jill Janus. I love you I miss you, and my door is still open for you always. Rest in peace my sister.” Johnny Jetson also commented “Very sad news… Just talked to my drummer Casey Wood who informed me that our singer Jill Janus has passed away. My deepest condolences to her family and loved ones… Jill was amazing and will be missed…”Continue reading
The world of Brendon Small‘s Galaktikon has just gotten a little bigger with the debut of the high stakes, live action, intergalactic metal short film for ‘Nightmare.’ Continue reading
If you’re a fan of metal music, there’s a big chance you’re also a fan of all things horror. Just released from 3 Wolves is the motion comic version of the Realm of the Damned comic book series, and it’s a Black Metal delight. Written by Alec Worley, who’s done a huge amount of work with UK publisher 2000 A.D., Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Nickelodeon, and Star Wars. With artist, colorist, and letterer, Pye Parr they created a tale worthy of a metalheads’ time. Continue reading
Here is another awesome contest you can win from Ghost Cult! We have teamed up with Realm Of The Damned to get you an amazing merch bundle from Realm of the Damned – Tenebris Deos, the awesome animated motion comic film from the graphic novel of the same name, out today on DVD and Blu-ray via 3 Wolves. Details how you can win are below:Continue reading
Last year the recently formed Werewolf Press released the amazing Realm of the Damned – Tenebris Deos graphic novel. Now re-imagined as an animated motion comic version, packed with metal personalities adding voiceover work, it will be available tomorrow, April 7th. Watch the trailer below: Continue reading
The Shrine ended their recent headlining tour with a sold out show at The Viper Room in West Hollywood, California. Continue reading
Sometimes, no matter how much you think you should like a band, for some inexplicable reason they just don’t click for you. First impressions can only be made once, second chances happen rarely, and third chances almost never occur, so once your mind is made up it will usually remain made up. This, of course, results in most bands who don’t make it past those first couple of ill-fated encounters finding themselves forever gathering dust inside that broken filing cabinet in the back of your mind, unceremoniously shoved away under N for ‘Nope’.
Or more likely another letter if your filing system isn’t as family friendly as my own.
Every now and again though, one of those bands manage to escape their gloomy confines and earn a reprieve. It could be anything that triggers this impromptu act of clemency; a video, a song, an interview, a live performance. But whatever it is, something suddenly hits the target and with nary a warning, you suddenly find yourself wondering why on earth you never took to them in the first place.
For me, that band is Huntress. A band I should have loved from the start, everything about them, both visually and musically, has been virtually tailor-made to meet my tastes. Occult imagery, boobs, fast and thrashy riffs, boobs, Rob Zombie style music videos, a ballsy and talented female vocalist and boobs. Yet somehow, until earlier this year when I saw them in the flesh (the band, not the boobs), I just didn’t Get It.
But Get It I eventually did, and having been won over by them in the live arena, that left the ball firmly in their court.
So, with the arrival of their latest album, Static (Napalm), Huntress become the latest band to have not only finally clawed their way into my good graces, but look to remain firmly cemented there for the foreseeable future. ‘Sorrow’ opens proceedings with a frantic blast and is followed by the Megadeth style intro of ‘Flesh’, a slower song with a killer chorus. ‘Brian’ is next, a track written about an eccentric old man who became friends with singer Jill Janus. ‘I Want to Wanna Wake Up’ is about Janus’s struggle with various mental illnesses, and slow burner ‘Mania’ treads the same lyrical path, crawling along with a bitter melancholy. Things taper off a little with ‘Four Blood Moons’, but only very slightly, and are set straight back on course afterwards with the double hitter of title track ‘Static’ and clear highlight of the album, ‘Harsh Times on Planet Stoked’. ‘Noble Savage’ chugs along effectively backed by a nice vocal performance by Janus, and ‘Fire in My Heart’ is a fine closer.
Only time will tell whether my opinion of their previous two albums will change, but if you were ever undecided about Huntress then I would urge you to give them another chance with Static. It might not hit you straight away (a couple of tracks take four or five spins to really come to life) but with some time and effort, the rewards are most definitely there to be had.
Huntress has announced they are dropping off their current tour with Avatar, Gemini Syndrome and others due to the state of the health of front woman Jill Janus, following her recovery from a recent hysterectomy. Diagnosed with state 1 uterine cancer, Janus and the band have released a statement on the tour:
“Announcement: Huntress will not being touring in Sept due to Jill Janus‘ healing from uterine cancer surgery. She is now cancer-free. Doctors have ordered one more month to properly heal, then Huntress will join Motörhead’s MotörBoat Cruise 9/28-10/2. We apologize to all our fans, Avatar, Gemini Syndrome & First Decree and look forward to more shows in the near future!”
Huntress will release their new album, Static, from Napalm Records on September 25th. The band currently has a Pledge Music campaign for the pre-sale orders of Static you can follow at this link. It is the follow up to their last album, Starbound Beast (also Napalm).
In between recording and hitting the road in support of Amon Amarth, Huntress frontwoman Jill Janus took time out to speak to Ghost Cult about life in Huntress and to tease a few details about their upcoming third album.
Life in a professional metal band isn’t like the glory days of old and long gone are the days when Manowar travelled in luxury with an additional bus in tow purely for their groupies. Two albums in on a respected metal label, Napalm Records, and with a flurry of press coverage for the pair, one would expect something more glamorous than a mini-bus to be Huntress’ touring companion. But this tour with Amon Amarth is about sacrifices to achieve a vision. “I wanted to tour with Amon Amarth. I wrote it down on a piece of paper and willed it to be true. And here we are. I’m a big believer in visualization” confirms focal-point, Jill Janus.
It’s easy to see why all roads lead to Jill. Not only the voice and face of the band, it is from her that the lyrical themes and imagery flow, too. But to what extent is Huntress a one person show?
“It’s Blake (Meahl – lead guitar) and I who are really the driving force behind Huntress and we’ve been fortunate enough to have several musicians come on this journey with us but sometimes touring is too hard, and that’s really the main reason we’ve had to replace a couple of band members along the way.
“We’re not making any money doing this, and some of these guys have wives or girlfriends or rent to pay, so unless you’re willing to put all your shit in a van, or in storage, it’s going to burn.
“I’ve really had to abandon all other ambitions and only live for Huntress” confirms the focused singer “and it’s not easy to do. Right now my main focus is self-control. It’s not easy to stay sane doing what I do and the pace at which I do it, and a lot of my focus now is ‘Keep your shit together, Jill, and don’t lose it’, and that’s it daily. Every day when I wake up, it’s focus, don’t lose it.”
Making it happen in a professional metal band isn’t all banging out some riffs and seeing what happens… “One side of it is to really maintain your self-control. The other is don’t believe your own hype. The minute you believe you’re a rock star, you’re an asshole. I stay very focused. I am cogniscent of the things that are going on around me, I can hear the buzz, I can hear hype, I won’t believe it because I’m very focused on my purpose.
“I don’t ever look online. It is toxic. It’s deadly. I never read anything online about Huntress. The only thing I interact with are my fans, and that’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and those are focused, limited moments. It’s come down to a science. I do not allow myself to read anything online, it’s methodical, and I do not allow any trolls to know my goals. I always say “Keep your goals away from trolls”, and that’s something I live by.
I’ve seen every part of this journey and it’s all come to fruition. Every single bit of Huntress, every moment, every plan has all been visualized and not only by myself but my band mates as well. If you dream it, you can be it. You’re looking at me here, because it was in my head at first. And that goes along with a lot of the imagery, the “occult” aspect as well. As I said, I’m a big believer in visualisation.”
One thing Jill may not have visualized was the panning and critical kicking their second album, Starbound Beast received in many quarters. Regaining credibility can be a difficult thing – it takes years to build a reputation, but only minutes to destroy it.
“We’re always going to stay true to the roots of heavy metal, and we’re always going to stay authentic to who we are, but we’re evolving and that’s a very organic process. What you’ll hear in the production is that it’s going to be a bit more modernized, which I’ve been pushing for and the boys are going to keep it true to the roots of heavy metal and keep the NWOBHM in there. Stylistically my vocals have a little hat-tip to the great Rob Halford and it’s going to be true Huntress through and through.
“The third record will have some of those doom elements, too (that were present on the second album), because it’s The Crone and it’s Death season. There’s dying, and doomy, but there’ll be some surprises on there and it’s going to be a touch catchier as well.”
Jill has mentioned previously that the first three albums are linked, thematically, in terms of following a female life from youth to maturity.
“The second record was more cosmic, the first more occult based, more witchcraft, and now we’re heading into the cycle for the third album, Album three is done, it just needs to be mixed when we get back and then we’re ready to rock. Two more things to do on it and then we’re ready. I call the first three albums our trilogy. The Maiden was Spell Eater, The Mother was Starbound Beast and here comes The Crone. The title is yet to be announced, but the record will be out sometime this summer and we’re moving into the realm of The Crone. The Crone is going to be ruling this phase of the trilogy. She’s horny and she’s an old bitch! She’s a lot of fun.”
Words by STEVE TOVEY