Christian Mistress
Possession


4.5
superb

Review

by Greg Fisher STAFF
March 1st, 2012 | 65 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An exquisite heavy metal throwback that combines gritty musicianship with enchanting female vocals.

Some musicians seem to suffer the misfortune of being born in the wrong period. Hailing from Olympia, Washington, Christian Mistress really feel like one of these several bands that have a wistful longing for the good old days given their genuine affection for classic 1970s hard rock and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. The proto-metal vibe eclipses the entirety of the act's dryly produced sophomore album, Possession, yet the members of the band manage to make their presentation startlingly refreshing. Rather than rehashing the exact style of old classic albums, Christian Mistress come up with a fairly distinct spin on traditional heavy metal. They strike a perfect balance between flamboyance and filth while largely abandoning the harsh and abrasive tendencies of their copious peers.

Following on the same formula that made their debut disc so engrossing, Possession can be characterized by a sonically tighter, grittier instrumentation as well as significantly more consistent songwriting. The dual, superbly harmonized guitar work of Ryan McClain and Oscar Sparbel provides an ideal backdrop for immensely talented Christine Davis whose smoky vocals and angular phrasing result in the sense of brooding dread throughout. There are much more facets to her unusual performance though. She can be curiously enigmatic and dreary at one point only to come off confrontational and forceful at the other. Her dramatic delivery gets particularly poignant in amazing “Haunted Hunted” when she sings as if she was a participant of a twisted cult evoking disturbing images with her raspy voice.

Unlike numerous retro-metal albums, Possession displays an admirable level of diversity in volume, tempo and mood. Such high-octane tracks as “The Way Beyond” and “Black To Gold” revolve around frantic riffs that wallop across the groove of the rhythm section in a menacing pace. In contrast, Christian Mistress craft some of their most alluring tunes when they keep the tempo slower. The title track takes a heavy Black Sabbath-influenced riff and combines it with Davis' piercing vocals in the truly memorable chorus, whereas “There Is Nowhere” fully exposes the band's bluesy tendencies with atmospheric acoustic guitar-driven passages that only later develop into the hard-hitting bridge of commendable guitar soloing.

When the majority of melodic metal releases solely depends on the predictable pay-off, Possession is more concerned about non-linear dynamics and tension. Instead of relying on worn-out song structures, the compositions actually surprise with plenty of adventurous progressions and the stifling atmosphere of mystery. These qualities, along with an organic analogue production by Tim Green, make for a daring heavy metal album that's sufficiently competent to display its own individual style while keeping the plethora of classic rock references intact.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 1st 2012


6345 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

album stream: http://christianmistress.bandcamp.com/album/possession

Saw the Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats rec

Stoked



Will read later


Edit : The band's name is awesome.

Digging: Aspherium - The Fall of Therenia

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
March 1st 2012


21638 Comments


I need to hear this. Great review as ususal.

Digging: Foxes in Fiction - Ontario Gothic

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 1st 2012


7472 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Black To Gold:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYUKgKnoaGo

Digging: Clipping - CLPPNG

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
March 1st 2012


19075 Comments


yeah cool band name might listen

Digging: Stereolab - Dots and Loops

CaptainDooRight
March 1st 2012


30363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

what do you we have here

Digging: Henryk Gorecki - Symphony No. 3, Op. 36

Jethro42
March 1st 2012


12659 Comments


Seems interesting

Parallels
March 1st 2012


6643 Comments


Sounds pretty cool.

pos'd

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 1st 2012


7472 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Everyone even remotely into traditional heavy metal should check it out. This is also most definitely a grower.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
March 1st 2012


21638 Comments


Black To Gold rocks hard. Definitely gonna check the rest of this out at some point.

CaptainDooRight
March 1st 2012


30363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

although I metal hard, my roots are rocking hard so I'm in

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 1st 2012


7472 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah. This hearkens back to early Judas Priest and Black Sabbath.

FelixCulpa
March 1st 2012


1240 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This rocks. Pos'd.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 1st 2012


7472 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You can stream the entire album here:

http://www.guitarworld.com/exclusive-christian-mistress-streaming-new-album-possession

KILL
March 1st 2012


72285 Comments


will check

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

CaptainDooRight
March 1st 2012


30363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sweet thanks for the sausage link!

SteelErectedb4you8er
March 1st 2012


2618 Comments


Nice review, Greg. I have been meaning to give this a spin. I will look into it for sure.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 1st 2012


7472 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks dude. I think you'll be mad about this/her.

TBliss2
March 2nd 2012


504 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Really cool album, and great review, pos.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 2nd 2012


7472 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thx. I really love her vocals. We need more female singers like this.

pizzamachine
March 2nd 2012


12572 Comments


This is really keen, and wow the female singer sells it for me



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