Olympia’s Christian Mistress come good on fulfilling the promise foreshadowed on their stunning “AGONY & OPIUM” Ep with their Relapse Records much anticipated debut full length “POSSESSION.” After keeping themselves willfully below the radar while at the same time not being opposed to people organically discovering them on their own, Christian Mistress quickly garnered a lot of attention for their powerful art rather than the usual style over substance many anemic groups dish out. I am still wishing I could have gotten to see them on their recent dates with the equally (well, frankly even more so) uncompromising Hammers Of Misfortune.
“POSSESSION” will put to rest fears that the band’s aggressive and dirty NWOBHM influenced sound would be too cleaned up by polished production. While the Relapse full length is cleaner in sound than the 20 Buck Spin Ep, “POSSESSION” is hugely satisfying. You can’t help but root for the band while listening to it. I want to hug them and let them know they have done something great with their lives!
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It is so easy to forget what year it is and get lost in the classic heavy metal riffing herein while succumbing to the melodic hypnosis of Christine Davis’ vocals on tracks like “Black To Gold” and album standout “Pentagram and Crucifix”. The overall power of the sound is intact throughout “POSSESSION”, while the dynamic potential shown on an older song like “Desert Rose” is returned in spades throughout the peaks and valleys of the full length.
Mystique is a huge factor for me in the appeal of music, whether it is the shadowy, occult drenched sounds of Blood Ceremony, Jex Thoth or Serpentcult, the gritty yet majestic glow of Jane’s Addiction or the haunted sensuality of the much debated “witch house” genre (seriously digging France’s Unison right now. ‘Intimacy” is just such a lush and gorgeous song). Christian Mistress really has that special extra something. The guitar solos alone on “POSSESSION” are fantastic, like a snake charmer’s mad winding, free flying thoughts burning a hole out of your speaker above the unified push of the rhythm tracks. If only all metal could be this good!!!