Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Christian Mistress – Possession
Living here in the great Pacific Northwest means that I live close by to some great music put out by some great bands. Christian Mistress is one of those bands, in my humble opinion. They hail from Olympia, Washington, which is literally about 15 minutes south of me on I-5. I have had the pleasure to see them up close and personal in small clubs, which I love, and to follow their releases, from the demo that got them noticed, to their first full length, and now this release, their first for Relapse.
I really love this band, and they have really grown over the course of the release mentioned above. This one, Possession, really shows the band stretching out and doing some different things, and the results are very good.
One of the very minor complaints I had about this band is that, while they play some great, all out, thrashy kind of stuff, everything they did was in this vein. There weren’t a lot of tempo changes or anything like that to break things up. This new album has some very tasty slower tempo tunes and it really makes a difference when you are listening to the album. I haven’t had a chance to see them play any of the new songs live yet but I am looking forward to it.
Possession kicks off with a barn burner of a track called “Over and Over”. If you have heard Christian Mistress before, this track will be easily recognizable. But with the second track, “Pentagram and Crucifix”, the changes are immediately noticeable. The song has a nice, doomy, ominous opening before going full out. Then on track number four, “The Way Beyond”, we get an acoustic intro that fades into something you could call almost traditional metal.
Track 5, title track “Possession”, is a slower tempo track that really showcases the songwriting skills of the band and was my favorite on the album. The lyrics are great and it is definitely a side of the band not heard previously. “Black to Gold”, the sixth song on the album, is not some sort of ode to my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers, but it’s a very good up tempo track to get things raging again after a few slower songs. And the final 3 tracks of the album deliver the kind of music that Christian Mistress are known for.
When I heard that the band had signed to Relapse I was hoping the jump to a larger label would pay some dividends for the band, at the very least getting them some more exposure. Hopefully that will happen, and the album seems to be well received. But it also seems that the jump has paid off for them in terms of growth as a band all the way around. Great release from a band that more of us metal heads should know about, so go pick this up and you’ll be happy you did. You have my word on that.