By Mike Delano
Christian Mistress drummed up a lot of buzz following the release of the Agony & Opium EP in 2010, and their debut full-length delivers on all of that promise with confidence and ease. The Olympia, WA band has everything going for them: The smoky rasp of vocalist Christine Davis gives every song a rock swagger with a hint of mystery, and while they adhere to a classic hard rock sound for the most part, they’re not afraid to mix in metal influences to add some bulk. The comparison that comes to mind is Di’Anno-era Maiden, which is about as perfect a source for inspiration as any. The way something as aggressive as “Phantom of the Opera” could bump up against a song like “Strange World” and not sound awkward is echoed here in the way “Over & Over” coexists comfortably alongside “This Is Nowhere.” Sometimes that duality even happens in the same song, like “All Abandon,” wherein the guitar harkens to Lemmy & Co., while a few minutes later, the coda channels Heart. There’s no need for Christian Mistress to evolve beyond this sound, ’cause it’s perfect the way it is; just give us some more of it.