Words: Craig Hartranft
When play the type of music Christian Mistress plays, classic old school heavy metal, you can't expect much recognition, notably within the mainstream music industry or press. But the band has gotten some attention, even if on the fringes of the underground, for their revival of same said genre. The band arrives with their third album, To Your Death, still on relapse records.
Fundamentally, the Christian Mistress sound can be boiled down to the American side of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Don't know what that is? Look it up. The essentials of this sound revolve around melody and harmony, both in vocals and (often) twin guitars, large leads from the same, and a firm and rumbling rhythm section, often providing a familiar rock groove. Songs move along upon a moderate to swift pace, the latter along the lines of power metal. The Christian Mistress difference in all this is simply a female lead vocalist in Christine Davis.
From these elements, we can tap into the strengths and weaknesses. Without doubt, for simple traditional metal song composition, Christian Mistress is dead on. Melody, harmony, and groove abound Another solid and entertaining benefit is the twin guitar leads, at least I'm hoping both dudes get to wail. But more significantly, in riffs and rhythm, there harmony is unparalleled. Guitar lovers, lead and otherwise, take note. Listen for III. As for the vocals, here's the weak point. There's little doubt Ms Davis can sing with a clean and melodic style. Yet, while the Internet buzzes and wilts over her voice, I find nothing extraordinary or uncommon about it. The problem is that Davis is just buried under the music and mix, probably both. There's some clarity within Ultimate Freedom and Lone Wild, not so much elsewhere. Lyrics come in handy at this point. But, as I've said on other recent occasions, when the vocals are such (or screamo), I revert to giving greater attention to the music. Nevertheless, as said earlier, for classic American melodic heavy metal in the NWoBHM traditional, Christian Mistress is spot on and quite entertaining. Recommended.
For classic American melodic heavy metal in the NWoBHM traditional, Christian Mistress and their latest, To Your Death, is spot on and quite entertaining. Recommended.
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