Thursday, March 29, 2012

Christian Mistress: Possession (2012)

Ooh, Barracuda

Women have a strange place in the history of heavy music. When they're not in the band, they're marginalized, objectified, or targeted for lyrical and artistic violence. When they are in the band, they can be seen as a blatant appeal to sex, an automatic commercialization, or as lesser than their male counterparts. In reality, they've contributed a lot more than people recognize. Heart, Joan Jett, and Pat Benatar all made serious contributions to hard rock during metal's formative years. Christine Davis of Christian Mistress is continuing that tradition.

Possession is the band's second full-length. In truth, the selling point here is Davis's vocal talent. Her smoky voice recalls those pioneering hard rock women, and she's got more hooks on this record than "Barracuda," "Bad Reputation," and "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" combined. But if vocal hooks were all the record had to offer, I wouldn't be talking about it.

Underneath that old-school, hook-oriented vocal approach are three more layers of rock tradition. Seventies hard rock, NWOBHM, and doom metal combine for the full effect of all three genres: swagger, shred, and crush. The production sounds incredibly natural, while each instrument is audible and powerful. In other words, it does justice to the music.

There's really nothing else to say. Smoky voice, vocal hooks, catchy tunes, shredding guitars, solid bass and drums, old-school attitude. It's fantastic.

The Verdict: Possession makes Christian Mistress the first serious contender for album-of-the-year status. It is that good. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Buy Possession


  1. I think that's the first time I've noticed you giving a new album 5 stars.

  2. I think I did that 8 times last year. I don't do it a lot, but definitely more than, say, Decibel, where they pretty much reserve it for reissues of absolute classics.

  3. I love Decibel, but they give too many albums a score of 7 or 8. Keep up the good work- I like your reviews a lot.

  4. Thanks! I did an analysis of my own review scores compared to theirs (click the "Rating Scale" link in the sidebar). I haven't checked to see if my numbers have changed recently, though.