Last year Metalholic tapped Christian Mistress vocalist Christine Davis as one of its Top Women In Hard Rock and Metal for 2011. At the time very few knew who she was, and given the band’s aversion to social media, she and her mates remain something of a mystery to all but a very few clued in rockers. The band’s debut album Agony & Opium also made our list Top 50 Metal Albums of 2010. The Olympia, Washington quintet stole our collective hearts with its vintage sound. Here is where the term “NWOBHM” usually comes in, for the band’s dual guitars and overall sound recall those early sounds of mixed punkish metal from the likes of Iron Maiden, Saxon, Motörhead, and Angel Witch. However, as I discovered from Davis firsthand, neither she or her mates care for the term NWOBHM as they feel their sound takes more from classical roots, and of course, they aren’t British.
So justly, and if backhandedly chastised for not digging deeper than my surface take on the band, I humbly apologize to them for my journalistic laziness. In truth, I still believe the band’s style and sound hark back in many ways to that era we so love and remember, but part of that is the nostalgic feel the band’s raw and organic signature presents. From recording in analog on a shoestring budget, to hand designed cover art, to the band’s intriguing air of mystery, Christian Mistress is both unique yet comfortably familiar. If one goes beyond easy labels, there can be found a great many layers of proto-metal in the Christian Mistress sound, including nuances of Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, early Scorpions, and even a taste of bands like Blue Cheer and Blue Oyster Cult. It’s all there, if one only listens with an open mind.
With the release last month of the band’s second album, Possession, its first for Relapse Records, Christian Mistress remains true to its signature while expanding its boundaries. I won’t rehash my review of the album here, you can click on the link to read it, but there is no sophomore slump here. In fact while the band’s raw power remains intact, Possession offers more textures and subtleties.
This weekend I had the opportunity to talk to Christine about the band’s beginnings, the new album, and her somewhat spiritual path to the music and lyrics she writes. Deeply intelligent, openly honest, Davis shares her love for the dichotomies of life and music, and how they play out within the band. She also shares some of the stories behind a few of the songs on Possession along with her list of albums which changed her life.