Metal has expanded in quite a few different directions since the seventies', but bands like Christian Mistress keep the original spirit of the genre alive over a decade into the new millennium. This five-piece act from Washington takes plenty of hints from NWoBHM, stoner rock, doom metal, and classic hard rock into a sound that could've easily passed as something nearly forty years old. Possession is their second full-length album, and it is bound to satisfy most folks' itch for doomy classic metal. Although the musical approach that Christian Mistress takes is decidedly regressive, this is not a bad purchase for traditional heavy metal and hard rock fans.
Christian Mistress has received quite a bit of praise for their frontwoman's vocals, but for some reason Christine Davis' raspy singing style just comes across as flat and powerless to these ears - I'm just not feeling the aggressive and powerful vocals that I crave in a traditional metal album. Luckily, the guitar department more than compensates for the vocal shortcomings, and both axemen dish out plenty of rockin' riffs and killer lead solos. I wouldn't say that any of the songs here are particularly excellent, but Possession is still a fun listen when all is said and done.
Although most of this album is pedal-to-the-medal heavy rock, Christian Mistress also shows their ability to write more diverse pieces of music with the acoustic-influenced "There Is Nowhere", which also sports a killer Iron Maiden-like section towards the middle. All in all, this is a very respectable effort, even if I'm not won over by every aspect of the release. Fans of retro heavy rock are bound to enjoy Possession quite a bit, so I'd say 3 stars is a pretty fair score. Christian Mistress may not be the most inventive metal act out there, but they do what they do pretty well.