IN THIS DAY and age, Christian Mistress' methods are about as prehistoric and unconventional as a typewriter. While other bands spend hours crafting websites and updating Facebook profiles, this Olympia-bred quintet instead decided to spend their time writing good, passionate heavy metal.
"We kind of did this experiment to see if only the music spoke for us," vocalist Christine Davis explains. "It was a surprise that it worked."
And boy, did it work! After roughly three years of existence, without any "clumsy" internet self-promotion, Christian Mistress somehow wrapped their name around the world. Last year, after 20 Buck Spin released their EP Agony and Opium, Spin magazine exclaimed they "might rule the world," and now Relapse Records will release their recently completed full-length Possession in February. The new year will also see them appearing at the Roadburn festival in Holland, with other European dates in the works.
It all seems pretty farfetched, until you hear the band. Their tunes trigger more then just your head-banging reflex. Like early Judas Priest before them, Christian Mistress has a sound that is, in its way, profound. Their metal has depth and soul, rare qualities considering most metal bands (whether they'll admit it or not) have their tongues firmly pressed against their cheeks.
"Heavy metal can exceed the bonds that it's been given by the listener," says Davis. "I think there's a visceral element that we rely on, even though we didn't have that in mind when we started out."
The feel that Christian Mistress evokes can only be created by a band with all members masterfully working together. Davis' sensual, ghostly, yet sandpapery vocals swirl over haunting dual guitar harmonies and stomping drum and bass grooves. The cohesion of the players results in a gut-warming and mind-expanding experience. According to Davis, the band is well aware of each member's importance.
"Everyone is integral to the feeling. If one person quit, the band would be over. We wouldn't be able to replace anybody. Sometimes we feel a bit silly about it, but we all feel chained to each other and chained to the music. We definitely are a family."