ChristianMFollowing their second album ‘Possession’, US female fronted traditional metal band Christian Mistress return with their latest slab of influences in the form of ‘To Your Death’. Musically, there is a mix of both classic metal and classic hard rock. The most striking is their twin guitar harmonies and rhythms that make me think of mid-seventies periods of three classics, namely UFO (especially on ‘Stronger than Blood’), The Scorpions and Judas Priest. There are a couple of NWOBHM riffs in this album too.

The priest comes out for ‘Open Road’ with a feel and attack akin to the metal gods, then you get a different flavour during ‘Ultimate Freedom’, especially when the solos start and appear almost go neo-classical. There’s a nice harmony and a solid level of skill, I invite you to engage in the art of air guitar for this section of the track! With some augmentation and diminished chords, ‘No Place’ sounds a touch like Black Trip for a more modern source of reference, with a cool bouncy feel to the track. For this release musically I love it, the vocals are good but I do find the tone lacking in power which brings a kind of “could have been better” thought to my mind, a trick missed in the mix leading to a understated delivery which is a touch unfair in response to the music in reality, but dilemmas aside, it’s worth mentioning my thoughts on that!

All in all, I like this much more than their previous offering, I still think there could be some work in the vocal delivery and mix to make them more subdued in order to mix better with the release, but still, Christian Mistress, as with the likes of Relentless show that the US is picking up the grass roots of traditional hard rock and metal once more and travelling the world.

(7/10 Paul Maddison)