Hailing from Olympia, Washington, and rumored to be the only heavy metal band from that Pacific Northwest town, Christian Mistress deliver their metal goods in a way that conjures flashbacks of the late 80’s, simultaneously bringing to mind the furious thunder of Judas Priest, Diamond Head and some ‘Kill ‘Em All’-era Metallica. Gaining praise from forthright Darkthrone mastermind Fenriz, the band’s brand of metal has been clawing its way throughout the underground metal scene worldwide while setting them apart from the rest of today‘s metal pack. Thus, it seems there is no stopping the rise of Christian Mistress as they prepare to take their message of old-school thrashing metal madness to the masses, on the road from now into 2011.

A little short of half-an-hour in length, and hot on the heels of their 2009 demo, the band’s debut full-length, Agony & Opium (20 Buck Spin), seems to be a fine introduction to that ascension. The record is at once a nod to the past and a glimpse into the future, in that the band’s sound delivers something new to the metal world, while still remaining in touch with their roots and influences. Nearly everything about Agony & Opium functions as a sort of time warp. Fist-pumping percussion, flesh-burning riffs and solo work and the raw, gutsy vocal approach of Christine Davis all join forces to shine through in glorious, head-banging fashion on loose, full-throttle songs like “Riding on the Edges”, “Poison Path” and “Black Vigil” and will probably leave the listener no choice whatsoever than to crack open a beer or fifty and lash out around the room madly, with horns raised high. The only real time for a breather is when the record’s closing number, “Omega Stone” drifts in with soft and somber guitar and vocals, before once again kicking the pedal through the floor with whiplash velocity head-first into a scorching solo-driven ending that stops on a dime.

If you’re looking for fancy, inhuman computer effects, a billion guitar tracks stacked to the sky or any other bells and/or whistles for that matter, Christian Mistress may not be for you. However, if you’re on the hunt for something to inspire a night of no-frills jams that evoke denim-and-leather-clad drinking and metal madness, then Agony & Opium may just be the fix that does you good!