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Agony and Opium - EP

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Album Review

This six-song EP by the Olympia, WA-based, female-fronted retro-metal quintet Christian Mistress is solidly rooted in early-'80s sounds. The band's loose yet driving rhythm takes from New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands like Iron Maiden (in their early, punky, pre-Bruce Dickinson incarnation), Diamond Head, and the like; drummer Reuben Storey hits hard, but his pounding hasn't been locked to a Pro Tools grid by a producer, and the music has a deeply human feel as a consequence. Guitarists Ryan McClain and Oscar Sparbel crank out riffs that sound straight from 1979-1980, while bassist Johnny Wulf locks in with Storey and keeps things firmly anchored. As impressive as McClain and Sparbel are (and they are), frontwoman Christine Davis is the primary selling point. Her slightly hoarse yet powerful vocals combine the incantatory power of Patti Smith, the raw force of Wendy O. Williams, and the howls of Nicole Lee of '80s Chicago thrashers Znöwhite. The organic production and classicist songwriting make Agony and Opium a genuinely timeless album; it could have been made at any time between 1980 and 2010, and a subset of metal fans, those truly committed to the denim-vest-over-leather-jacket lifestyle, will love it.

Customer Reviews

Looking forward to more from this band

The stand out tracks for me are Riding On the Edges, Poison Path and Black Vigil. Desert Rose and Home in the Sun aren't bad at all, but they seem too long and start to get kinda monotonous. Omega Stone is a slower paced song that kicks it up a notch about halfway through, its a really good track. I think the vocals fit the songs perfectly. They don't try anything over the top ,which is great, and they can obviously jam. Recommended for anyone who likes good ole straight forward heavy metal!!

Christian mistress - the debut album

very retro sounding hard rock, theres a little bit of girschool, with a drop of thin thizzy style guitar, but i dont hear any metallica / megadeth influence, you might want to ignore the itunes review and see for yourself. the vocals take some to get used to.
but overall this isnt bad.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '10s

Olympia, Washington's Christian Mistress fly in the face of the region's grunge-birthing reputation with a sound representing what was arguably the strongest musical style laid low by the flannel revolution: heavy metal. In fact, since coming together in 2008, band members Ryan McClain (guitar), Oscar Sparbel (guitar), Johnny Wulf (bass), Rueben Storey (drums), and raspy-voiced front-woman Christine Davis (ex-Buried Blood), have set their studded watches back in time, focusing squarely on the raw,...
Full Bio
Agony and Opium - EP, Christian Mistress
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  • $5.94
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal
  • Released: Aug 24, 2010

Customer Ratings