Olympia's Christian Mistress admirably uphold the standard of prefix-free metal with this, their Relapse debut. Possession doesn't need to be attached to any antiquated movement or set of placeholders, although the formidable presence of Judas Priest, Accept and Tank are felt throughout. This album is proof that heavy music need not shed its skin year after year and adopt new aliases, philosophies or fashions. This album is simply a natural outgrowth of the grandiosity and aggression that came before ― a little dirtier, a little more straight-faced and mean, but still vital. Closer "All Abandon" and the title track are undoubtedly the standout songs, featuring subtle acoustic passages that act as momentary respites from riffs that alternate between a highly charged, NWOBHM-style and more ominous, occult-influenced fare, providing an admirable amount of diversity. One of the only drawbacks is a lack of memorable hooks from otherwise outstanding vocalist Christine Davis, but the vibe of this album is more than strong enough to warrant a proper listen.
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