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Sewer Metal. It's worthwhile - 85%

Etiam, January 3rd, 2006

I will be completely honest. Had I not known that I was listening to Mistress during the duration of this album’s first track, ‘In Disgust We Trust’, I would not have enjoyed it all that much. My first impression was of a sloppy, bravado-driven soundtrack to a shirtless tough-guy’s moshpit wet dream. Very simple chord progression, verse, bridge, chorus, verse, sprinkle a thin layer of interlude, repeat.

However, like an aged hunk of cheese rotting in the gutter, Mistress festers and grows as time progresses. What was once edible is now a festering pustule of dirty sounds and secretions. Yes, this is pretty simple music. Yes, it’s definitely tough guy. But it’s played with such flare and sneering choler that I can’t help but love it. There is no posturing, which is, ironically, what makes this digestible: the fact that it’s so spiteful and filthy that I can swallow it without complaint.

Led by Dave ‘Cunt’ (also known for his vitriolic work in Anaal Nathrakh, though the association is not played up much at all, which is refreshing), Mistress smash and booze their way through 11 tracks, the last of which is a ‘hidden’ track where Dave employs his more Anaal styled vocals and the music reaches its most destructive pitch. This is not to say that the rest of the album doesn’t burn and boil, though. It surely does, with song titles like ‘Fucking Fuck’ and ‘Alcohole’ giving a pretty clear idea as to what the audience is in for.

What makes Mistress unique in the genre of grind/crust/fuck-you/core is that they are slightly unpredictable and completely devoid of shame. Many bands want you, the listener, to think that they don’t care what you think, but few pull it off as completely as Mistress does. Don’t like the bowel churning growls? Mistress doesn’t give a shit. Don’t go for that whole ‘grind’ thing? Mistress still doesn’t give a shit. Think the clean gang vocals as a chorus are ugly and absurd? Well, they are, that’s the damn point. Mistress is a melting pot of every trick in the book, and it works.

It is difficult to invent genres anymore, considering the nearly endless supply of young minds striving for something new, but Dave Cunt and Mistress do tweak the organizing impulse a bit more than usual. It is said that some bands, while not completely their own genre, do have a bit too much twist to be put in with the rest (like Kalmah playing ‘Swamp Metal’). Now let it be said that Mistress is not simply grind, crust, or any sort of core. Let it be said that Mistress is Sewer Metal.

I’ve not heard any other band so perfectly embody the furious grime and toxic ichors of the music world’s dank and bilious underbelly.

Beer-can-crushed-on-forehead good.
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(Originally written for Maximummetal.com)