Mistress – The Glory Bitches Of Doghead

By Gautham Khandige
Monday, 03 September 2007
 

Mistress, formed in Birmingham, England around the late 90s and played a style of sludgy grindcore not dissimilar to Iron Monkey or so my good friend wiki tells me. However, as I haven’t actually heard their earlier albums all I can do is take that statement at face value. Another bit of information that grabbed me was that vocals are handled by one Mr. Dave Cunt aka Dave Hunt aka VITRIOL of black metal lunatics and one the most extreme bands to come out in recent years, Anaal Nathrakh.

 

So credentials established and all found in order, what do Mistress have to offer on The Glory Bitches Of Doghead? The question is not easy to answer. At first glance they seem like a grindcore band doing what Napalm Death did around the time of Fear Emptiness Despair. The sludge sound of earlier albums seem to have been pushed back in favour of an all out grindcore attack on the listener.

Album opener and title song “The Glory Bitches Of Doghead” is a pulverizing extreme metal song. Vocalist Dave Cunt sounds quite a bit like Barney Greenway and the band just pummel you with their brutal aggression. It is however on the second song, the lengthy “A Godless Drunken Wreck” that the band truly come into their own. Starting off with a classic grindcore riff, the song builds in intensity and pace till suddenly at around the half way mark there’s a lull in proceedings. Swirling guitar feedback erupts and the band launch into a slow mournful Black Sabbath like dirge. This change in pace works beautifully for the band and actually increases the intensity of the song. The song again takes time to rebuild momentum and slowly metamorphoses into a mid-tempo death metal groove. “Cheyne Stoking,” again sounds like vintage Napalm Death but with enough original sounds to never sound contrived. At just under 3 minutes, this song is the most aggressive on the album.

 

“Grimdown” is a superb stoner rock song with a mid paced tempo and some almost doomy riffing. Sounding at times like one of those atmospheric doom bands from Europe though far heavier and dirtier. “Kunt” sounds like a bastard child of Discharge and early Napalm Death. The very next song “Sleep” is a short quasi ambient song that touches doom metal territory. The album ends with a staccato riffing drenched in feedback noise of “31.6.7 Drown It” and you know that you’ve just heard an album that could have a severe impact on extreme metal.

 

I’m having a tough time trying to get across the complexity in this band’s sound. There are influences here from all over Britain. Napalm Death styled grindcore, early Cathedral like doom , Discharge styled rampaging punk rhythms and all this wrapped up in a dirty raw production that makes the music sound even heavier.

 

Also, right through the album in the dead air between songs is a continuing ambient piece composed by guitarist Misery.

 

Mistress have crafted a unique and incredibly extreme sound. They’ve taken grindcore and mixed in bits of doom and while the punters can argue that its been done before, I have to say that its never been done with this much ferocity. You remember Australian crazies Sadistik Exekution ? Well, imagine what K.A.O.S. would have sounded like if the band had mixed in bits of doom metal.

 

Mistress’s The Glory Bitches Of Godhead is a truly astounding album.