There aren’t a ton of hard rock bands and metal bands that wave the old school flag that still are able to impress me these days. But right when that galloping triplet riff comes in on the opening track “Hell Hole” off of Mistress’s Heavy Mental, it’s like the New Wave of British Heavy Metal never went away. Paired with some very captivating melodic choices in the soaring vocals, the opening track is one of my favorites on the album.

The talent and virtuosity of this band in both musicianship and songwriting is showcased in a song like “Four O’clock Squad,” which has clean guitars and jazzier chord progressions than metal ones showcased throughout. There’s a tasty melodic solo which tops off the song at its peak. The vocals really shine on this song as well since the other instruments are playing more reserved parts. “Unloved” follows in a similar vein of being more reserved, but is closer to a power ballad than anything. Although these may be hated by “true” metalheads and hard rock fans alike, I think these song are a breath of fresh air and give the listener a chance to be shown a different side of the band. Back to the heavier side, we have one of my favorite if not my favorite song off the record entitled “Psycho Bat.” No frills, no gimmicks, just old school heavy riffing and perhaps the strongest vocal performance in the high register towards the end of the song.

If you want to get a feel for the band, just listen to the closing track “Drunk and Mad.” It’s an almost ten-minute epic that spans the dynamic range and musicality of the band. I think it really sums up what the band is about in one track, which is not easy to do and it’s pulled off very well here. Definitely check out Mistress if you’re looking for some newer bands that sound like your favorite NWOBHM bands but with a modern take.