Pentagram and Crucifix
Label: Relapse Records
Though it's far from slick, and you still miss plenty of words emanating from Christine Davis' bewitchingly world-weary throat, this Olympia, Wash. trad-metal five-piece gets enough of a production budget on this nine-song follow-up to bring out sharp edges and tune sense obscured on their demo-like 2010 debut mini. Two soloing guitars careen from unicorn-folk intros to power marches, and Davis pits pentagrams against crucifixes, then denies Heaven and Hell. Pinnacle: the title cut, for its ritual vowel-chant start, Ian Anderson phrasing, Girlschool chorus shouts and hook about crystal balls.