Last December, while reading the requisite end-of-year top 10 metal lists, an unfamiliar name kept on showing up: Christian Mistress. The Washington state quintet's brand of NWOBHM-infused songwriting might be out of step with the kinds of acts that get on the cover of Revolver Magazine, but that hasn't stopped the press from falling in love them.

The first time a lot of people heard about Christian Mistress was when Darkthrone's Fenriz -- a metal taste-maker to the umpteenth degree -- sang the band's praises on his personal blog in 2010. Since then, they've become one of the underground's most talked-about groups.

"I know most people compare us to that old school metal sound, but everyone in the band has been into music their entire lives and we come from a more DIY type of scene," said Christian Mistress vocalist Christine Davis during a chat with Noisecreep. "That said, the first metal album I ever got was 'Rocka Rolla' from Judas Priest [laughs]. So I guess that really wasn't a DIY album, but yeah, we've all played in bands that weren't playing a commercialized sound.

"When we started Christian Mistress, we were looking for purity within our sound and songwriting. I hope that comes across when you listen to us. I don't think we're necessarily trying to sound like those older bands we get compared to. We take all of our cues from ourselves, and I think that's what those bands did too. We don't absorb much of the common, general heavy metal culture. We don't even consider ourselves a heavy metal band so much, but we do get to play with a lot of cool metal groups. I just want to keep branching out our sound and play whatever kind of music feels right at the time. Our next record is going to be a bit different."

Watch Christian Mistress perform 'Black Vigil' live

Although Christian Mistress have become darlings of the heavy metal literati, they haven't been able to take their songs on the road as much as they would like.

"Last fall we went on tour with Thrones and that was great. But for the most part, we haven't played that many big shows. My schedule makes that really hard," said Davis. "I'm doing seasonal work right now at Sequoia National Park as a back-country biologist. I work about 20 miles from the nearest road, so I don't have much chance to communicate with the outside world for long periods of time."

That kind of seclusion sounds like an ideal creative setting. Noisecreep asked her if she manages to write any lyrics in between her work responsibilities. "It's tough because I have to concentrate on what I'm doing at work. Lyrics don't just flow out of me. I have to really focus and be alone with the music. I never write lyrics that are cryptic and inaccessible. I get most of the inspiration from the music itself."

With buzz for the group building, Christian Mistress has their sights set on the future.

"This July we'll be entering Louder Studios with Tim Green to record our next album," Davis revealed. "We don't have a name for it yet, but it won't be out till 2012. We're also planning on touring in the fall. The next year or so will be really busy for the band."

More From Noisecreep