Any advice for a complementary 500 series compressor to strap after or before my distressor for mixing duties, when doing vocals to get them right there in the face?
Try it before and try it after your distressor. You probably can get the "in your face either way depending on how you set up the compressor. You could even set that comp on a bus and get the sound you want.
Definitely set your attack to a medium setting so you do not kill the punch of your voclas and your release settings should be set to a short to kinda short setting, between 20msecs to 200msecs, depending on the tempo of the song and how the vocals are performed.
If your vocals have allot of short words in it, then a faster release is a good idea, as this will give time for the compressor to react to the next word.
If there are allot of drown out words, then make your release longer.
Don't be afraid to try different scenarios.