13 November 2013

13th November - The Sisters of Mercy's Floodland

Artist – Album: The Sisters of Mercy - Floodland
Released: 13th November 1987
Sounds Like: “Yeah. We're gonna go to the graveyard and write poems about death and how pointless life is.”

Gloomy goth band The Sisters of Mercy, with only one album to their name, broke up in 1985. Lead guitarist Gary Marx’s departure, claiming that he could no longer work with band leader Andrew Eldritch, was the first warning sign and, once guitarist Wayne Hussey and bassist Craig Adams also defected, Eldritch was left with only his trusty drum machine and just enough loose threads of tunes to make an album. Undeterred, he quickly formed The Sisterhood (in a bid to prevent Hussey and Adams from using continuing to use the same name) and released his semi-solo album Gift in 1986, which was something of a flop. Things at that point were looking even bleaker than usual for the king of darkness.

But then things started to turn around. Goth music was on the rise in the mid-to-late Eighties, and opportunities inevitably arose for a man of Eldritch’s particular set of skills. Returning to the name The Sisters of Mercy, Eldritch managed to convince bombastic producer Jim Steinman – he of Bat Out of Hell fame – to work on his upcoming single ‘This Corrosion’. With Steinman’s clout, Eldritch could ask his record company for whatever they wanted, and they did. Joined by 40 members of the New York Choral Society, ‘This Corrosion’ morphed into an excellent, epic hymn, reaching #7 in the charts and resulting in a grim performance on Top of the Pops. Two months later Floodland was released to critical acclaim and subsequent singles ‘Dominion’ and ‘Lucretia My Reflection’ also performed well. It’s not hard to see why either – the singles enjoy a unique blend of goth, metal, psychedelia and – dance? – and are great fun, whilst the slower numbers are stately and grand, adorned with Eldritch’s brilliant baritone croon. Dark and hypnotic, Floodland is certainly up there with the best of its type.

Vision Thing was released three years later and disappointed, and The Sisters of Mercy broke up for good shortly thereafter, with Eldritch presumably fleeing to his crypt to escape the daylight and gather his cronies for their next assault on the world of the living.

Albumaday... rating: 8/10

1.       Dominion/Mother Russia – 7:00
2.       Flood I – 6:22
3.       Lucretia My Reflection – 7:00
4.       1959 – 4:09
5.       This Corrosion – 10:55
6.       Flood II – 6:47
7.       Driven Like the Snow – 6:27
8.       Neverland (a fragment) – 2:46
Listen to ‘This Corrosion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgifFdi8eio

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