Background/Info: Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams (both ex-Sisters Of Mercy) set up The Mission in 1985. They rapidly became an established and famous gothic formation, which throughout the years got closer to rock music. The band split, but rapidly struck back. Thirty one years after their debut this new album has been introduced by frontman Wayne Hussey as ‘the lost link between The Sisters Of Mercy “First And Last And Always” and The Mission’s “God’s Own Medicine”. I would dare to say that it all sounds like a very ambitious challenge!
Content: The album takes off with the title song and the first notes directly reminds me of the legendary “Emma” from The Sisters Of Mercy. It indeed feels a bit like awakening in the late 80s. Hussey is right when he refers to a ‘lost link’ although the composition also features the dark-rock approach of The Mission.
I got more the feeling that this album is a sonic bridge between early- and later The Mission. The guitar parts remain one of the main strengths of the production and Wayne Hussey already sings with passion and rage. Some passages have a kind of bewitching and even somewhat ritual intonation, but other songs are more into ballads and melancholia.
The album was produced by Wayne Hussey and Tim Palmer and features guest backing vocals from Gary Numan, Martin Gore (Depeche Mode), Ville Valo (HIM), Julianne Regan (All About Eve) and Evi Vine.
+ + + : The album definitely sounds as a ‘back to the roots’ and that’s an interesting move in the long history of this band. There’re many great songs on this album revealing the magic emerging from the guitar playing and the passion from the vocals. There also is a twist between harder cuts and deep, melancholic songs.
– – – : Even the ‘best’ album also features at least one forgettable song. “Never’s Longer Than Forever” is that song from this album, is that song from this album, which sounds like a lovely ballad, but without the typical spirit of The Mission.
Conclusion: This album is an interesting work, which sounds like a message that you never have to forget the sources of your work. The Mission mainly found their inspiration for this album in their early years while the result still sounds contemporary. It’s not their best work in history, but it’s a damned great opus!
Best songs: “Tyranny Of Secrets”, “Within The Deepest Darkness (Fearful)”, “Met-Amor-Phosis”, “Only You And You Alone”.