A Forgotten Classic

Band: SISTERS OF MERCY
Album: FLOODLAND
Release Date: 1987

The Sisters have been around, and I can’t believe I’m typing this, over 30 years.

Over those 30 years they have released exactly 3 proper albums: 1985’s First, Last and Always, 1990’s Vision Thing and 1987’s Floodland. The easy way to describe the kind of noise the Sisters Of Mercy make is to say they’re a semi-metal goth/dance band who took their name from a Leonard Cohen song but, again, that’s taking the easy way out. They are a little more complicated than that. To my ears they have and will always be a great psychedelic dance band. No more, no less. Out of those three afore mentioned albums only one stands out as a true classic, and that’s Floodland. That album is reflective, ethereal, danceable, loud, quiet, progressive and above all else, epic.

I remember hearing “This Corrosion”, 10:55 of ecstatic dance rock, in a tiny club in downtown Toronto and being blown away by a) it’s length (other than Bela Lagosi’s Dead by Bauhaus I was used to short bursts of punk rock and the Smiths) and b) its…there’s no other word for it…drama. It sounded f*&cking huge, man.

I forgot about these guys until 1992 or so when I saw the CD of Floodland in a used record store for a couple of bucks and bought it. To my surprise the album didn’t sound dated at all and had lost none of it’s…here’s that word again…drama. The other tracks sounded great too, like “Lucretia My Reflection”, “Flood I and II” and especially the magnificent album opener “Dominion/Mother Russia”.

Once more I forgot about this album for almost a decade. I came across it during a CD library clean-up session and decided to throw it into the player. It’s finally starting to show its age a tad, but still sounds better than 99% of the stuff that’s being released today. It never really got mentioned back when it was released and it never gets mentioned now. Of course the fact that the band only released 3 albums in three decades didn’t help, but it remains an underrated classic well worth reexamining.

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