Very Strong Mission Album
SandmanVI | Glen Allen, VA United States | 03/01/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Some consider their best. I don't but it is very good - the distinction of best should go to "God's Own Medicine" which is both more original and more urgent, not to mention it is raw where this is heavily produced... all depends what you want I guess. For those who don't yet know this, The Mission is a spinoff from the legendary monsters of Goth, The Sisters of Mercy - most consider them a clone of that band, and at first they were clearly still aiming for that same audience. This release was the biggest step in a new direction that they had taken, which probably largely defined who loved this album and who didn't.For an easy comparison I'd say this is Gothic rock (rock meaning guitar/bass driven and not synth or industrial in nature) infused with a Led Zeppelin style of mysticism. That's no accident either. Zepp's own John Paul Jones produced this album. That's probably why you have a polished professional sound as opposed to earlier releases that sounded a little less clean. In Jones' mix all instruments and the vocals get equal time, none are lost in the mix and none dominate it either... On an older album "The First Chapter" the bass was in charge in that traditional Goth sense. I think it's funny that there's a song called "Black Mountain Mist" - remember Zepp's "Misty Mountain Hop"? Coincidence? I think not. "Shamera Kye" also has that Celtic sound like it could have come off an LZ album too. They also competently cover Aerosmith's "Dream On", further linking Goth and classic rock in a way that no one ever did or has done since - for some people this may not be a good thing. This is the closest the band ever came to making a straight-up rock 'n roll record. Some call it their best while I know some who are much less kind for this very reason.The basic measure of a great album - all of the songs are good. Are any of them great though? At first nothing may jump out at you. Over time they grow on you though. Probably at one point or another "Beyond the Pale", "A Wing and a Prayer", "Kingdome Come" and the acoustic "Black Mountain Mist" have been my favorite off of this. On BMM they actually use a small chorus of femal backup singers - don't think The Mission ever did that before.If you've never heard the band before this may be a great starter. The musicianship will please you. The question mark will certainly be Wayne Hussey, both vocally and lyrically. Hussey is an easy sell for Goths with his somewhat deep and unarguably melodramatic approach. But some may find him overly drama-queen-esque (wow, I impressed myself with that word). He can lay it on in a pretty thick, almost schlocky manner. The lyrics are quite good and work with his voice to become what many women I've known consider sexy - but he's definitely aiming for that and at times it feels a little forced and potentially cheesy. He also loves to turn clever phrases often lifted from old Sisters' songs - usually they're smart but if you dislike him from the start this could get on your nerves. An example, "Well I never, but the devil may care... I'm coming in on a wing and a prayer". Compare to the Sisters "Well the devil may care, but I don't mind." The more familiar you are with both groups, the more you will notice this phenomenon.Anyway I do highly recommend the album, especially for those who like their rock with a mystical edge. Hopefully this was helpful.Note to fans: ever notice that the guitar in the beginning of "Hymn" sounds just like the lead-in riff on "Sacrilege" just done more heavy metal?"
Heaven on Earth
V. Freeman | Mid Altantic States, USA | 10/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Children, is a must have. It's The Mission's 3rd effort, and it's utterly fantastic. Opening with Beyond the Pale, a tale of lead singer Wayne Hussey's run in with the LAPD it rocks right from the start. (the Armageddon remix, avaliable on Sum and Substance is tooo die for!) Fabienne, third track, opens with drums and guitars, ominously pounding--if that's not Goth, I don't what is. Tower of Strength, with it's accoustic guitars and Craig Adams basslines, silky smooth, and sexy, will take you right where you want to go. It's The Mission at it's mightiest! I could listen all day! Wayne Hussey pens a mean song, and lyrically, all tracks soar. So go ahead, take that leap of faith, and get yourself Children. :)"