Gothic Text files Various : A Tribute to The Sisters of Mercy - First and Last and Forever

Various : A Tribute to The Sisters of Mercy - First and Last and Forever

ARTIST:     Various
TITLE:      A Tribute to The Sisters of Mercy -
            Firsts and Last and Forever
LABEL:      Cleopatra Records (CLEO6647-2)
TRACK TIME: 67:00 

Since this disc is actually the embodiment of a vision by various artists rather than give this disc a plug or condemnation as a whole, I will take the tracks, in order, and give commentary on them individually. The space I dedicated some may be shorter than deserved, while others may be too long.

I have been a Sisters fan for years, so I may be harsher than someone that has no emotional ties with these songs, but I've listened to The Sisters of Mercy for long enough to earn this right. I was hoping that these songs would be so great that they would even be good when done substandard (no one can live up to the Sisters). In some cases this proved to be true. For the most part, the bands on the disc are next to unheard of, and it takes a huge sense of humor to accept many of the songs.

This CD is a picture disc of some Aztec looking design and looks pretty cool. Dispose of the misconception that this will be a gothic disc before you start to listen. Probably only about half can even be considered gothic.

BLACK PLANET by Automatic Head Detonator This song is a hoot! It's a great song to start off a disc such as this with. This group sounds eerily like Jesus and the Marychain, right down to the buzzy feedback guitar and whiny vocals. I'll be on the look out for other discs by this band.

FIRST AND LAST AND ALWAYS by The Prophetess Sounds a lot like the original Sisters song musically, but is changed enough to be fresh. Bizarre beginning. This track also reminded me of another band. Imagine the singer of Midnight Oil laying down the vocals on a remix of First and Last and Always, and you'll have some idea of how this song sounds.

ALICE by The Shroud Cool idea, but not pulled off. Not bad, but not great either. Listen to this one, but only if your stereo is too far away to track past this one.

AFTERHOURS by Eleven Shadows This is my absolute favorite Sisters song, so I almost didn't even listen to it. I was afraid it would be murdered by a rap group or some other "experimental" crap, but listen I did. I was not at all disappointed by this song. In fact, I got the same shivers that I get when I listen to the original. This is a spooky, neat song, with dark poetic lyrics. If there is anything wrong with this song, it would be that it is so much like Eldritch singing that one can wonder why they even bothered to redo it. (One interesting side note: I think the singer's watch beeps during this song at 2:48)

BODY AND SOUL by The Last Dance Whatever. Decide for yourself.

LOGIC by Wreckage Sounds like a Sisters Demo. I like it. Great back-up.

WALK AWAY by Shamefaces Music is slightly annoying and the too polished, up and down, singing sucks. Not at all dark, but tries to be. Sounds like it has Peter Murphy signing parts in the background, but still bites.

VALENTINE by Halo Music is okay, but could have been done a lot better, and the singing is near crap. I'd be prepared to write this group off completely, but they redeem themselves with a later cut (Lights). This song is worth listening to, but isn't going to stick in your mind for days or move you to greatness.

BURY ME DEEP by Faith and Disease This group has a mellow chick singer. I couldn't get rid of the feeling that this song should have been on the TV show Twin Peaks. This does not sound at all like a Sisters song. The music is a little lacking, but otherwise this song would be one of the best.

MARIAN by Flesh Of My Flesh Oh no, not the evil whisper. The singer for this band shows what a bad imitation of Eldritch sounds like. The back-up singing is terrible. The German part is done by the Peanuts teacher (Whan wha whan wha wha). This should have either been done by someone that could actually speak German, (instead of being mumbled) someone who listened to the song a lot more than this band, or just plain dropped. I don't know what people were thinking, but whoever selected this band, to appear on this disc, should be shot...several times. Track ahead, it's for the best.

HEARTLAND by Triana Not bad, but sounds as if the vocals were recorded in a bathtub. Hard to understand anything but the chorus.

LIGHTS by Halo Starts good, sounds strange but acceptable, nice layering of vocals. Lots of fast guitar and buzzy effects. The singer can't sing, but would probably ruin the song if he tried. Ends good, but one is ready for the song to be over by the time it does.

BLACK PLANET by David E. Williams Yuck. This song comes close to capturing the Sisters' sound, but ironically fails miserably in the attempt. Hard to explain, but it almost sounds like a parody of the original. For a disc that started as strong as this one did, it sure goes whimpy. Yuck yuck yuck.

ALICE by The Prophetess I had a big problem with this track. It is nothing like "First and Last and Always." I hated this song and thought it was a horrible pick to end this disc with.

All in all, if I had a problem with any song it was usually with the singing, but there were a few that were total shit. I really liked this disc when I first got it, but it hasn't done so well with time. I seldom find myself reaching for it. My advice, borrow a friend's, listen to it, and if you like it, buy it, if not, don't.

argent@iastate.edu
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