Sisters Of Mercy
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
First And Last And Always (1985), 6.5/10
Floodland (1987), 7/10
Vision Thing (1990), 6/10
Links:

(Thanks to Massimo Moro, who reviewed and updated the original text).
Translated by Massimo Moro.

The Sisters Of Mercy will be remembered as, possibly, the greatest British gothic punk band. Even without the charismatic personality (and the major distribution deals) of similar groups likeJoy Division and Siouxsie Sioux, the SOM wrote some of the most exciting and driving songs in this music style.

The debut single of the band was a simple funk-rock song called The Damage Done (Merciful Release, 1980), but soon Andrew Eldritch (singer, real name Andrew Taylor) took control of the band (the other members were Gary Marx, guitar and Craig Adams, bass) thanks to his ideas. Body Electric (1982) was a voodoobilly: the SOM actually created a new style based on new wave classic horror topics, recycling Suicide and The Cramps in a gloomy and disturbing way. They made it also suitable for the disco audiences, adding electronic percussion. The b-side (Adrenochrome) was even more threatening, announcing the hurricane-like Temple Of Love.

The shock was increased thanks to the gloomy meditations led by the singer, which became even more solemn and dreadful. 1983 was their best year. Anaconda highlighted rhythms and guitar distortions, even if Marx and Adams mitigated the project on its b-side Phantom, influenced by Duan Eddy's "twang" guitar playing, by Sandy Nelson's naive percussion and by Ennio Morricone's soundtracks. Alice, still related with Siouxsie and Public Image esoteric stereotypes, was marked by a dreadful rage, thanks especially to Eldritch's glacial and dark singing; Floorshow, its flipside, was a sort of Slav voodoobilly sung by a Transilvanian vampire.

The Reptile House EP (1983) proved their maturity thanks to an extraordinary balance between Jim Morrison melodrama (Lights) and the Eastern music (Valentine). The ouverture Fix showed the Wagnerian excesses created by Eldritch, Kiss The Carpet, instead, celebrated a sneakier ceremony, injecting suspense overdoses in these horrifying subjects.

The Sisters Of Mercy triumphed thanks to Temple Of Love (October 1983), a threatening and danceable song, evoking esoteric rituals, combined with gloomy litanies, revealing terrific scenaries, the masterpiece of gothic punk and one of the greatest rock songs ever made: Eldritch sang like David Bowie coming from hell, as frightful as a shivering zombie while Wayne Hussey played wild hardrock guitar riffs arousing evocative sensations. Menacing and horrid rituals, pursued by the band from the very beginning of their career, triumphed thanks to Temple Of Love, with the frightening psychic tension of a dreadful ceremony, thanks to its terrific and ever changing rhythms and its solemn/macabre melodies.

The band did not repeat this amazing moment, but Eldritch went on singing in a feverish and alien mood, first on the single Body And Soul (June 1984), a morbid melody in a fatal atmosphere, and then on Walk Away (October 1984), which emphasized danceable rhythms.

The languid and sinister features of their Grand Guignol made First And Last And Always (Elektra, 1985) a depressing and evil ritual. The ballad No Time To Cry turned into a frenzied gipsy dance. The darkest track was Amphetamine Logic, reaching dreadful places thanks to Eldritch's ossianic tenor. Some Kind Of Stranger was exhausting, updating glam rock's stereotypical and melodramatic horror shocks. The title track combined a catchy refrain with classical melodies, and Marian was the catchiest danceable liturgy of the album. Black Planet Spanish melody was the only moment of rest during this satanic torture.

The dark Ulysses of gothic punk changed direction with the Gift EP (Merciful Release, 1986), hidden by The Sisterhood pseudonym. It was an experimental project, using synthesizers and altered vocals.

The claustrophobical sound of Floodland (Elektra,1987) was a simple consequence. The creative talent of Jim Steinman supervised the icy and state-of-the-art production. Eldritch placed a rock witch like Patricia Morrison (from Legal Weapon and Gun Club) on bass. Meanwhile, Hussey parted from Eldritch (forming The Mission with Adams). The obsessive and menacing Lucretia My Reflection referred to Temple Of Love sabbath, dragging the album into an orgy of synthesizer dances propelled by superhuman strength. Steinman, the supreme genius of melodramatic rock, heavily marked two of the most magnificent tracks of the album, both of them arranged with soprano opera choirs and emphasized synthesizers: the monumental This Corrosion, sped up madly and influenced by gospels, and Dominion, at the same time martial and overwhelming. 1959 was as much shuddering as these tracks, a lied for singer and piano, the only track without drum machines. Thanks to these four tracks (filling in a wide part of the album) Floodland stands as one of the masterpieces of British gothic punk.

Vision Thing (East West, 1990) came out after many years. Tony James (formerly in Generation X and Sigue Sigue Sputnik) was now a member of the band along with Eldritch and once again the sound changed coming near to ZZ Top boogies (Detonation Boulevard, When You Don't See Me and Doctor Jeep). Vision Thing recovered the feverish and animal shock of Temple Of Love thanks to a perfect hardrock riff and on More once again Steinman took part to the creation of another pop cathedral (with his typical feminine choirs and keyboards). Eldritch reached the top of hypnotic suggestion thanks to the hallucinated and stifling atmosphere of these menacing songs: during these years he has grown hugely as a musician, maintaining the shamanic qualities of his singing.

Once again the band changes, entering Adam Pearson (previously in Red Lorry Yellow Lorry) and Chris Sheehan (from New Zealand, formerly in The Starlings, later on replaced by Mike Varjak, from Yugoslavia) on guitars.

Under The Gun (1993) is a single with Teri Nunn (former member of Berlin) on vocals.

Eldritch is more than ever the true British gothic punk messiah, a visionary artist creating a style as powerful as simple. Few others like him can resound with rhythms and overcome their beats, going into fiercest madness. The most frightening ghosts of modern minds shake in his fearful vocals. His songs are journys into the anxiety and discomfort of modern times.

Massimo Moro wrote:

In 1992 the band puts out another single, a new edition of Temple Of Love, that has been appreciated thanks to the superb quality of the sound: a platoon of heavy metal overdubbed guitars, the threatening tribal rhythm and the emphatic singing of Eldritch introduce to a spectacular vocal flight of the Israeli singer Ofra Haza, displaying at the highest possible point the Eastern infuences that much part have in the Eldritchian imagery. It is not strange that the song turned out to be The Sisters Of Mercy greatest commercial success.

The successive year the single Under The Gun is released. Eldritch sings with the sensual vocalist Teri Nunn (former member of Berlin); the state-of-the-art production and the cunning use of the electronics, with background guitar playing, seem to fall down the group towards pop music: but from the evocative plot of violent images that characterize the end of the song, murmured by the demonic voice of Eldritch in a horrible delirium, once again a deep anguish emerges. Even if he dresses apparently little alarming clothes, Andrew Eldritch confirmes himself as an emissary of dark forces that always lodge in every man.

Live dates in America unfortunately did not obtain enough success and from this moment on The Sisters Of Mercy did not publish any new material: Eldritch complaining the insufficient engagement of the East West; the record company expecting his new album. Taken action of the situation, Eldritch continues to exhibit in concerts, writing new songs.

Thanks to many bootlegs we can understand the quality of the recent songs of the Sisters Of Mercy: in Come Together the drum machine leads a dreadful gallop and the guitar after a noisy lash carries out an exotic melody, while Eldritch sighs and complains like a vampire walled up alive, while in Will I Dream, an epic song on the wake of Vision Thing, he seems to pray a supernatural entity of the desert with the shivering voice of a fanatic preacher. Also, Eldritch sings with solemn pathos We Are The Same, Susanne, a majestic guitar raid introduced by an exasperating bass roar with gloomy ghost sounds and nightmare distortions.

If Romeo Down musically lingers over in dark liturgies, with the sensationalistic and stereotyped sound of First And Last And Always and Floodland, what it is important is the appalling tragedy that Andrew Eldritch plays, like in a new Frankie Teardrop (a song by Suicide); War On Drugs is a exhausting and feraciously tribal delirium where the martial echoes of guitars, the voodoo rhythm and an hallucinated chorus relegate us in a hell where a threatening and damned Eldritch stands quivers menacing, chrashed and twisted at the end of a mad run, like in a new Temple Of Love. Summer, finally, turns out worthy of the visceral symphonic songs of Floodland, an incessant Eastern ceremony for the tenebrous voice of Eldritch, nostalgic and deprived of hope, while the guitars roar and slow themselves like fatal hypnotic tolls.

In the 1998 Eldritch is free from the tie with the East West, giving with the pseudonym SSV the expected album. But the work (Go Figure) turns out to be techno music on which his voice mechanically repeats repulsive verses, and soon it is unofficially distributed on Web, so it will never be published by the record company. In the successive two years the Sisters Of Mercy have done live dates in America and in Europe (while Mike Varjak is replaced once again by Chris Sheehan) waiting to publish a new album.

The esoteric rock of The Sisters Of Mercy, propelled from the obsessive sound of electronics, remains a still point: in his last performances the voice of Eldritch still scatters his corrosive poison and his madness has become, if possible, far more devastating and universal.


A discography by Massimo Moro

The Damage Done
b/w Watch
Home of the Hitmen
7" Merciful Release
MR 007 1980

Body Electric
b/w Adrenochrome
7" Merciful Release/ CNT
MR CNT 002 Apr 1982

Alice
b/w Floorshow
7" Merciful Release
MR 015 Nov 1982

Alice/ Floorshow
b/w Phantom/ 1969
12" Merciful Release
MR 021 Mar 1983

Anaconda
b/w Phantom
7" Merciful Release
MR 019 Mar 1983

The Reptile House Ep

Kiss the Carpet
Lights
Valentine
Fix
Burn
Kiss the Carpet (reprise)
12" Merciful Release
MR 023 May 1983

Temple of Love
b/w Heartland
7" Merciful Release
MR 027 Oct 1983
12" Merciful Release
MRX 027 1983 Extended
version + Gimme Shelter

Body & Soul
b/w Train
7" Merciful Release
MR 029 June 1984
12" Merciful Release
MR 029 T 1984 + Body
Electric & Afterhours

Walk Away
b/w Poison Door
7" Merciful Release
MR 033 Oct 1984
+ Lmt Ed. flexi of LongTrain
12" Merciful Release
MR 033 T 1984 + On the Wire
& flexi disc

No Time to Cry
b/w Blood Money
7" Merciful Release
MR 335 Feb 1985
12" Merciful Release
MR 335 T 1985 + Bury Me Deep

First and Last and Always
LP Merciful Release
MR 337 L UK (Mar 1985)
LP Elektra 60405-1 US
CD Merciful Release
MR 240 616-2 UK (1988)
CD Elektra 60405-2 US

Black Planet
Walk Away
No Time To Cry
A Rock And a Hard Place
Marian (version)
First and Last and Always
Possession
Nine While Nine
Amphetamine Logic
Some Kind of Stranger

SISTERHOOD:
Giving Ground
b/w Instrumental
7" Merciful Release
SIS 010 1986

SISTERHOOD:
Gift
LP Merciful Release
SIS 020 1986
CD Rough Trade Records Gmbh 1993

Jihad
Colours
Giving Ground
Finland Red, Egypt White
Rain From Heaven

This Corrosion
b/w Torch
7" Merciful Release
MR 039 Sept 1987
12" Merciful Release
MR 039 T 1987 extended
+ Colours
CD Merciful Release
MR 039 CD 1987 11.5 min.
version + Colours

Floodland
LP Merciful Release
MR 441 L UK (Nov 1987)
LP Elektra 60762-1 US
CD Merciful Release
MR 242246-2 (1987)
+ Torch & Colours
CD Elektra 60762-2 US
+ Torch and Colours

Dominion/ Mother Russia
Flood I
Lucretia My Reflection
1959
This Corrosion
Flood II
Driven Like The Snow
Neverland (a fragment)
Torch
Colours


Dominion
b/w Untitled/ Sandstorm
7" Merciful Release
MR 043 Feb 1988
12" Merciful Release
MR 043 T 1988 + Emma
CD-3" Merciful Release
MR 043 CD 1988 replaces Emma
with Ozymandias

Lucretia My Reflection
b/w Long Train (1984)
7" Merciful Release
MR 045 June 1988
12" Merciful Release
MR 045 T extended

More
b/w You Could be The One
7" Merciful Release
MR 47 Oct 1,1990 short
version of More
12" Merciful Release
MR 47T long version
12" German promo 1209
(powermix 10:53 &
groovemix 10:53)

Vision Thing
LP Merciful Release
MR 449 L UK (Oct 22,1990)
CD Merciful Release
MR 9031-72663-2 UK (1990)
CD Elektra 9 61017-2 (1990) US

Vision Thing
Ribbons
Detonation Boulevard
Something Fast
When You Don't See Me
Doctor Jeep
More
I Was Wrong

Doctor Jeep (radio edit)
b/w Knockin' on Heaven's Door
(live bootleg)
7" Merciful Release
MR 51 Dec 1990
12" Merciful Release
MR 51 T 1990 extended
version
CD Merciful Release
MR 51 CD
with all three songs

When You Don't See me (remix)
b/w Ribbons (live)
7" Merciful Release
MR 53 Feb 1991
12" Merciful Release
MR 53T 1991 + Something
Fast (live)
CD Merciful Release
MR 53 CD 1991

Temple of Love (1992)
(Touched by the Hand of Ofra Haza)

b/w I Was Wrong (American Fade)
7" Merciful Release
MR 053 Apr 20 1992
12" Merciful Release
MR 053T B-side: Vision Thing (Canadian
Club Mix)
CD Merciful Release
MR 053CD

Some Girls Wander By Mistake
2LP Merciful Release
MR 555 L (Apr 27 1992)
CD Merciful Release
9031-76476-2 (Apr 27 1992)
CD Elektra 9 61306-2

Alice
Floorshow
Phantom
1969
Kiss The Carpet
Lights
Valentine
Fix
Burn
Kiss The Carpet (reprise)
Temple of Love (extended version)
Heartland
Gimme Shelter
The Damage Done
Watch
Home of The Hit-men
Body Electric
Adrenochrome
Anaconda

Under the Gun (metropolis mix)
b/w Alice(1993)
7" Merciful Release
MR59 1993
CD Merciful Release
MR59CDX lmt. ed. + Under
The Gun (Jutland Mix 6:20)

A Slight Case of Overbombing
LP Merciful Release
MR 557 UK (1993)
CD Merciful Release/
East West 4509-93579-2

Under the Gun
Temple of Love (1992)
Vision Thing
Detonation Boulevard
Doctor Jeep
More
Lucretia My Reflection
Dominion/ Mother Russia
This Corrosion
No Time To Cry
Walk Away
Body And Soul
(Grazie a Massimo Moro per la revisione e l'aggiornamento del testo originale)

I Sisters of Mercy sono forse destinati ad essere ricordati come i massimi esponenti del "dark punk" britannico. Senza avere il carisma (e i contratti discografici) dei loro colleghi Joy Division e Siouxsie Sioux, i SOM scrissero pero` alcune delle pagine piu` trascinanti ed emozionanti del genere.

Il complesso esordi` nel 1980 con un pezzo di funk-rock senza pretese come The Damage Done, ma presto il cantante Andrew Eldritch (Andrew Taylor) soggiogo` le personalita` di Gary Marx (chitarra) e Craig Adams (basso) con le sue idee. Il voodoobilly Body Electric (Merciful, 1982) riciclava in maniera cupa e torbida Suicide e Cramps, inventando di fatto un nuovo genere sulle fondamenta del'orrore che si celava nella vecchia new wave. Aggiungendo il battito elettronico, i SOM lo adattarono anche alle discoteche. Il retro Adrenochrome e` persino piu` incalzante, e anticipa anzi il passo da uragano di Temple Of Love.

Lo shock venne acuito dalle lugubri elucubrazioni del cantante, che divennero sempre piu` solenni e demoniache. ll 1983 fu l'anno d'oro. Anaconda accentuo` il ritmo e le distorsioni di chitarra; anche se sul suo retro Phantom Marx e Adams annacquavano il progetto con il "twang" di Duan Eddy, il percussionismo naif di Sandy Nelson e le colonne sonore di Ennio Morricone. Alice, ancora legata agli stereotipi esoterici di Siouxsee e Public Image, era gia` segnata da un impeto demoniaco, merito soprattutto del registro glaciale e tenebroso di Eldritch; e il suo retro Floorshow era una sorta di voodoobilly slavo cantato da un vampiro della Transilvania.

L'EP Reptile House (Brain Eater, 1983) sanci` la maturita` con un equilibrio miracoloso fra il melodramma di Jim Morrison (Lights) e la musica orientale (Valentine). L'ouverture Fix metteva in mostra gli eccessi wagneriani di Eldritch, ma Kiss The Carpet allestiva un cerimoniale piu` subdolo che in questo schema horror immetteva forti dosi di suspence.

I Sisters of Mercy trionfarono con Temple Of Love (ottobre 1983), un ballabile incalzante, che evoca rituali esoterici, accoppiato a lugubri litanie, che evochino scenari fantastici, il capolavoro del dark-punk e uno dei capolavori dell'intera storia del rock: Il registro di Eldritch, simile a un David Bowie dell'oltretomba, vibrava con un gelido fremito da zombie, e il selvaggio chitarrismo hardrock di Wayne Hussey completava la suggestione. Con Temple Of Love, con la sua spaventosa tensione psichica, con il suo andamento da cerimoniale degli inferi, con i suoi terrificanti cambi di tempo, con la sua solenne/macabra melodia, trionfava l'incalzante ritualismo orrifico che il gruppo aveva perseguito fin dall'inizio.

Il gruppo non avrebbe mai ripetuto quel momento magico, ma Eldritch avrebbe continuato a delirare in quella maniera marziana, prima con il singolo del giugno 1984, Body And Soul, una melodia morbosamente malata immersa in un'atmosfera funerea, e poi con quello dell'ottobre, Walk Away, che spostava l'enfasi sul ritmo ballabile.

I toni languidi e sinistri del loro Grand Guignol trasformarono First And Last And Always (Elektra, 1985) in un estenuante rituale del male. La ballata di No Time To Cry s'impenna in una frenetica danza tzigana. Il tenore ossianico di Eldritch sospinge la tenebrosissima Amphetamine Logic verso lidi infernali. La cadaverica Some Kind Of Stranger aggiorna gli stereotipi le sceneggiate horror-shock del glam-rock. La title-track sposa un ritornello orecchiabile con contrappunti classicheggianti, e Marian e` il rosario piu` orecchiabile e ballabile della loro liturgia. La spagnoleggiante Black Planet concede l'unico momento di tregua durante la tortura satanica.

L'EP quasi quaranta minuti Gift (Merciful Release, 1986) cambio` la rotta del tetro Ulisse del dark-punk, questa volta celato dietro lo pseudonimo Sisterhood. Si tratta di un esperimento per soli sintetizzatore e voci trattate, con punte di pathos in Giving Ground e Rain To Heaven.

Il sound claustrofobico di Floodland (Elektra, 1987) ne e` semplicemente la conseguenza. Gli arrangiamenti glacialmente modernisti si avvalgono della supervisione del genio di Jim Steinman. Al basso Eldritch ha messo una strega del rock come Patricia Morrison (proveniente da Legal Weapon e Gun Club). Hussey ha intanto lasciato Eldritch (per unirsi ai Mission di Adams). Il sabba di Temple Of Love riechieggia nell'incedere ossessivo di Lucretia My Reflection e trascina tutto il disco in un'orgia di balli sintetici propulsi da una forza sovrumana.
La mano di Steinman, genio supremo del melodramma rock, lascia un'impronta pesante sui due brani piu` spettacolari, entrambi contrappuntati da una batteria di soprano d'opera e di sintetizzatori in staccato: la monumentale This Corrosion, intrisa di gospel e lanciata a folle velocita`, e Dominion, condotta a passo marziale e non meno travolgente. Grazie a questi quattro brani (che occupano gran parte del disco), Floodland rimarra` uno dei capolavori dell'intero gotico britannico. Non meno raggelante e` 1959, un lied per soli canto e pianoforte, unico brano senza drum machine.

Vision Thing (Merciful Release, 1990) esce pero` soltanto dopo un lungo iato. Al fianco di Eldritch questa volta e` Tony James (ex Generation X e Sigue Sigue Sputnik) e il sound e` mutato un'altra volta, avvicinandosi persino al boogie dei ZZ Top (Detonation Boulevard, When You Don't See Me e Doctor Jeep). Vision Thing recupera la scossa febbrile e animalesca di Temple Of Love con un altro riff di hardrock da manuale e su More interviene ancora Steinman, per costruire un'altra delle sue cattedrali pop (con i suoi caratteristici cori femminili e le altrettanto caratteristiche tastiere). L'incedere allucinato e le atmosfere soffocanti completano l'opera di ipnotismo di Eldritch, che negli anni e` cresciuto immensamente come musicista e ha conservato le qualita` sciamaniche del suo canto.

singolo Under The Gun (1993) con Teri Nunn al canto (ex Berlin)

Eldritch e` piu` che mai il vero messia del gotico britannico, un visionario che ha coniato un linguaggio tanto potente quanto semplice. Pochi come lui hanno la proprieta` di risuonare con i ritmi, di saperne travalicare la funzione di scandire il tempo, di riuscire a interiorizzarli fino ai limiti della follia piu` feroce. Nella sua voce d'oltretomba si agitano gli spettri piu` spaventosi della psiche moderna. Le sue canzoni sono itinerari dentro l'ansia e il disagio dell'era moderna.

La formazione d'accompagnamento di Eldritch cambia di nuovo. Entrano i chitarristi Adam Pearson (ex Red Lorry Yellow Lorry) e Chris Sheehan (neozelandese, gia` negli Starlings, sostituito in seguito dallo yugoslavo Mike Varjak).

Massimo Moro scrive:

Nel 1992 la band da` alle stampe una riedizione di Temple Of Love, che si fa apprezzare grazie alla superba qualita` del sound: un plotone di chitarre heavy metal sovraincise, l'incalzante ritmo tribale e il canto enfatico di Eldritch introducono ad uno spettacolare volo vocale della cantante israeliana Ofra Haza, esplicitando le influenze orientali che tanta parte hanno avuto nell'immaginario "eldritchiano".

L'anno successivo è la volta del singolo UNDER THE GUN.

La produzione sofisticatissima e lo scaltro utilizzo dell'elettronica, con le chitarre in secondo piano ed Eldritch a duettare con la voce sensuale di Teri Nunn (ex Berlin), sembrano precipitare il gruppo verso la musica leggera: ma dalla suggestiva trama di violente immagini che caratterizza il finale della canzone, mormorato dalla voce demoniaca di Eldritch in un sinistro delirio, ancora una volta emerge un' angoscia profonda.

Pur se in vesti apparentemente meno inquietanti, Andrew Eldritch si conferma emissario delle forze oscure che albergano da sempre in ogni uomo.

Una tournée in America con i Public Enemy non ottiene però i risultati sperati e da questo momento in poi i Sisters Of Mercy non pubblicheranno più nuovo materiale: Eldritch lamentando lo scarso impegno della East West; la casa discografica pretendendo un suo nuovo disco.

Preso atto dello stallo, Eldritch prosegue ad esibirsi in concerto, scrivendo nuove canzoni.

Grazie ad una sproporzionata serie di bootleg si può intuire la qualità del repertorio recente dei Sisters Of Mercy: in COME TOGETHER la drum machine conduce un'infernale galoppo e la chitarra dopo una fragorosa frustata, intona un'esotica melodia su cui Eldritch sospira e si lamenta come un vampiro murato vivo, mentre in WILL I DREAM, epico brano sulla scia di VISION THING, egli sembra invocare una entità soprannaturale del deserto con voce rabbrividente da invasato predicatore.

Eldritch canta poi con pathos la solenne WE ARE THE SAME, SUZANNE, maestosa cavalcata chitarristica introdotta da un rombo di basso snervante immerso in rumori di fantasmi e distorsioni da incubo.

Se ROMEO DOWN musicalmente indulge in stereotipi sensazionalisti memori delle cupe liturgie di FIRST AND LAST AND ALWAYS e FLOODLAND, ciò che è rilevante è la intensa rappresentazione di una raccapricciante tragedia degna di FRANKIE TEARDROP dei Suicide; d' altro canto WAR ON DRUGS è un delirio estenuante e ferocemente tribale ove gli echi marziali della chitarra, il passo voodoo ed un coro allucinato ci relegano nei gironi di un inferno al cui centro Eldritch freme minaccioso, una dannato che si contorce al termine di una folle corsa distruttrice, come in una nuova TEMPLE OF LOVE.

SUMMER, infine, risulta degna dei viscerali brani sinfonici di FLOODLAND, un incessante cerimoniale orientale per la voce tenebrosa di Eldritch, nostalgico e disperato, mentre le chitarre ruggiscono per poi quietarsi in ipnotici rintocchi funebri.

Nel 1998 Eldritch si libera dal vincolo con la East West, fornendo con lo pseudonimo SSV il suo tanto atteso disco. Beffardamente pero' l'opera (GO FIGURE) risulta essere della banalissima musica techno su cui la voce ripete meccanicamente versi repellenti, e che presto viene diffusa non ufficialmente in Rete, tanto che non verrà mai pubblicata dalla casa discografica. L'anno successivo i Sisters Of Mercy hanno compiuto una nuova tournée americana, in attesa di pubblicare un nuovo album.

Il rock ultraelettrico dei Sisters Of Mercy, propulso dalle scosse ossessive dell'elettronica, rimane un punto fermo nell'ambito del rock esoterico.

Nelle sue ultime prove la voce di Eldritch sparge ancora il suo corrosivo veleno e la sua follia è divenuta, se possibile ben più devastante ed universale.

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