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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Floodland

Sisters Of Mercy

1987

Floodland

Album Summary

Floodland is the second studio album by English gothic rock band the Sisters of Mercy. It was released on 16 November 1987, through Merciful Release internationally and distributed by WEA, with Elektra Records handling the United States release. After the release of the band's debut studio album, First and Last and Always (1985), members Craig Adams and Wayne Hussey left to form the Mission, causing the dissolution of the Sisters of Mercy. As a result, band frontman Andrew Eldritch formed a side project known as the Sisterhood, recording new material with them. After the project's first album was received negatively overall, he went back to recording as part of the Sisters of Mercy and hired the Sisterhood member Patricia Morrison for the recording of a new album. Eldritch wrote the songs of Floodland in Hamburg; the city's large amount of water influenced its title as well as the recurring lyrical theme of water. He then called upon Larry Alexander to produce the album with him and Jim Steinman to produce the songs "Dominion" / "Mother Russia" and "This Corrosion". Recording sessions began at Power Station Studios in New York City during January 1987 and carried on throughout the first half of the year at Strawberry Studios in Stockport and The Wool Hall in Bath. Eldritch served as the vocalist, performed all instruments, and programmed the band's drum machine, "Doktor Avalanche". The drum machine acted as the drum player; Morrison did not contribute to the album despite being a member of the Sisters of Mercy. In contrast to First and Last and Always, Floodland was created in a less conventional way, being pieced together on computers using sequencers. The music incorporates the genres of gothic rock and dark wave, while the lyrical content sees Eldritch cast as the observer of a slowly deteriorating world. Some of the events that inspired certain songs include the Chernobyl disaster, the Cold War, and the band's previous breakup. The singles "This Corrosion", "Dominion", and "Lucretia My Reflection" were released in promotion. "This Corrosion" peaked at number 7 on the UK Singles Chart, while "Dominion" and "Lucretia My Reflection" peaked at number 13 and 20, respectively. Floodland debuted on the UK Albums Chart at number 9, later being certified gold in UK by the BPI for selling 100,000 copies. It also reached the top 40 in other European countries, including Switzerland. Despite initially receiving mixed reviews from music critics, Floodland has retrospectively received praise and been considered a seminal gothic rock album by several critics.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.03

Votes

5139

Genres

  • Rock
Reviews
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Fri Mar 19 2021
4

man, this thing is just THE 80s: reverb drums - CHECK trashcontainer drum - CHECK guitar chorused out of reasonability - CHECK flanger - CHECK epic synths - CHECK midi ballad - CHECK song composed almost entirely out of the weird percussion section sounds of a digital synth - CHECK verse is just chorus but quieter - CHECK "the wind blows wild" - CHECK I mean, EVERYTHING mother russia/10

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Wed Jul 21 2021
4

Loved this so much I dyed my eyebrows black. It’s a good look! For real though, this was great. Now where’s a Type-0 Negative album on this list???

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Wed May 19 2021
4

Whoa, I've actually heard one of these songs before! A radio cut of Dominion got a lot of play on my hometown rock station in the 90s. The kind of play that makes you think these dudes made exactly one good song and made knowing the name of the artist useful literally only for pub trivia purposes. Pleasantly surprised to have enjoyed the whole album. It scratched a dark, almost gothy rock itch that hadn't been scratched since I last hung out in the garage listening to the radio with my dad while he drank Buds and worked on his motorcycle.

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Sun Sep 18 2022
1

New Wave Dracula doesn’t suck blood, he just sucks.

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Tue Jun 01 2021
5

Loved it. I have not waded much into goth-rock/new wave/post-punk but this was great. Though the instrumentation was simple, it was very effective. The music features a strong backbeat, prominent bass, horror motifs, and typical new wave/post-punk vocal delivery. The overall result is a driving, pulsing music that is instantly likable and even danceable.

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Fri Oct 14 2022
5

This is honesty the moody, gloomy, late 80s goth-rock I never knew I needed. First Listen?: Y Fav. Track(s): Flood I, Lucretia My Reflection, This Corrosion Rating: 4.7/5

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Sun Jan 10 2021
4

Leans into its darkwave cliches, but I'm weak to them. There's a greater-than-average amount of variation in the tracklist, too. Sprawling and short, quiet and loud.

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Thu Feb 18 2021
4

A good combination of energy and just general moodiness. I liked it. Good for exercise too.

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Thu Oct 01 2020
4

Makes me want to dress in all black and go to a rave. Or at least play Vampires: The Masquerade. Lead singer reminds me of Peter Steele from Type O Negative. Favorite tracks: "Dominion/Mother Russia", "This Corrosion"

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Thu May 20 2021
4

I can't say that I've ever really listened to a goth album before, so I don't have a lot of genre context for this. I'll say having listened to most of the album that while this is not particularly my kind of music, it is well done. I like the vocal production and how male and female voices get blended together over squealing metal guitars. 4/5

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Wed Oct 13 2021
4

Really liked this, very 80s hints of Depeche Mode and darker goth music but also driving rock songs like 'This Corrosion' which wouldn't be out of place on a Fleetwood Mac album. Some songs maybe went on a bit longer than needed but they were clearly having a lot of fun. Bonus points for the very 80s sax solo on the album opener

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Sun Jun 27 2021
3

3.3 - An unusual sound, combining baritone vocals, gothic choir, electronic percussion, synthesizer and some guitar. A mix between Depeche Mode and “Scary Monsters”, and forward thinking enough to seem to also usher in the sound for both. Dark and atmospheric, often pretentious. “The Corrosion is a standout.

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Thu Oct 20 2022
3

I don't think anything can say it better than this review I saw: "Meatloaf joining The Cure for a remake of Lou Reed's Berlin."

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Fri Jan 22 2021
2

Uh hello 1980s

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Thu Jun 24 2021
2

When it comes to the Goth/dance sound this pales in comparison to the Cure and New Order. I found the vocals annoying and the drums way too amped. Not a fan.

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Tue Jul 06 2021
2

Dated drums right out the gate. I guess this is Proto-industrial, so that’s why it’s “important.” The voice is cool, dark, driving but I can’t get over the dated effects. There were some shining moments where I heard Bowie and Echo and the Bunnymen. But, overall, blah. 2.

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Thu Nov 19 2020
5

Sweet album. Cool dark and mellow sound, great vocals, and a steady flow from one track to the next.

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Thu Jun 03 2021
5

i knew this album at the time, though not that well. i remembered loving some tracks, but didn't know others at all. on the whole, i loved this one, especially This Corrosion, which just burns

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Mon Jul 05 2021
5

Electrónica gótica. Está bien. Dudaba entre 4 o 5, pero, venga, un 5

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Fri Jan 29 2021
5

Great

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Fri Jun 11 2021
5

Goths are wonderful from a distance

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Fri Mar 05 2021
5

Used to listen to this album loads when I was younger, love it!

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Sat May 22 2021
5

The pinnacle of goth darkwave club-core. Put this on, and I'm already wearing black and hitting the dance floor. Instantly catchy, moody goth jams. Perfect!

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Tue Jun 01 2021
5

Interesting

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Sat Dec 11 2021
5

I fucking love this album. It's amazing that they did so much with such a minimal approach. Just last night I was drunk and trying to get my mates to love Lucretia my reflection as much as I do, so this is fitting. 5/5.

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Thu Jan 27 2022
5

This was a fantastic goth album. I will definitely explore the genre now.

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Sun Mar 13 2022
5

I always thought of goths as boring people wearing a lot of make up bored with their own lives. Then emos came and they were much worse. But, hey! These are audiences, and we are here to discuss music, right? Right.  If I were to pick up an essential post punk band with really pessimistic sound and content, Joy Division would be that band. Still, this doesn't totally mean that I consider other bands in the dark/goth spectrum to be derivative, mind. I really love some of them, from Christian Death to Fields Of The Nephilim. I wasn't really familiar with the Sisters Of Mercy though. Lucretia My Reflection, Dominion, and the mighty This Corrosion (which I am sure I already heard in the past) were singles, and they were great. As a whole, the album really sounds huge, with all those busy, upfront bass lines and insisting drumming, a lot of female backing vocals, even some choir (a 40 piece one on This Corrosion), but never feeling overcharged. 1959 with only piano and voice fills up the room effortlessly. On Flood II there is an acoustic guitar along with the synths and the aforementioned, very effective rhythm section, and the whole thing comes out from the speakers as if it was a roaring monster. I could go on and mention all the songs in here, as there is no filler really. All I can say is that I need this record in my collection. A masterpiece. 

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Fri May 06 2022
5

Had never heard of these guys...was sort of expecting something adjacent to Leonard Cohen's song "Sisters of Mercy". This is not that. This album is right up my alley, though. Many of these songs, like "1959", and "The Corrsion" (while very different from each other) have a "Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds meet the Talking Heads" vibe, which I love. Okay, album over, and this is the first full album that I've immediately added to my Spotify list. 5/5.

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Mon May 23 2022
5

Love the way the tracks merge into one another, perfectly executed.

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Mon Jun 06 2022
5

I enjoyed this one a lot. In general, I'm not all that big on gothic rock or metal. But this one really hit all the right spots as the perfect mix of dark new wave in the vein of The Cure, classic rock and the emerging gothic scene. The production was fantastic as well.

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Wed Sep 14 2022
5

Loving it!

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Sun Sep 25 2022
5

This is incredible. Once I got used to the vocals and 80s sound, I was absolutely rocking. Not one that I probably ever would have even thought to try based on my current preferences, but unbelievably glad I did. I could see myself revisiting certain moments on this album very regularly. Hoping this might be a gateway into me appreciating a different style of music.

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Tue Sep 27 2022
5

Those who get it, get it! I was very excited to see an album I know inside and out. As a kid to Gen X parents who loved the Sisters of Mercy, this is one of my favorite albums that I was introduced to. It's definitely not for everyone, though, as the icy gothic sound is present FULL force. This album contains many of the Sisters' best tracks. There is not one that I skip. The album is cohesive and I have always loved the pair of "Flood" songs, giving the impression of a cinematic reprise. Lucretia My Reflection has a simple but iconic baseline all throughout. This Corrosion delves into the band's more pop, dance-oriented side with powerful choral accents. The last two songs are slower and sparse and I'd give them a shot even if you don't like the rest of the songs. I'd recommend their first album for those who would prefer a less dramatic sound from the Sisters. "Goth" cult classic. 5 stars!

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Sun Oct 02 2022
5

cool

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Mon Oct 03 2022
5

Sister of Mercy's debut album is better of course so should have been on the list (as well). .. but Floodland has built up some status over the years and led to a massive number of copycat groups until even nowadays. So seems fine to be included in the list. It is practically a 1-person project and I much like how consistent it is in every aspect. Songs are all 4-5 star. Production is fantastic so clearly 5 star overall.

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Thu Oct 13 2022
5

Firmly placed in the eighties, propelled along by the insistent drum machine and synth sound, here is a moody, gothic, new wave classic. The tracks are catchy, Eldritch is a charismatic front man and the topics are spiky and angular. In lesser hands, the project would seem overblown and pompous but there’s an integrity and consistency throughout which the sisters completely pull off. I was thrilled to find this record and my re-evaluation of eighties music continues.

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Wed Oct 26 2022
5

Can’t go wrong with these crazy hippies

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Fri Nov 11 2022
5

Amazing

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Mon Nov 21 2022
5

Electrónica gótica. Está bien. Dudaba entre 4 o 5, pero, venga, un 5

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Thu Nov 24 2022
5

Genuinely loved this.

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Fri Dec 02 2022
5

Отличный альбом!

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Wed Dec 07 2022
5

Goth as hell, some real bangers

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Fri Dec 16 2022
5

Dark evil new wavey awesomeness 5/5.

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Fri Jan 20 2023
5

andrew eldritch: we're not a goths also andrew eldritch: "dance the ghost with me"

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Fri Jan 20 2023
5

Classic of the genre. End of.

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Wed Mar 03 2021
4

When I read the genre ‘gothic rock’ I thought I’d not really enjoy it, but turns out it’s pretty cool. Similar to The Cure, and Flood II is uncannily similar to The Dandy Warhols’ “Boys Better”. Comfy resistors of the 80s trends

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Wed Jul 21 2021
4

That first track, 'Dominion/Mother Russia' is an absolute banger, and there are a couple of tracks who almost reach those heights. The rest tends to slip back into fairly nondescript goth played on tinny synths and drum machines. At least the warbled singing keeps things interesting

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Thu Jun 24 2021
4

What!!! No Temple of Love??? I guess that would have bee asking too much. Still there are some real Goth/Wave anthems like "This Corrosion" (especially), "Lucretia My Reflection" and "Dominion". It's monotonous and contrived, but I'm giving it an extra point due to the fact that one guy wrote the songs, sang lead and played every instrument. The choir was a nice touch too.

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Wed May 26 2021
4

Gótico y épico, suena a años ochenta en el buen sentido. Rozando la New Wave pero apoyándose en cajas de ritmos. Retrotae a un sábado de invierno por la mañana viendo La Bola de Cristal en casa de mi abuela, ese es el sonido. Buen disco que, además, se hace corto sin serlo.

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Thu Apr 01 2021
4

This may be the first emo sounding band I’ve ever immediately enjoyed. This record was truly something I’d never felt before. Only a few slow sections. Favorite Track : Dominion / Mother Russia Least Favorite Track : 1959

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Thu May 13 2021
4

Great album. 8/10

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Wed Jun 16 2021
4

Pretty cool rock album.

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Fri May 14 2021
4

I'm not sure what I'm listening to but... I like it? Hard to hear what's being said because the vocals are whispers and the instruments are loud, but still strangely enjoyable.

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Mon Jun 21 2021
4

Lucretia my Reflection is always a stand out for me. Big fan of this band. But to be fair, I haven't listened to them nearly as much as I would like to have. I don't have any super insightful takes on this. It sounds old, which to be honest isn't a bad thing in the case of this album. I think it works for it, Makes me want to wear sunglasses in the moonlight like Andrew Eldritch on the album cover. Which is hilarious to me. it's a fun listen.

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Mon May 31 2021
4

3.75

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Sat Sep 04 2021
4

This is a really good album frankly I don't know why I slept on it for so long. It's right in my 80s alternative wheelhouse. Starts out with a huge bang with the opener Dominion / Mother Russia. After the slow-burn of Flood I, Lucrative My Reflection picks up the pace with a driving bass that just won't quite. And this Corrosion presents itself as the centrepiece of a fine album. 4 🌟

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Wed Sep 29 2021
4

operatic goth rock. great drum programming, huge production stage.

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Fri Oct 08 2021
4

271021 14:51 3.5

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Sun Oct 10 2021
4

Really enjoyed it. A new band to me.

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Thu Oct 14 2021
4

cracking album

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Fri Oct 15 2021
4

Love it. Also enjoyed reading about the evolution of Doktor Avalanche: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doktor_Avalanche

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Thu Nov 04 2021
4

Never heard of this album/group. First impression on seeing the cover: "Looks like three wolf moon... this is going to bad". Then I read this was an 80's goth/dark wave record and I was prepped for the worst... But I actually really enjoyed this record. I actually haven't listened to much "goth" or "dark wave" music. Maybe I should. There is some heavy use of 80's synths and production here... but this is not your top 40's cheezy 80's music. This is music for outsiders. Can hear the post-punk roots in this. Pretty cool record.

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Wed Nov 10 2021
4

Classic gothic rock is strange. I dig it.

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Thu Nov 18 2021
4

Is this Boney Ms evil twin?

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Sun Nov 21 2021
4

Not at all what I expected and really good. The album that has really surprised me most 50 into this exercise. Will definitely check out more Sisters of Mercy.

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Thu Dec 02 2021
4

I always assumed 80s goth rock would be cheesy (the album cover didn't help), but this was quite good.

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Wed Jan 12 2022
4

Good album that has stood the test of time.

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Wed Jan 26 2022
4

Turn off the lights. Prepare a candle. We're about to get a little more....goth. Following the innovations to post-punk by Bauhaus and Siouxsie and The Banshees in 1979, Sisters Of Mercy would follow shortly after. Though not coming out with a first album until 1980, they would fit nicely in with the likes of The Cure and other gothic rock contemporaries. This brings us to Floodland, which is a perfectly reverb-drenched, rhythm-heavy album that's so dark, the vampires love it. If you're not big on gothic rock, there's no way you're going to like this record, as this is a prime example for the genre. There's a huge focus on atmosphere more than anything else, which may not be everyone's jam, but I think it's great.

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Fri Jan 28 2022
4

Damn this is a really good album, not sure how I missed it back in the day.. Lucretia My Reflection is a great great dance floor song...but every song is great not a dud among the 8 tracks. 4.5 🌟

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Wed Feb 09 2022
4

De va swag!

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Thu Feb 17 2022
4

Over the top goth/synth. Big fan of the single "This Corrosion". Enjoyed the listen.

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Wed Apr 20 2022
4

broughton girlies get it x

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Fri May 06 2022
4

Kinda cool so far; a bit 80s, but not in a bad way.

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Fri May 06 2022
4

Enjoyed this album. Always a fan of 80s music and this cross between rock and synth was great to listen too. Felt like I could have been watching the Lost Boys movie. Definitely a dark goth feel to it. This Corrosion got me amped!

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Wed May 25 2022
4

Cool. I used to listen to this band before going to sleep a lot for some reason and I kind of Pavlov dogged myself. I could feel my eyes closing on their own even though it was only 2 PM while I was listening to this. Gothic rock is up my alley, but I prefer Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, Nick Cave and the background music for Big Boo's Haunt in Super Mario 64. Still very good though - a 3.5/5

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Wed Jun 22 2022
4

1987, so must have scratched an itch I had back when I was 12. Enjoyed it all again.

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Wed Jul 06 2022
4

As I was listening I was like I know this...why do I know this? And then "This Corrosion" hit and I looked it up, The World's End with Simon Pegg. I think I looked them up when the film came up...must have checked out a few tracks as it seemed very familiar but at the same time I know I didn't listen to this when it came out...which considering musically what I was into at the time is a tad surprising.

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Wed Jul 06 2022
4

I knew of, but missed this band first time around. I enjoyed this a lot.

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Thu Aug 04 2022
4

Knew nothing about this album, at all. Had quite low expectations but was pleasantly surprised, a dark, almost gothic sounding album with chilling vocals

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Fri Aug 19 2022
4

Heard before: no Not really my kind of music, but I can appreciate that the band have a strong sound - loved the drums and the groove.

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Thu Sep 01 2022
4

I don't care how cheesy it is, this is cool as shit.

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Wed Sep 07 2022
4

This album generated a lot of hype in me. Just flows really nice

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Fri Sep 16 2022
4

The echo of drums, the discernible cadence of 1980s beats, this is everything the 80s in terms of sound. Vocals are sung in the lower registers, the synthesizers in full effect establishing the base rhythm, filling in the empty space with electronic sounds, almost as if taking a cue from Vangelis's "Chariots of Fire". Minus the 80s sound, the vocals are reminiscent of The National in their lowered pitches. However, this is also reminiscent of what Cradle of Filth would have been had they been an 80s band to go along with a slightly brighter disposition. The album art is practically gothic in tone, but the album itself is a bit more ambiguous. Admittedly that is a weird takeaway. Overall, this album is remarkable in its enjoyability. The recording available on Spotify is very good on the ear, the space between each instrument avoids that crowded "feel" and gives it a sense of reality where much of the 80s sound made things feel crowded-while-somehow-in-space. "Flood II - Vinyl" is an exceptional track, musically. The electronic elements are there a la John Carpenter (again, not gothic but a bit dark), but what really stands out and gives the brightness is that the acoustic guitar is heavily featured as somewhat of a torch in a dark room. The drum beats are hopeful in their loops, the strings are positive in their presentations. The darker elements are all electronic as previously noted, and in the haunting vocals. Towards the end of the album, it is about time to learn a bit more about Sisters of Mercy and it is a bit of a surprise. Notes of Cradle of Filth all of a sudden make sense, even though they could not be more opposed. The album gets a highly praised 4.

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Mon Oct 03 2022
4

Solid album. I quite like the dark gloomy sound, but not enough to prevent my attention from dropping off from time to time. In these moments, it gets too repetitive and things like the rather harsh drums get a little annoying. I think I liked this better when I listened to it back in the nineties.

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Fri Oct 14 2022
4

Pomp goth! Always loved this album. It's hilariously overblown and you just know Eldritch is in on the joke.

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Tue Oct 18 2022
4

I like. Dark wave vibes that I would definitely listen to again

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Thu Oct 20 2022
4

I found this to be pretty freaking good in a vacuum, before remembering that there are plenty of others who really nail the sound better.

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Fri Oct 21 2022
4

Este fue un descubrimiento

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Sun Oct 30 2022
4

I should listen more to this album.

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Thu Nov 03 2022
4

Part of a thriving independent music scene in Yorkshire in the 80s they were outshone eventually by The Cult. This album is a change of direction towards a moodier, more keyboard led sound, however it fits Eldritch's voice and is the sound that most people identify with the Sisters of Mercy. Whether it is good or not is an open question for me. It depends, as music often does, on my mood when I am listening to it. If I am in a quiet, reflective mood than it is excelent, but if I am upbeat and active, then it just sounds depressing.

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Wed Nov 16 2022
4

Dark

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Thu Dec 01 2022
4

Bonus star for evoking happy memories of the indie-goth-rock night at the Escape club in Southampton in the late 80s. Getting a wave of nostalgia (or nausea?) for snakebite and black and the ever-present stench of patchouli oil

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Thu Dec 01 2022
4

Nice dark and moody, enjoyed muchly.

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Thu Dec 15 2022
4

At first, I didn't get Floodland. But then, I heard 1959, and I finally got it. I'm not a fan of low singing, but Andrew Eldritch's vocals were great on 1959 and This Corrosion. Really, those are the only songs I'd listen to again.

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Wed Dec 28 2022
4

Brooding and melodic. Very 80s. 4.5

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Sun Jan 01 2023
4

Love the dramatic, brooding vibe.

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Mon Jan 02 2023
4

Can we get some more echo on the drum machine please?

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Wed Jan 11 2023
4

When the Wikipedia snapshot said it was English Gothic Rock, I was prepared for the worst. Then I started listening to it and realized that it was released in ‘87. It had such a familiar ’80 sound that it brought back memories of my clubbing days. As far as gothic goes, it seems more a caricature of the genre than any hardcore goth sound. I would not have been surprised if any of these songs were part of the Highlander movies since they were kind of goth fantasy movies. I can only imagine that this album was added to the list because it is a good representation of a heavy late ‘80s sound. It’s not bad. But it’s not exceptional either. I did enjoy listening to it for the nostalgia value and would listen to it again. Scale: 5 - My absolute favorites. 4 - Albums I like. 3 - It was ok to listen to it but wouldn't seek it out. 2 - Didn't like. 1 - Absolute shit.

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Fri Jan 20 2023
4

Hey now. Hey then. Hey how you doin'?

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Thu Sep 24 2020
3

Lots of 80's synth.

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