Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Floodland - The Sisters Of Mercy Review

Okay, moving on to 1987, to SoM's second studio album. Everyone except Eldritch had left the band after the last album was released, so Eldritch got Patricia Morrison to join him. Now, I don't know the truth, but he claims she basically didn't contribute at all to the album (while she says she did, but he recorded over her parts), and basically was just a model (just take a look at all the photoshoots, music videos and other appearances the two of them did). I think she DID contribute, but the booklet doesn't say shit, and on wikipedia is says that she played bass and vocals. I want her to write a book sometime and tell the truth about this - and talk about all the other bands she's been in - especially The Damned!

This is the first (studio, at least) album I got by Sisters of Mercy. It's pretty iconic, and very classic goth rock. The cover art, how Patricia Morrison looks... And it has some fantastic songs. The album title is pretty fitting, as water is mentioned a lot in the lyrics of the album. This time around I will review the bonus tracks I have on my 2006 reissue CD, as I adore those too. So let's have some fun!

Dominion / Mother Russia
An instantly recognizable song, and one of SoM's most famous songs. I love everything about it! The beat, the twinkly guitar, the vocals... I always sing along to this. Plus it has a saxophone solo!
Then it goes over to the Mother Russia part, which is pretty cool. It ends really well too.

Flood I
A fitting title, cause it really has a flowy, watery vibe if you can say that! Eldritch's voice really contributes to that feeling. Eldritch says the word flood is a metaphor for sex in the two songs, but I try not to think of that, I just cringe when I think about the sexual references in goth songs. Anyway, the instrumentals in this are pretty different, very electronic, I don't really know how to describe it. But it contributes to the atmosphere of the song.

Lucretia My Reflection
Like Dominion / Mother Russia, instantly recognizable, and one of their most famous songs.
I should never have watched the music video, cause my head always twitches sideways at the thought of that thingy (I don't know what it's called, okay) that is shown at the beat of the snare drum.
Eldritch wrote it about Patricia to welcome her into the band, because he thinks of her as a femme fatale, as Lucrezia Borgia is said to have been. I like the lyrics a lot, I always have to sing along to it! And dance after ''dance the ghost with me''.

A calm song about Eldritch's birth year. Beautiful and sad.
Though I feel the piano could have been better, it doesn't really sound that good.

This Corrosion
Then we're lifted up into another classic SoM song! I love the vocals in this, and can never decide which to sing along to, haha. It's so fun and dancy! The lyrics are kind of silly, but they're meant to be a parody of Wayne Hussey's lyrics, which can be pretty.. cliché. I still love it (and The Mission)! Excuse me while I break into song and dance for the next 10 minutes. Good guitar solo too, btw.

Flood II
A continuation of Flood I (duh). This is more upbeat, and more.. singable, I guess. I like this one much better, it's a nice part two. Fades out into the next song pretty well.

Driven Like The Snow
It has a one minute long pretty quiet intro, before getting into a pretty groovy beat. Eldritch says this is kind of a part two of Nine While Nine. Musically it isn't as good, but lyrically, it's much better. The lyrics aren't so gooey, they're actually pretty okay. Couldn't he have just merged the two?

Never Land (a fragment)
A very atmospheric song. The drums are strong, but it's still very calm. I don't know what makes that sound (you know what I mean), but it's pretty cool! It gives that extra oomph. A pretty cool piece. I remember this song was featured on the Hotel season of American Horror Story, along with a bunch of other gothy music. On the vinyl, this is where the album ended.

Another calm and atmospheric song - It kind of has that aquatic feeling again. I really like the lyrics. Again it has this weird sound that I don't know what is, that gives it the little extra. But yeah, a beautiful (and probably underrated) song.

Another atmospheric song that's pretty calm. The drums are a little more upbeat, and it features some really cool synth. I've zoned out completely while listening to this now. Then it fades out to nothing. On the original CD this is where it ended. A pretty good ending, I have to say.

Never Land (full length)
And now we're back to Never Land. This version was previously unreleased until the 2006 reissue CD. You're kind of floating in space in this song, and I think that's what Eldritch meant by this song.

A seriously underrated song that I adore. It's so beautiful and sad. The instrumentals go really well with it, and it's overall really well made. The emotion in his voice, especially towards the end is just perfect. It's originally by Hot Chocolate, which is good, but not quite my kind of music (and it's definitely not sung with feeling there).

So that was quite a journey! The majority of this album is pretty atmospheric, but it also has some of SoM's most famous songs, so it's a pretty well rounded album of dark music. This is the first SoM studio album I got (I'm not sure if I got A Slight Case Of Overbombing before this), so I'm kind of emotionally tied to it. Fuck it, I'll say it; It's my favorite SoM album! I think most people like FaLaA the best, and it's good too, but I just have to say that this is better. What kind of sucks with SoM is that they only have three studio albums, but they have so much more material than that. Luckily they have compilation albums (I still need to get Some Girls Wander By Mistake!). I'm a studio album person, so it kind of annoys me when bands don't put all their stuff on albums (I'm looking at you, Joy Division / New Order!), but with Sisters of Mercy it's fine, since it's not THAT much.

Those were my thoughts, and I'd love to hear yours! I love hearing people's special relationships with music, from how they discovered it, to what they associate it with, and other things. Music is a huge part of my life (I guess you can tell from the amount of album reviews I've done now), and I love to share it with other people. If you haven't heard this album yet, do it now! It's definitely a classic in the goth community. If you're getting into Sisters of Mercy, maybe the compilation albums are good as a first taste of them, but I'd say if you can, get all of them! Cause you're gonna get hooked - I definitely did. SoM is probably my favorite goth rock band, mostly because I always sing along to their songs. Sure, many bands have that atmosphere that gives me that certain feeling I associate with goth, but if I can feel it, dance to it AND sing to it, perfect! And that's what Sisters of Mercy is to me.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

First And Last And Always - The Sisters Of Mercy Review

Today I'm going to review another classic album, from 1985 - I feel like I've reviewed a lot of albums from around then, but I guess that's when great music was made! So this is The Sisters Of Mercy's first studio album. I love them, so I will probably review their two other studio albums after this. Their first two are definitely great classic goth rock albums. I know, Eldritch would probably smack me if he read this, but whatever! We all know that the ultimate stage of gothness is denial ;)
Anyway, let's travel back in time into the darkness and enjoy this album!

Black Planet
Immediately gives me a good retro vibe. I love the guitar (love you, Wayne)! Eldritch's booming voice sounds lovely, though the lyrics are just okay. I guess kind of typical goth lyrics, haha. But you always have to sing along with the chorus!

Walk Away
Again, love the guitar in this! It makes me think of what The Mission will create shortly after. I guess the lyrics are slightly better in this one, and the chorus is definitely even more catchy.

No Time To Cry
Instantly recognizable intro. Now this I can say I like the lyrics too! An overall pretty well made song.

A Rock And A Hard Place
I don't think I can say enough how much I love the guitars - I love Wayne Hussey too much. Good lyrics, and definitely a great chorus! It's pretty good, and probably a little underrated.

Marian (Version)
Oh my fucking god I love this song. It's been one of my favorites from early on, and I definitely think it's underrated! I was lucky enough to hear this when I saw The Mission at WGT this year - I cried. Again, great guitars, but the lyrics are just absolutely beautiful. It gives me shivers! Wayne Hussey also released his own version of it pretty recently, which is much calmer, which fits, though I like this version better - simply cause it's goth rock. Also, the german verse gives it that extra oomph!

First And Last And Always
Ah, the twinkly guitar! The lyrics are okay, but for this to be the title track, it's not that good. There are much better songs on this album!

This one is a little different, this has piano, and the guitars aren't that prominent (though still good further back in the mix). The lyrics, though... No thank you, haha. When I listen to this I just zone out and drown out his voice, mostly listening to the piano.

Nine While Nine
Another song that you instantly recognize from the first note of the guitar - and then the drums come in and you just want to dance! It's one of those perfect goth dance songs. The lyrics are okay I guess, but I have to say there's too much of them. It doesn't really need them, I feel with this instrumental. But like some of the other songs I just drown out what he's singing, haha.

Amphetamine Logic
And then we go into another dancy song! I like the chorus.

Some Kind Of Stranger
Is it only me, or do I get a kind of.. underwater vibe off of this song? Hey, this should be on Floodland! The lyrics are kind of gooey, but I don't really mind. Anyway, the instrumentals are good, and the synth is a great touch. I think the last part of the song is beautiful (lol), and a great way to end the album.

I have the 2006 re-issue CD, so I have the bonus tracks that make it 30 minutes longer, but I'm not going to bother to review those. I think the original tracklisting is great, and most importantly, it ends well - I hate it when albums don't. Though with the CD you go from Some Kind Of Stranger to Poison Door, which is much louder and more upbeat, so it kind of smacks you in the face.

Anyway, the album itself is great, it has many great and classic songs that most goths love and sing along to all the time (or am I just speaking for myself here?). I love this incarnation of Sisters Of Mercy, together they made some really good music! The lyrics aren't perfect, but when it comes to goth, they often aren't. To me at least it's the feeling the music gives me that makes me love it.

So that's what I think of it! I'm sure most of you reading this have heard this album, but if *gasp* you haven't (I guess babybats wanting to get into goth), go listen to it right now! I'd love to hear your thoughts. I'm going to put on Floodland now and review that, so be sure to check back for that!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Substance - Inside New Order by Peter Hook Review

Lazily copied this from my Goodreads review:

Wow, that was quite a journey! Almost 30 years compiled into one book, which explains why it's over 700 pages long - So I spent a while reading it. Prior to this I read The Hacienda (review here), and before that Unknown Pleasures - Inside Joy Division (review here). Those were really fun reads, and so was this, but this takes you on a huge rollercoaster.

After Ian Curtis' death, the rest of Joy Division decide to go on as New Order. This book tells you the entire story; the good, the bad, the ugly, and the utterly insane! Just like in his other two books, Peter Hooks tells the story like he's your friend right there with you. He pretty much leaves nothing out! All the crazy stories from tours which I loved reading - Especially when he mentions other celebrities. He also tells a lot about his own personal life - women, family, his struggles. He didn't go as deep into that in his other books, and it made me feel really connected to him with this book.
He also includes funny top ten (or accidentally more) lists, album track by tracks, and useful timelines. There's also 3 sets of glossy pages of color photographs in the book.

Even though this is a brick of a book, it's not that hard to get through because of the writing style and the way it's built up. So I definitely recommend reading this book if you're a fan of Joy Division / New Order / Peter Hook!

While I was reading this I also had the pleasure of seeing him play a Joy Division set live! An amazing opportunity I never thought I'd get. Plus, on my birthday he followed me on Instagram!

What an awesome guy. Hooky forever!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Phantasmagoria - The Damned Review

I have finally obtained this album! I've adored it for years, but for some reason it's hard to find on CD here in Norway. Last month I finally found it! I also ordered a bunch of other CDs along with it, so there will be a bunch of album reviews up in the near future.
So this album is probably not what most people think of when you say The Damned (well, maybe in the goth community). They are a punk band, but we all know that Dave Vanian is goth as fuck. I'm not sure if he was heavily in charge of this album, but it does seem like it. The album is very gothic!
Also fun fact: The model on the cover is Nick Cave's wife!
I'm just going to review the main nine songs of the album. I have the double disc deluxe edition, but it's mostly remixes and stuff, so I'm not going to bother.

Street Of Dreams
The album starts off with a sexy saxophone, before exploding into a pretty grand atmosphere. Oh I just adore Dave Vanian's deep voice. I love the vocal melody, it's so easy to sing along to. The backing vocals and instruments back it up really well, giving the song a great atmosphere. It's not your classic goth rock song, but I like that it's different! I love the sexy more quiet part and the over the top outro. It's such a grand song overall, but without being too much!

Shadow Of Love
That sound at the very beginning is kind of weird, but the rest of the intro I love. The vocals and instruments work together really well in this. I especially love the twinkly guitar! So I sing along to that too, in addition to the lyrics. The other day me and Simen were kind of making fun of the line ''I experience the most exquisite pain'' - cause it's such a squeeze to sing! The rest works really well though. It fades out well, although too soon!

There'll Come A Day
This song starts off more straightforward, and has really cool keyboards. I absolutely adore the chorus on this! Did I mention how much I love Dave Vanian's voice? I don't think I can say that enough. He was also really adorable around that time!

Sanctum Sanctorum
This is the longest song of the album, starting off with a mostly instrumental atmospheric masterpiece of an intro. You feel like you're inside a gothic church while there's a storm outside. Then it calms down to piano and Dave Vanian's lovely voice and sweet lyrics. It rises for the chorus, and then calms down again to a little bit of that same atmosphere from the start. The next verse has strings added. The outro is lovely. Overall it's a very beautiful song, and leaves you with a great feeling.

Is It A Dream
Then you immediately perk up to this great song! The lyrics are kind of silly, but I like it! Really fun to sing along to. I also love the solo. It's a shame the song is so short! It feels kinda poppy because of it.

Grimly Fiendish
And then we jump into another fun song! Who doesn't love to sing along to ''bad-lad-bad-boy''?

Edward The Bear
More saxophone! This one is different, Dave Vanian doesn't sing on this one. Kind of weird lyrics, with a really obvious english accent, haha. But the chorus is easy to sing along to, and the instrumental parts fit well with the other songs on the album.

The Eighth Day
A beautiful intro! And immediately back to Dave Vanian's voice. Another fun sing-along chorus. The reason why I love this album extra much is the lovely melodic vocals (and backing vocals)! There's some great guitar-work on this song too.

A decent instrumental piece, but not quite my style, so probably my least favorite song on the album. I like it much better from when the saxophone comes in. I think I'm glad this isn't the end of my edition, cause that would have been a little boring when the rest of the album is so fantastic.

So while I listen to all the bonus tracks, let's summarize! The instrumental work on this album is absolutely excellent and unique. While it's not your typical goth rock, it's definitely gothic! It has a great atmosphere. Then we also have the upbeat melodies and vocals that makes you sing along, and that's a huge bonus for me! Atmosphere and melodic vocals is what I appreciate the most in music, so when something has both, I absolutely love it!
I don't think I could compare this album to anything else, it's so unique. It doesn't really sound very 80's, goth rock or punk. But I'm sure fans of that type of music would like this album! Hell, maybe even other people who aren't used to dark music. This is probably a good starter album for getting into gothic music. And even if you're not a punk fan, I definitely recommend checking out The Damned's other albums! I'm not really into punk, but I like them. Probably mostly thanks to Dave Vanian. So check out this album if you haven't already! You won't regret it.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

I'm 23!

One of the first things I woke up to was Peter Hook following me on Instagram! How's that for a birthday present? I did my make-up with the Too Faced Chocolate Chip Palette that my sister gave me the day before (make sure to check out my last post!). I love it! See more looks below.

Simen was nice and picked me up from work so I could transform before Sandra arrived.

Work look:
Blazer - DIY
Modded Aeternus shirt - Gig
Oriental tights - Bat Attack / Xtrax / EMP

Evening look:
Dress - H&M
Fishnets - Leg Avenue
Boots - Demonia

Sandra presented me with this silly wrapped present!
Inside was this Adventure Time mug

And this card! She managed to top the classic Immortal one, hahah!
Posing it with my lovely candle of Fantoft stave church.

And lastly, this album, which I for some reason didn't have!
My likes are all over the place, can you tell?

Then we went to Royal Gourmetburger & Gin!
I had never been, so it was time to try it out.
Ordered a chocolate milkshake with Baileys.
It came with sour apple pop rocks!

My boring burger and fries, but I like it that way.

A fancy drink at Ujevnt called Into The Void!
So I overall had a pretty nice day. I don't really care about celebrating my birthday, but I guess it's an excuse to do SOMETHING. And I got to wear my new dress! I basically only wear dresses for birthdays. They're nice, but they're so simple, so if I want to REALLY dress up, I do something more ''complicated'', that's more me. It's kind of a pet peeve of mine when I get the compliment ''nice dress'', cause I get that all the time - but every time I hear it, I'm not wearing a dress. I put more thought into my outfit than that!

Chocolate Chip look 2!
The day after I got to wear my dress again, as we were invited out to dinner.
We had burgers AGAIN, and went out for drinks after again. It was nice!

Chocolate Chip look 3.
This didn't last long, cause I got an awful coughing fit on the bus and cried it into a mess. I couldn't breathe and was sweating a lot so I had to just get off the bus. I probably looked great in front of everyone on the bus and all the tourists on Bryggen. So yeah, I'm still sick. Fuck you flu.
Simen's dad came to town, so we went out for asian food. This week has been pretty busy, so this weekend I've been taking it easy so I hopefully can shake off the last bits of this flu. I don't really WANT to take it easy, especially since we're moving pretty soon. So I've still been doing stuff around the house, packed, dyed my hair, written blog posts, read and played games. I'm just a person who likes to do a million things at once, and the flu doesn't work well with that. Oh well, I'll live.

Friday, August 11, 2017

A Horrific Birthday Surprise

The day before my birthday my family came to visit. I was forced by my younger sister Silje to go into my bedroom, and I thought WTF? When I got to come out, I found this note on the table:

For those of you who don't know, I collect Living Dead Dolls, and I have series 1 and 2 standing on a shelf in our living room. They actually like to move around in this apartment...
I found this next note at my series 1 Sadie doll's feet:

 This note was at Posey's feet:

Inside our washing machine (yes, we have it in the kitchen), I found this.
It took me a while to unscramble, but I got the name of another doll!

 When I went back to the living room this note was at Eggzorcist's feet:

I thought it meant all the muffins I had found in the kitchen earlier, but it apparently wasn't that.
So I looked in every cupboard, and I found this! I collect Too Faced's ''smelly palettes'' too, but I hadn't been able to get a hold of this one, since it didn't ship to Norway. So awesome!

But wait, there was more!

This took me several minutes. I was told it had nothing to do with Living Dead Dolls. I kept thinking Sadie, as the series 1 doll looks like that. But then... WEDNESDAY ADDAMS! And it was!
My sister then handed me another gift as a prize, and it was this framed piece of artwork!

What a crazy surprise! I can't believe she came up with that whole thing just for me. I appreciated that way more than the actual presents! My parents weren't that creative and handed me a card with money, hahah. And then we had the muffins my sister had made; 3 kinds! I couldn't even finish the third one, I was so full. She's a really good baker, I remember for my 21st birthday she made me this crazy 3-layer chocolate cake that I couldn't finish no matter how many people I invited over.
So that was the day before my birthday, I'll blog about my birthday and the rest of the week on sunday!

Have you ever gotten a fun and well thought-out gift like this, or done it for anyone else?
This could be an awesome inspiration for something to do for a loved one of yours!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Peter Hook @ Kanalrock

I said fuck you to the flu and we drove across the country to Horten / Åsgårdsstrand, where Simen's half siblings live and Peter Hook & The Light were playing at Kanalrock. I'm not letting sickness stop me! Here is the first outfit I wore in probably over a week:

Modded Iron Maiden shirt - Bootleg merch
Plaid skirt - Lindex or something, probably

Look and outfit for the concert!
Fishnet shirt - H&M
Meow Division shirt - Gothicat
See-through skirt - Poizen Industries
Boots - Demonia
I also wore my ''goth blazer'' that you've probably seen in my DIY posts.

Waiting for Peter Hook & The Light!

The man, the myth, the legend!

The set list. Wow!
Dead Souls is probably my favorite Joy Division song, so I'm incredibly happy I got to hear it. I never even thought I would ever hear Joy Division songs live, and now I got an entire concert with just that! Something kind of ruined the experience for us though; drunk norwegians. Guys who had no control over their bodies and thought it was super fun to push and drag us, elbow us in the face and pull our hair - and not to forget the flying beers. The guys had to protect me from getting hurt! So that was pretty distracting from the show, but other than that the show was great. I'd still say it was worth it. It's just that norwegians fucking suck. Metalheads are slightly better, but the best guys are black metal guys. But outside of Norway I've never had a problem at concerts. The security didn't even do shit! Not that I think they were proper security. This was a tiny punk festival that had apparently existed for 26 years, but there were only a few hundred people there - and according to their facebook posts this was a ticket sale record. How they've survived this long I have no idea - I've seen bigger festivals go bankrupt. So it's not exactly a festival I'd recommend! Not that I'm really into punk anyway.

The day after.
When I wear make-up for once, I get proof of it!
My hair is even done (slightly brushed down from the day before).

We grilled in the pouring rain, thunder and lightning - Just norwegian things! The funny thing is that this is in Åsgårdsstrand, so Tor's road is across the road! According to my friend Douglas; ''He was probably angry for not being invited'', hahaha. We spent the rest of the evening playing drinking card games. It was hilarious! Later on the rest went out clubbing, but me and Simen stayed in, thinking of the 8 hour drive we had ahead of us the next day. It sucked. He has a Mercedes convertible, and it's NOT comfortable to sit in for long periods of time. At least we could take the roof down when the weather was nice enough. Overall we had a nice weekend, and it was nice seeing Simen's siblings and their partners again! They're really nice and fun people. It's a shame we live so far away from each other! So we have to see each other during vacations like this - This will be our last for a while.

But the concert year isn't over! There's a black metal festival here in Bergen later this month, and there's Satyricon in.. november, I think. We'll see what else I end up going to! It's been a damn good year of concerts so far. Anyway, I'll be back with another blog post in a day or two, about my birthday! I already got a super awesome present from my sister today, which you will absolutely love, so check back soon! See ya!
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