Album Review – The Mission (UK) – Another Fall from Grace (2016)

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Another Fall from Grace contains the melodic rhythm and the woeful serenades of alternative and country rock, encompassing the dark complexity that emerged in the mid ‘80s and early ‘90s, when goth rock started to branch away from its punk origins, creating the ‘second generation’ of goth; creating dark rock, dark Americana/Southern Gothic, which of course The Mission was birthed from that generation. There are also inclusions of neo-progressive rock, and a huge channeling of alternative rock band U2, another band that emerged in the post-punk era and participated in the creation of goth rock. Meta-Amor-Phosis follows on with a similar fusion of gothic country/alternative rock, whilst embracing a more roguish intrusion of proto-punk vocals. This is also the first and only track to feature a duet/collaboration, and with Ville Valo, of Finnish dark rock band HIM; lyrically discussing a transformation, which can be interpreted into that of a personal/spiritual journey, a natural evolution or social change, and one of a positive outlook.

Within the Deepest Darkness (Fearful) transforms back to the originating sound of goth rock and neoclassical darkwave, and introduces inclining’s of new wave, drawing influences from Siouxsie and the Banshees, Dead Can Dance and Tears for Fears – the latter an acknowledged pioneer on the darkwave genre – to recreate thebeautiful resurgence of 1980s disturbed deliverance. Blood on the Road rejuvenates more proto-goth rock with dark alternative in this track, with Wayne Hussey’s matured voice exploring further in a rural delivery of the lyrics, a setting the scene of a fictional trip down the West of the United States, travelling into cowboy country.

Can’t see the Ocean for the Rain is the third track to demonstrate that of an instrumentally uplifting Southern Gothic song, with dark lyrics. In the depths of the dark rock tones, I hear early ‘90s indie rock, Britpop, and folk rock, specifically a sampling of American rock band R.E.M, the guitar rhythm initiating from their 1991 hit single Losing My Religion, of their album Out of Time. Tyranny of Secrets reverts back to traditional goth rock, this time, The Mission igniting muse from industrial rock, and shock rock and proto-punk, Hussey conducting the spirit of Alice Cooper’s raw vocalizations, whilst drawing inspiration from past peers Dream Disciples, and Rosetta Stone.

Never’s Longer than Forever is a slow, charming track jammed packed with various genres, including goth rock, Celtic music (folk /pagan rock) and ethereal wave. The song tells of a tragic tale of the human concept of time, and how we can carry life-changing regrets. Bullet & Bayonets is an invention of dark alternative and Middle Eastern flow, a synthesis iconic in the post-punk era, with the likes of peers Sister of Mercy (Temple of Love ft. Israeli singer Ofra Haza); Siouxsie and the Banshees (Cities of Dust and Israel); Paralleles de Motsegur (Islamique), and of course darkwave off-shoots Dead Can Dance and Rhea’s Obsession. It is also worth noting, that Middle Eastern and the Ancient Egyptian fashion has a strong influence on the aesthetic goth fashion scene.  In amidst the exotic sound, is a song about war and conflict.

Valaam is an interlude of spoken word, a fictional story about and plea for understanding towards those who suffer from insomnia, psychological illness and night terrors, seeking redemption and hoping that spiritual faith might save the narrator.  Jade opens up into a dark rock, dark progressive rock and dark ambient mix, and seeking stimulus from the likes of Katatonia, Antimatter and Anathema.  This tells the story of a troubled woman, a continuation of Valaam, who is struggling with her identity and life choices and wants to escape.

Only You & You Alone is a saddened track, wrapped into a genre I’d like to call gothic blues, Hussey gruffly pleading for a lost love, a soul mate that slipped through the narrator’s fingers, the person he speaks of supposed being ‘Jade’, hinting to be one of her many lovers, and a sign of the devastating heart-break that exists in her wake, and as a consequence wanting to seek refuge in the hands of God. Phantom Pain endeavors into a potion of Southern Gothic, darkwave and trip-hop, detailing the growing sense of apathy in humanity and in oneself, seeking a dark path to replace the loss of feeling and enjoyment in life.

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