Artist: The Mission
Title: The Brightest Light
Genre: Goth Rock
Release Date: 20th September 2013
Label: Oblivion (SPV)
THE MISSION also referred to with the addition of UK to distinguish it from an R&B American band... wait, why am I telling you this? Surely a Goth would have known one of the legends! Having been boosted by a sold-out European tour for their 25th anniversary in 2011 they decided to get together their thirteenth album ‘The Brightest Light’. As most bands they’d like to believe it to be their best... is it though?
Surely there are some new elements – a tongue-in-cheek humour helps in a genre where everyone takes themselves morbidly seriously. Opening ‘Black Cat Bone’ is demonstrating it with a conjunction of it sounding like a confession and musically it does remind one of their heydays. But - there are also rock songs where you’d find recycled parts like ‘Born Under A Good Sign’ where the opening chords will ring a bell of an earlier song, I won’t spoil your fun guessing which. It’s also not the first song that already seems to be THE MISSION on formulaic approach; sure, they claim to have reached self-knowledge and doing what they’re best at even better. The problem is that they have built half of this CD on their lesser known or obscure songs rather than their good ones. The let-down songs lack the atmosphere of ‘Severina’, the emotiveness of ‘Butterfly on a Wheel’ or ‘Daddy’s Going To Heaven Now’ or songs like ‘Serpent’s Kiss’ with ensnaring hook; their prevailing method is ‘more Rock, less Goth’ and it misses the target – more Goth-ness is what has made them the titans of Goth scene they once were or at least still a major band to reckon with amongst new talent.
The exceptions are ‘Sometimes The Brightest Path Comes From The Darkest Place’ which except atmosphere also has more fresh ideas (great rhythm too) and ‘When The Trap Clicks Shut Behind Us’ and ‘Ain’t No Prayer In The Bible Can Save Me Now’ that remind of sincerity within ‘Till The Kingdom Comes’ with the former’s advantage being that the rockier slant is not overstressed, the latter is leaning more towards acoustic and with a LEONARD COHEN touch comes off rather well too, ‘Swan Song’ nearly makes it but is mired as the rest of the songs by trying to catch the zeitgeist of Rock. It’s this attempt that makes them sound belaboured. For sure that they retain some Goth-ness and that will make them outstanding - yet the album is not as awesome as one would expect of them. You may say that I’d like them to sound the way they used to – no, I’d just welcome them building on those foundations, which would be sticking with their own essence rather than trying to please or seduce mainstream listeners.
Let’s face it, the latest studio album of their peers FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM ‘Mourning Sun’ managed to sound fresh and to better on what was already great about them – and it still sounds wonderful eight years later after its release in 2005. I’m not sure that this album will beg repeats like that and it doesn’t beat what they’ve done before. There are shimmers of what has made them such a great band and together with its fun aspect and enjoyability it warrants certainly a liking and a heads-up.
01. Black Cat Bone
02. Everything But The Squeal
03. Sometimes The Brightest Path Comes From The Darkest Place
04. Born Under A Good Sign
05. The Girl In A Fur Skin Rug
06. When The Trap Clicks Shut Behind Us
07. Ain’t No Prayer In The Bible Can Save Me Now
08. Just Another Pawn In Your Game
09. From The Oyster Comes The Pearl
10. Swan Song
11. Litany For The Faithful
www.themissionuk.com / https://www.facebook.com/themissionuk
Total: 7.5 / 10