Title: Another Fall From Grace
Artist: The Mission
Genre: Goth Rock/ Wave / Rock
Release Date: 30th September 2016
Label: Eyes Wide Shut
THE MISSION are one of those long-running bands which have had a few farewell tours (and albums, respectively) behind them. In 2009 they even released the double album ‘Live & Last’ plus the DVD ‘Final Chapter’ with footage from THE MISSION’s “last show ever” at Shepherds Bush Empire in London. Well, that farewell didn’t last long and was replaced with a “Hello again!” for the 25th anniversary of the band in 2010, already. Twenty-five years earlier, that is in summer 1985, THE MISSION rose from the remains of THE SISTERS OF MECY when Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams left the band after tensions with singer Andrew Eldritch, who managed to claim the moniker THE SISTERS OF MERCY. First operating under the name SISTERHOOD, Hussey and Adams changed the name to THE MISSION and recruited drummer Mick Brown from RED LORRY YELLOW LORRY and guitarist/ keyboardist Simon Hinkler for their new band.
THE MISSION soon gained pop stardom in the late 1980s with their much more melodic take on Wave/ Goth Rock, selling out arenas across Europe and charting with several albums and singles in the Top 20 of their home country. Three decades later THE MISSION release an album which is, according to Hussey, “the lost link between The Sisters Of Mercy ‘First And Last And Always’ and The Mission’s ‘God's Own Medicine’”.And there's some truth to it! Center piece is of course Hussey’s legendary 12-string guitar which dominated the first few releases of THE MISSION. On the new album it is used heavily again but there are also other parallels to early THE MISSION. ‘Another Fall From Grace’ has a gloomy and dark quality to it which THE MISSION didn’t display on album length for quite a while.
For this album THE MISSION recruited half an army of collaborators like Gary Numan, Martin Gore (Depeche Mode), the above mentioned Ville Valo (HIM), Julianne Regan (All About Eve) and Evi Vine. Fortunately, all guest musicians avail themselves for enhancing the respective song, they do not come to the fore to make it something like “special guest featuring THE MISSION”. All guests support their song nicely and don’t overshadow it, which is quite nice.
The album starts with its title track, a murky mid-tempo song which needs a few runs to enfold its full effect. Song number two is the single ‘Met-Amor-Phosis’, which is lyrically a little cheesy with Hussey singing again about aging – next year he will turn 60, after all – but musically ‘Met-Amor-Phosis’ is punchy, rollicking, a bit over the top and it has indeed a great hook. Just like a classic THE MISSION Rock song should be, and also featuring HIM's Ville Valo doing backing vocals, hence a worthy lead single for the album. Wayne Hussey has always had a little tendency to be a little cheesy and schmaltzy but on the other hand this provided some of THE MISSION’s bigger-than-life moments and some epic, stadium-ready tunes. While THE MISSION probably won’t play stadiums anymore in this life, there are a few moments on ‘Another Fall From Grace’ which have this uplifting, anthem-like quality despite all the gloom and melancholia a Goth Rock band like THE MISSION simply should have. Or is it rather Goth Pop? A song like the melodic ‘Can't See The Ocean For The Rain’ would certainly work fine on radio if today’s formatted radio stations would just dare to think outside the box.
On the other hand, ‘Blood On The Road’ and the fast-paced ‘Tyranny Of Secrets’ bring back the angry side of THE MISSION before the album enters its more introspective, moodier second half. A definite highlight is the dramatic ‘Only You & You Alone’ which features DEPECHE MODE's mastermind Martin Gore doing background vocals, and Gore’s soulful voice really lifts the song on another level. This makes up for the hippie-esque ‘Never's Longer Than Forever’, which gets the trophy for cheesiest song on the album. Still an okay song, though. The album ends with the 7:25 minute long ‘Phantom Pain’, a brooding and lumbering song which is the darkest track on an album which isn’t exactly short of dark moments and which displays THE MISSION’s more experimental side, complete with echoing clarinet and saxophone sounds. It’s the kind of song you would listen to in a dimmed room only lit by candles – just like you probably did back in the day when you listened to ‘Gods Own Medicine’ as a Goth kid.
In a way, ‘Another Fall From Grace’ is the kind of album THE CURE think they could not make anymore. Hence they didn’t release any new material since 2008’s (mediocre) ‘4:13 Dream’. THE MISSION simply go for it and released, just three years after ‘The Brightest Light’, an album which doesn’t have to fear the competition of classic THE MISSION albums as ‘Children’ or ‘Carved In Sand’. The reward is a UK chart entry at No.38, a successful autumn tour and great sales worldwide which make ‘Another Fall From Grace’ THE MISSION’s biggest commercial success since ‘Masque’ from 1992! ‘Another Fall From Grace’ is available on CD, 180 gram vinyl plus ltd edition deluxe double CD and DVD. The deluxe version contains full album on CD, an instrumental version of the album with bonus remix track ‘Met-Amor-Phosis’ and a 93 minute DVD featuring never before seen footage from 1987 of THE MISSION performing at Elland Road, Leeds, supporting U2, Aston Villa Leisure Centre as The Metal Gurus and The Royal Court in Liverpool for the Hillsborough benefit gig, both from 1989, producer Tim Palmer’s home footage of the recording of ‘Carved in Sand’ / ‘Butterfly on a Wheel’ video, and the promo video for new single ‘Met-Amor-Phosis’. Quite a treat for fans!
01. Another Fall From Grace
03. Within The Deepest Darkness (Fearful)
04. Blood On The Road
05. Can’t See The Ocean For The Rain
06. Tyranny Of Secrets
07. Never’s Longer Than Forever
08. Bullets & Bayonets
11. Only You & You Alone
12. Phantom Pain
Craig Adams - bass guitar
Simon Hinkler - guitar
Wayne Hussey - vocals, guitars, production
Mike Kelly - drums
Julianne Regan (of All About Eve) – additional vocals on tracks 1,12
Ville Valo (of H.I.M.) – additional vocals on track 2
Gary Numan – additional vocals on track 3
Evi Vine – additional vocals on tracks 5,7
Martin L. Gore (of Depeche Mode) – backing vocals on track 11
George D. Allen – Hammond organ and rabble backing vocals on track 7
Stevie Vine – additional sonic guitar on track 7
Veronica, Sarah Dean – rabble backing vocals on track 7
Duke Garwood – alto clarinet and alto sax on track 12
Total: 9.7 / 10