||LOVE LIKE BLOOD
CHRONOLOGY OF A LOVE AFFAIR
ALBUM HALL OF SERMON RELEASE: MARCH 5, 2001 REVIEW: MARCH 5,
"Chronology of a Love Affair" features Love Like Blood playing covers of classic goth songs that were originally released between 1985 and 2000.
To me, it sounds disturbingly like the final death rattle of a band once practically hailed as the future of gothic rock.
I remember finally receiving my vinyl copy of the first Love Like Blood album in the very beginning of the nineties. "Flags of Revolution" turned out to be a rather crappy album of Sisters of Mercy rip offs, which made the following album even more surprising. "An Irony of Fate" had me and most of my friends astounded - here was a fresh, exciting goth album carrying on the tradition of Fields of the Nephilim. If a band could develop so much between albums, there must be great things ahead?
Apparently not so. The next album was much bleaker, and after band member Mark Wheeler left the band, things started tumbling downhill. After several boring albums, the band conceived the idea of covering important goth songs, trying "not to lose the charm of the originals but playing them as if they were new Love Like Blood Songs". Why, oh why?
These originals, everything from Bauhaus' "She's in Parties" to Type O Negative's "Black No 1", definitely have a lot of charm. That is the main problem. Yorck Eysel's very limited vocal range and impassionate voice are ruthlessly shoved into the spotlight here, when compared to some of the original singers. So no, the charm has not been retained. Neither do the songs sound interestingly different. The musical backing is just boring, the changes in the songs done for appearances sake and completely uninspired.
The renditions of The Cure's "Strange Day" and Jesus and Mary Chain's "April Skies" (and don't ask me what the hell that song is doing on a goth compilation) are so horrible that I have to turn off the record to take a couple of long deep breaths. I just can't believe the bad taste in turning these songs into stale murky goth monstrosities. Luckily the Bauhaus cover is almost decent, as well as "Church of No Return" (Christian Death). But then that song wasn't much fun to begin with.
Stupid people like to say that goth died in the early nineties. Bands like Paradise Lost, Tiamat and Type O Negative - all badly covered on this album - have proven the contrary, finding new ways to diversify a still quite vital musical style. Love Like Blood are no longer that kind of band.
Above all things this album makes you long to hear the original versions of New Order's "Decades" and Tiamat's "Whatever That Hurts". I don't have anything against bands playing covers - again Type O Negative, Bauhaus and even Sisters of Mercy have all made great covers - but please do it for a reason. Not out of boredom.