[[caption-width-right:250: [[SarcasmMode Clearly not Goth Rock.]]]]
->''In the temple of love, shine like thunder,\\
In the temple of love, cry like rain,\\
In the temple of love, hear my calling,\\
In the temple of love, hear my name.''
-->"Temple of Love"

The Sisters of Mercy are a rock band formed in Leeds, [[UsefulNotes/{{Britain}} England]] in 1977, when guitarist Gary Marx and then drummer Andrew Eldritch "just wanted to hear themselves on the radio." Widely regarded as GothRock by their fans, but Eldritch denounced this label himself, preferring to call The Sisters an "Industrial Groove Machine."

The band's lineup is ever changing, with the exception of Andrew Eldritch (vocals, guitar, keyboards) and Doktor Avalanche (a drum machine). Past members include, but are not limited to: Ben Gunn (who ran away to play in a band called ''Torch'' in 1983), Gary Marx (who ran away to form ''Ghost Dance'' in 1985), Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams (who ran away to form ''The Mission''), Patricia Morrison (who ran away after Andrew didn't pay her for playing on ''Floodland''), Tony James (ex-''Generation X'' and Music/SigueSigueSputnik, who ran away after ''Vision Thing'').

They were on a hiatus between 1993-1996, and they've been back together ever since. People don't seem to know this, however, because Andrew Eldritch refuses to release any of the new material he's written and recorded in the past 17 years -- enough new songs to fill a couple of albums. They still tour frequently though, for what it's worth, and play these new songs live often.

!! Discography:

* ''First and Last and Always'' (1985)
* ''Floodland'' (1987)
* ''Vision Thing'' (1990)

You could also count ''Gift,'' which was released under the pseudonym "The Sisterhood" in 1985 by Eldritch, Morrison, Avalanche, Lucas Fox, James Ray, and [[Music/{{Suicide}} Alan Vega]] in the midst of the legal dispute between Eldritch on the one side and Hussey and Adams on the other. The album secured Eldritch's legal right to continue as ''The Sisters of Mercy'' while Hussey and Adams were forced to rename their band to ''The Mission'' (''The Mission UK'' in the US, as there had been another band with that name).

Somewhat more importantly, they also have ''Some Girls Wander by Mistake,'' a compilation of (most) of the singles and [=EPs=] they released during the early '80s before they actually had a recording contract. It contains many of their best (and a few of their worst, and they'll tell you that) songs. None of these albums sound anything like each other, except for Eldritch's [[Franchise/StarWars Darth Vader]] ish vocal style. ''Some Girls'' was about icy, mechanical drum machine beats coupled with deep bass and high end, minimal guitar riffs ("Alice" is notable because... Well, because it's awesome, but also because the riff is almost always mistaken for Music/{{ACDC}}'s "Thunderstruck" from 8 years later. The riffs are both one string wonders using the same string). Note that Eldritch plays the drums quite horrendously on "The Damage Done," although most the other stuff on the the album use a drum machine. Most of the Sisters' imitators (and they have many) tend to use the early ''Some Girls Wander by Mistake'' stuff as their template.

''First and Last and Always'' was made at a tumultuous time in the band's career, which involved Andrew Eldritch out of his mind on amphetamines for large chunks of the sessions, stringing himself out until he had to be hospitalised, heaps of material being left by the wayside (some of it later reworked by Marx and Hussey to be used in ''Ghost Dance'' and ''The Mission'' respectively), and culminated in guitarist Gary Marx leaving the band in a huff around the time of the album's release. For this album, they tried for a warmer sound with more sophisticated guitar pop and less challenging lyrics. It's also the most stereotypically gothic of the releases, and has a large cult following for it.

''Floodland,'' produced when the band was reduced to Andrew Eldritch, a drum machine, the New York Choral Society, and whoever else was around (Patricia Morrison on bass and a session guitarist for "This Corrosion"), is heavily synthesized, lushly (and bombastically) produced, and can be summed up as "industrial gothspel." It's also the one that depends most on Eldritch being a singer and a lyricist. It's their best selling album.

''Vision Thing'' is a fairly straight (except maybe for "Ribbons") guitar rock album with a political bent that tends to split fans down the middle. It's currently the band's last studio release (barring two new-ish tracks on the compilation album ''A Slight Case of Overbombing'' and the gag album ''Go Figure'' submitted in '97 under the name SSV to escape a record contract, but never released) after Eldritch started arguing with his record label. This means their last studio album was released in 1990 and their last released studio recording came out in 1992, but the band has kept on trucking on and off since then, still primarily centred around Eldritch and Doktor Avalanche.

Oddly enough, the most depressing song they've ever done was a ''Hot Chocolate'' cover[[labelnote:Note]]If you're wondering, the song in question is "Emma", which, being about a girl who kills herself because she can't achieve her dreams, was pretty damn depressing to start with[[/labelnote]].

!! Associated Tropes:
* AllDrummersAreAnimals: [[Main/AvertedTrope Andrew believes so and finds it really appalling]], which is why he uses Doktor Avalanche, believing that it's more ruthless and monstrous.
--> "There's something about the American public taken as a whole that requires some sort of animal at the back thwacking things. I can't understand it. I've always thought that The Doktor was a much more ruthless and monstrous idea."
* AuthorTract: "Vision Thing" being a song about [[UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates American]] politics. What do you expect from a song named after a famous UsefulNotes/GeorgeHWBush quote?
* BerserkButton: Andrew Eldritch has been known to lose his shit when anybody refers to the Sisters as {{Goth}}, even though the ''entire goth community'' regards them as one of the most iconic goth bands ever.
* BilingualBonus: "Marian" has an entire stanza in German.
* BreakupBreakout: Oh lord.
* BrokenRecord: God help him, Eldritch ''will'' drill a chorus into your head.
** Some day, some day, some day, some day, DOMINION! Some say prayers, some say prayers, I say mine!
** HEY NOW, HEY NOW NOW, SING THIS CORROSION TO ME. Hey hey hey hey hey, na-na-na-nah-now. Lather, rinse, repeat.
** My heartland heartland heartland, my heartland heartland heartland, my heartland heartland heartland...
*** Even more so in ''Triana'''s cover of the song: Full 7 minutes of "Heartland." Just try to sing along and not lose your breath along the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxX7E0ocQwk way.]]
* CityOfCanals: Eldritch lived in UsefulNotes/{{Hamburg}} while writing ''Floodland,'' and named the album that in reference to the city's excess of water.
* ClusterFBomb: "Vision Thing", at least compared to the Sisters' other songs.
* CoolShades: Eldritch always has some.
* CoverVersion: "1969" by Music/TheStooges, "Gimme Shelter" by Music/TheRollingStones (on ''Some Girls Wander By Mistake''), "Sister Ray" by the Music/VelvetUnderground, "Ghost Rider" by Music/{{Suicide}}, the old staple "Louie Louie," "The Sisters of Mercy" by Music/LeonardCohen (a live staple), "Emma" by Hot Chocolate (a bonus track on the 2006 copy of ''Floodland''), and "Jolene" by Music/DollyParton is another live favourite.
* [[CrazyCatLady Crazy Cat Man]]: Eldritch. Well, not quite.
* DeadpanSnarker: Andrew.
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: Every picture of the band. Really.
* EpicRocking: "Some Kind of Stranger," "Dominion / Mother Russia," "Flood I," "This Corrosion," "Flood II," "Driven Like the Snow," "Colours," "Never Land (Full Length)," "More," "I Was Wrong," "Phantom," "Temple of Love (Extended Version)," and the extended version of "Lucretia My Reflection."
* GothRock: Just don't tell Andrew.
* HellBentForLeather: Especially in their early years.
* IAmTheBand: Eldritch. Especially on ''Floodland,'' where the personnel list is basically him, Patricia Morrison, a session guitarist named Eddie Martinez, the New York Choral society, and some additional producers (including no less than Jim "Bat out of Hell" Steinman!).
* {{Incoming}}: Bellowed by Eldritch at the start and end of "Ribbons."
* IntercourseWithYou: "Some Kind of Stranger" turned from a love song to one of these. There's also "Bury Me Deep" and "You Could Be the One," a very ironic song of this category.
** [[WordOfGod Eldritch]] has admitted that "Flood" I and II are intended to use flood imagery to evoke this.
* LooksLikeCesare: Eldritch, and Morrison a bit as well.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: Mostly 3-5, though a sizable amount of ''[[NewSoundAlbum Vision Thing]]'' goes up to a 6. Also, "1959," being a piano ballad, is a 1.
* NewSoundAlbum: The more straightforward rock oriented ''Vision Thing,'' leading to quite a bit of TheyChangedItNowItSucks.
* ObligatoryBondageSong: "Ribbons."
* {{Omniglot}}: Eldritch. Well, he did study languages at Oxford...
* OneWomanSong: "Marian" and "Alice."
* OneWomanWail: The late Ofra Haza provided one in the re-arranged (i.e. the famous) version of "Temple of Love."
* PerishingAltRockVoice: Mostly on their first album.
* PrecisionFStrike: There's an especially poignant one in "Driven Like the Snow."
* {{Pun}}: "Ribbons" goofs on the title of a classic pop song with the lyric "Love is a many splintered thing."
* RashomonStyle: Just ''try'' getting a straight answer what Patricia Morrison did on ''Floodland,'' or even whether she played bass on it after all -- Eldritch claims she didn't appear on the album after all, while Morrison says she did but Eldritch re-recorded some of her parts.
* RecordProducer: With the exception of ''First and Last and Always,'' which was produced by David Allen (whose work Eldritch and Marx have criticised), Eldritch has had a production credit on all their other albums, which he shared on ''Floodland'' with Larry Alexander and Music/JimSteinman (whose main contribution was recording the gospel choirs for "This Corrosion" and "Dominion / Mother Russia;" Eldritch said Steinman didn't care about anything else and had no other input). Steinman returned on ''Vision Thing'' to co-produce and co-write "More" (and later borrowed that song's riff and part of the chorus for ''Theatre/BatmanTheMusical''), and Chris Tsangarides is credited for "When You Don't See Me," but the rest was self produced.
* RedemptionInTheRain: In "Nine While Nine," the narrator waits out in the rain for a train to come while reflecting on his previous lover.
* {{Sampling}}: "Never Land (A Fragment)" appears to use a sample from "When the Levee Breaks" by Music/LedZeppelin.
* SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll: Sisters lyrics are always about cars, drugs, women, and wars. And Andrew Eldritch himself was an amphetamine user for a good while, leading to the writing of [[strike: "Amphetamine Logic."]] every song he ever wrote prior to ''Floodland.''
* SopranoAndGravel: The combination of Eldritch's Darth Vader vocals and gospel choirs, especially on "Dominion / Mother Russia," "This Corrosion," and "More."
** The 1992 version of "Temple of Love" with the late Ofra Haza's OneWomanWail contrasting against Eldritch.
* SurprisinglyGentleSong: The piano ballad "1959" on ''Floodland,'' and to a lesser extent "Something Fast" on ''Vision Thing.''
* TakeThat: "This Corrosion" is a huge piss-take at Eldritch's former bandmates, as is "Jihad" from The Sisterhood's album.