Madra (1991) featured Jocelyn West, Kelly McCusker and Katharine Blake singing 17th Century madrigals, a perfectly serious exercise in early music following on from their education at the Purcell School of Music and their discovery while busking in the Portobello Road. The bewitching Katharine Blake, who founded the group, remains its linchpin and is responsible for most of its lyrics and basic melodies.
The mini-CD Iris (1992) marked MSG's foray into gothic rock. It followed the departure of Jocelyn West and the arrival of Donna McKevitt (vocals, viola), Ben Golomstock (guitars, organ, bass vocals) and Trevor Sharpe (drums, percussion, bass). The first track is the English folk song 'Lovely Joan' (used by Vaughan Williams in the middle of his Fantasia on Greensleeves). It begins as a plaintive harmony but gathers speed and demonic power until it climaxes in a crescendo of almost shouted lyrics. The other numbers exploit the groups now fuller, noisier sound.
The same line-up produced Suspiria (1993), which takes its name from the Italian horror film by Dario Argento which is about a witches' coven. The intro would certainly do justice to any horror film, while the second track, 'Ardera Sempre' (Always Burning) gives release to the full range of Donna McKevitt's various dramatic singing styles.
By Fairytales Of Slavery (1994) the group had lost Kelly McCusker but were joined on much of the album by Hepzibah Sessa and Kim Fahey. Fairytales of Slavery concerns the 'red light zone', and begins with a very powerful and busy opening number.
© May 1996 by FluxEuropa Webzine
*NEW*Carnival of Souls (2000) This album shows a much bigger release and a change in style... moving more away from the old style and going further into the direction that Slavery started this band is finally in a place where their music is more widespread. With a few instrumentals and songs like "Tonight" completely breaking the barriers of previous releases this album is sure to be one of the most popular.