The Sisters of Mercy are a band that emerged out of the British post punk scene in 1980-1981. After achieving early underground fame in UK, the band had their commercial breakthrough in mid-1980s and sustained it until early 1990s, when they stopped releasing new recorded output as a strike against their record company. Currently, the band is kept alive as a touring outfit only.
Controversy exists whether the band should be considered a rock band or gothic rock outfit. The band have sought to distance themselves from the "goth band" moniker, citing much wider appeal for their music, although a sizeable amount of fans and some press are consider them to be classified as such. For discussion see here.
The group have recorded three original studio albums, of which the last was released in 1990. Each album was recorded by a different line-up, the only constant member was singer and songwriter Andrew Eldritch.
The group ceased recording activity in 1994, when they went on strike against their record company TimeWarner, which it accused of withholding royalties and incompetence. Although TimeWarner eventually let the band go in 1997, they have not signed to another label, and have chosen not to go the "independent label" route, despite showcasing numerous new songs in their live set.
Since 1985, when other original members left, The Sisters of Mercy is the artistic vehicle of Andrew Eldritch. Some ex-members of the group established bands Mission UK and Ghostdance.
The band cited Leonard Cohen, The Stooges, Suicide and Motörhead as among their influences. Bands influenced by The Sisters of Mercy include James Ray Gangwar, Corpus Delicti, The Merry Thoughts, Rosetta Stone, Systems Of Romance, Dreamtime (band), and Marionettes, among others.