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Aion


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Audio CD, November 18, 2008
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Biography

On the cover of Anastasis, Dead Can Dance’s first album in 16 years: a field of sunflowers, ripened, and then blackened, by the sun, standing with sad, slightly crowned heads. Less dead than dormant, the heads and stems will one day be chopped, but then via the roots, will return. For Anastasis is the Greek word for ‘resurrection’ and the seemingly dead will dance ... Read more in Amazon's Dead Can Dance Store

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Aion + Within the Realm of a Dying Sun + Serpent's Egg
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 18, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: 4ad Records
  • ASIN: B001FZ0A7M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,721 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Arrival And The Reunion
2. Saltarello
3. Mephisto
4. The Song Of Sibyl
5. Fortune Presents Gifts Not According To The Book
6. As The Bell Rings The Maypole Spins
7. The End Of Words
8. Black Sun
9. Wilderness
10. The Promised Womb
11. The Garden Of Zephirus
12. Radharc

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This 1990 release contains twelve songs written and produced by Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard, predominantly recorded in their own studio in southern Ireland.

Review

The music of Dead Can Dance has long been a favorite of the "Goth" crowd; however, AION is really the first one of the band's records that can actually be called Gothic in the classic, renaissance sense. Arguably Dead Can Dance's most successful record, it contains the band's most consistent set of songs since SPLEEN AND IDEAL. Widening their view to encompass more of the ancient world than with earlier records, Dead Can Dance explore styles from Northern Europe ("The Song of the Sibyl") to the Middle East ("Radharc"), with stops along the way at a number of other surprising locations. The fact that it is based on a 16th-century Catalan chant notwithstanding, portions of "The Song of the Sibyl" are eerily reminiscent of the experimental side of David Bowie's LOW. Standouts include "Saltarello," which was adapted from a 14th-century Italian dance and played on bagpipes, drums, and tambourine; "Fortune Presents Gifts Not According to the Book," where even Brendan Perry's English-language vocals sound ancient; and "Wilderness," an a cappella song with a multi-tracked vocal by Lisa Gerrard. AION makes for great late-night listening, though it is the kind of music that is barbed enough to demand your attention. --Muze

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 54 customer reviews
This music is beautifully written, and wonderfully produced, and is unlike any musical experience you've ever had.
Christopher R. Cicatelli
In the future, when the history of modern music will be written, an entire chapter (and whole books as well) will be devoted to this great act.
A. Tamez Elizondo
Dead Can Dance - Aion SACD, Mobile Fidelity Aion was the 5th album released from the creative prowess of Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard.
James W. Unger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By "emeraldavatar" on December 20, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is the best DCD album I have heard, which makes it one of the most beautiful bits of music ever. By now a lot of people know about Lisa Gerrard's beautiful voice and Middle Eastern-influenced dance beats, and those are displayed very nicely here. Radharc is one of the best examples of the latter. But Aion is dominated slightly more by the neo-classical and Renaissance vibe - Saltarello, the second track on the album, is far and away the best "pure" (no drum machines or samples) Medieval dance track you will ever hear. I play this track often to techno and trance junkies, and usually they are simply stunned. Aion also features some of Brendan Perry's trademark dark, droning vocals that will have Nick Cave and Peter Murphy fans weeping with delight - Black Sun is the standout. A great album to start your DCD collection with, especially if you've just heard about the band and don't quite know the material yet. (Note - their first albums are mostly slow and dark, like Black Sun. Their later work is more dancy and "exotic", typically more like Radharc. Lisa Gerrard's solo work is pretty much all like that.)
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Christopher R. Cicatelli on June 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I happened to stumble across this AION due to my experience with Cocteau Twins, which are on the very same label as Dead Can Dance..."4AD". I read reviews for <Aion> and other Dead Can Dance releases. <Aion> sounded like the one I would enjoy the most, and well, I was right.
This CD is simply amazing. Flavors of medieval times swirl....sweeping hills and valleys....majestic cathedrals and castles...villages gathering, creating a festival like atmosphere...flames dance atop their torches as stars sparkle in the night sky above.
The beauty of this album starts with the cover. A mysterious and enchanting doorway....once you go through, a new world appears. This music is beautifully written, and wonderfully produced, and is unlike any musical experience you've ever had. Soaring vocals...gothic drums echo throughout...14th century strings to accompany. T'is a feast for your musical soul, and if you listen closely enough, you just might hear yourself.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Culver TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 6, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Released in 1990, AION shows Dead Can Dance, the duo of Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry, exploring styles of Medieval times and the Renaissance. The production is excellent, and it ranks among DCD's best albums.
AION opens with "The Arrival and the Reunion," a short piece that shows off Lisa's amazing voice as overdubs allow her to provide her own polyphony, with David Navarro Sust (a collaborator on 1989's THE SERPENT'S EGG) providing backing vocals.
There are a number of quiet, instrumental pieces on this album which sound highly authentic, such as "Saltarello" (which really is a piece from the 14th century), "Wilderness," and "The Garden of Zephirus."
As with any Dead Can Dance album, there are songs that feature either Brendan or Lisa more heavily. Lisa provides among others "Radharc," "The Promised Womb," and "The Song of the Sibyl," although for that last one I prefer the live version on TOWARD THE WITHIN.
Brendan gives us the tragicomic "Fortune Presents Gifts Not According to the Book" and the odd "Black Sun."
It's remarkable how this album, the first after Lisa and Brendan split up (she went to Spain, he went to Ireland), features such excellent collaboration. Definitely one of Dead Can Dance's best albums, although I think the best is WITHIN THE REALM OF A DYING SUN.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Clarissa on December 25, 2002
Format: Audio CD
'Aion' was my introduction to Dead Can Dance (DCD) and it has truly made a fan of me! The choral explosion on "Arrival and the Reunion" [pulled] me in fast as it reminded me a lot of neo-goth group, Mors Syphilitica. Then comes a 14th-century instrumental piece called "Saltarello", which has a great Renaissance dance beat that's really quite irresistible when it comes to swaying in your stilled position! The music slows down a bit once "Song of the Sibyl" comes on though as it features very little background noise. Instead it focuses solely on the chilling vocals of Lisa Gerrard's shaky yet affective vibrato. One of the best Dead Can Dance songs with Lisa singing on vocals however would have to be "As The Bell Rings the Maypole Spins", which features some incredible bagpipe playing!
I love both of the duo's voices so I really appreciate the fact that they trade-off after "Song Of The Sibyl" from Lisa to Brendan Perry, whom sings on the subtle Medieval tune, "Fortune Presents Gifts Not According to the Book". It's on the haunting "Black Sun", which brings to mind the dark brilliance of 'Within The Realm of a Dying Sun', that his somber baritone truly succeeds in tantilizing the listener with his seductive vocals though! And while the eastern influenced "Radharc" may arguably be the best song on 'Aion', the entire album is a delightful treat for the senses and I couldn't recommend it any higher!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bachelier on October 17, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Aion is the most accessible and widely enjoyed album by non-hard core Dead Can Dance fans. Although short, it merits an immediate repeat listening. Of all DCD records, this is the first one to try.

Fans of a cappela choral music will enjoy this work, as well as post-punk fans of Cocteau Twins, shoegazer, and progressive rock. While this selection does offer a complex instrumental arrangements, those whose first introduction to polyphonic chant from the wildly popular "Chant" album of The Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos will not be disappointed with this bridge between two worlds.

The song "Black Sun" is notable for Brendan Perry's haunting baritone vocals over repetitive droning strings and reed instruments, with driving nested percussion the reminds one of David Byrne and Brian Eno's "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts."

Other selections feature Lisa Gerrard's haunting controlo soprano solos and harmonies that immediately invoke and make modern compositions from Hildegard von Bingen.

4AD is a label known for seeking and promoting music that invokes a sense of timelessness. Dead Can Dance's "Aion" is an exemplary instance of that goal, you will not be disappointed.
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