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First album in 16 years! Dead Can Dance (sometimes referred to as DCD) is a world fusion music band that formed in Melbourne, Australia, in August 1981, by Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry. The band relocated to London in May 1982 and disbanded in 1998. Their 1996 album Spiritchaser reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top World Music Albums Chart. Australian music historian Ian McFarlane described Dead Can Dance as having an ambient style of world music that "constructed soundscapes of mesmerising grandeur and solemn beauty.
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The opening track, "Children Of The Sun", sung by Brendan Perry, introduces the general feel of the album. It is deliciously atmospheric. It is Dead Can Dance as a well-aged wine. Less extravagant than in the past but every bit as elaborate, it delivers a very satisfying feeling of plenitude. The tone of the album is given. Follows the slow and very easy to like "Anabasis" sung by Lisa Gerrard, and "Anastasis" slowly unfolds. It is no longer groundbreaking as their first albums were, more a voyage where they take us by the hand for a luxuriant visit into their sophisticated world.
Never production on a Dead Can Dance opus sounded so polished. Not a moment feels cheap or unchallenging to the ear. Both singers have exceptional voices that suit their style perfectly, and they are at their best here. Lisa Gerrard leads four songs (including one, the opulent "The Return Of The She-King" where her partner joins in at the end), as does Brendan Perry. Eight songs may seem on paper like too simple an effort after 16 years, but all songs are in the five to seven minutes range, and most importantly, there is a sense of unity, an "album feel", that is very powerful in this release. Where the old albums were always original, individual songs didn't always flow as strongly into a sense of unity proper to a definite album. There was sometimes a feeling that each song had its determined personality, and contrast between each song was looked after as much as album cohesion. With "Anastasis", there is a more definite sense of musical entity, and while ethnic flavors are very present (Middle Eastern in "Agape" or Irish in "The Return Of The She-King"), it all blends majestically together into a consistent and coherent mood - and a sumptuous album.
Repeat auditions of Dead Can Dance's long-awaited reunion album have only managed to reinforce my spontaneous conviction that indeed it was worth waiting sixteen years.
Both musicians deliver in terms of singing. I mean Lisa Gerrard? Any better female voice on earth? She is still breath taking- quite literally in some songs, for me. Brandon is also still good- though his age shows on the first track. His songwriting capabilities are still top notch. Although I adore Lisa's voice and song writing in general, the best piece on this album is Amnesia which is by Brandon.
To sum up, a terrific album that only Dead can Dance could have made. It also makes me sad to be reminded of what the cumulative human experience has lost in the past 16 years during which this duo did not produce music together. I mostly listen to progressive metal and metal in general. But Dead can Dance is still strong in my top three list. There is simply no music that comes even close to what Dead Can Dance can deliver and the kind of journey this duo can take on your mind and soul is just not comparable to anything else on the planet.
To many more albums!!!