Artist: Dead Can Dance
Genre: Dark Folk / Ambient / World Folk
Release Date: 10th August 2012
Label: PIAS Germany
16 years have passed since DEAD CAN DANCE were disbanded, long time no see except their solo works and a tour, and they have returned with a brand new studio album – their eighth one – followed by a world tour. And if there’s something characteristic about this album is that they seem eager to follow up where they left things with ‘Spiritchaser’. In other words the band dwells into World Fusion, is fascinated with the use of ancient instruments, and is wrapped up in the melodic mysticism that so often used to penetrate the lyrics if not the attitude of the band.
It still does and that is obvious mainly in ‘Children of the Sun’ where the band puts forth something that is akin to a manifesto about the flower-power generation, how progress is intrinsically intertwined with ancient, almost uncivilised and thus “purest” memories lurking on nature. From another point of view this song is the long expected positive side of ‘Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun’ and it is a fitting opening for the ‘Anastasis’ (Resurrection). The major part of the CD, lyrically speaking, is a celebration to the collaboration between Brendan and Lisa and this is something that exceeds the lyrical confinements reaching to its apogee with ‘Opium’, ‘Return of the She-King’ and the concluding ode, which perhaps is inspired by personal circumstances, ‘All In Good Time’. In the mean time Brendan (mainly) and Lisa both have managed to put on the notes and sing about fears, hopes, faith, loss, patience, and agape (love). Perry, lyrically speaking, has moved away from a certain pomposity that characterised DEAD CAN DANCE’s early work and yet, I’ve to admit, there were times when I was thinking that the only sentence he really wanted to say, but avoided it was coming from a poem of Robert Desnos, “J'ai tant rêvé de toi que tu perds ta réalité.”
And if there’s something obvious about their collaboration is that as much Perry needed Gerrard the same can be said about the opposite; Gerrard needed Perry. Without any need of dismissing their solo works it is fair to say that the two of them have found a way of collaboration from the very beginning of the band that exceeded their personal affair, and which, thankfully is dominant now. Directly or indirectly each one of them pushes the other one, puts his or hers limits under a severe test out of which they both come victorious. The sum is bigger than its parts and in the ‘Return of the She-King’ you have a wonderful and quite rare example of a duet, where both of them have subjugated their talents in favour of the song. Needless to say that their voices are like good wine; they only get better by the time and this is something that will enchant the audiences in their concerts.
I remember many years ago when I watched their live performance; it was in an open theatre and Gerrard came forth pleading with the audience not to smoke because it could harm her vocal chords. The whole concert was a mesmerising experience. I can only wish to be there again. The album is comprised of beautiful and compelling compositions, a solid framework for the further course of the band.
01. Children Of The Sun
07. Return Of The She-King
08. All In Good Time
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Total: 9.5 / 10