Dead Can Dance have been 'dancing' on and off now for over thirty years and over the past twelve months have played to more people (400,000) in more places (85 shows across 4 continents) than ever before. Their distinctive soundscapes and brooding solemnity have stood the test of time remarkably well. After the founding members initial move away from Australia to settle in London it was inevitable that they would sign for 4AD. There they found kindred spirits and a platform on which to build, playing their part in the shaping the seminal work of This Mortal Coil. The gothic menace, percussive signature and individuality of the band have not diminished with time.
This 'In Concert' release is in the most part a live performance of their seventh, and last, studio album together 'Anastasis'. Brendan Parry and Lisa Gerrard have re-produced the album throughout their current World tour and have captured the highlights here.
'Children Of The Sun', the album's opener, is typical Dead Can Dance fare complete with celestial dawns, a sumptuous string arrangement, some infrequent but piquant horns and a rolling drum beat. Brendan's vocal has no less presence or intensity than in 1983 as the epic track unfolds its waves of undulating sound. 'Anabasis' follows on here, just as on the studio version. The cinematic and atmospheric track has Lisa crooning in a med evil almost Middle Eastern cantation. 'Rakim', one of the non-Anastasis tracks, employs further fabulous use of the band's favoured stringed instrument, the wonderfully toned Yanqin, as the bongos beat relentlessly as accompaniment.
Continue reading: Dead Can Dance - Dead Can Dance In Concert Album Review
Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard might not be familiar names to some, but as Dead Can Dance they've created some of the most unique collections of music to emerge from the underground. Having formed in Melbourne during the summer of 1981 as post-punk was slowly evolving into gothic rock and its many sub-genres, Perry and Gerrard signed to 4AD, at the time a fledgling independent label, setting to work on their then-new collaboration, emerging with the groundbreaking self-titled long player three years later. Pre-dating the subtle ambient textures that would evolve into shoegaze by several years while fusing melodies from styles and cultures twice the world over, their experiments in sound were a breathtaking joy amidst a sea of predictability. Six albums and fourteen years later, Perry and Gerrard went their separate ways, the seeds of their next record apparently sewn beforehand.
Continue reading: Dead Can Dance, Anastasis Album Review