- by Jim Harris Rating:10 Release Date:2016-11-11 Label: 4AD
If there ever was a band to help define the 4AD label and the Goth movement, it would be Dead Can Dance. I didn’t get into this band until the late 90s, as a lot of Americans didn’t because this is an Aussie band that started in 1981 and didn’t hit the States until the early 90s. Consisting of primarily two people, Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry, this is as brilliant an alternative-Goth band as you will ever experience.
Within the Realm of a Dying Sun, while being their 3rd album, is a great place to start and don’t start with the first song, start with the 6th song, ‘Cantara’. Then have at it. Yes, the music is dark, weird, spiritual, classical, and goth-eclectic but, the reason I find their music so brilliant is it has the same effect on a listener as Goat does today. It’s just so fucking majestic when played loud and you have to experience it. No, Goat’s psych guitars are replaced by cellos and harps, but the percussion and the lovely voices of both Lisa and Brendan, take these alt-classical compositions into the stratosphere.
Lisa, who chants, shouts, exhales on the flip-side of this vinyl re-release, has one incredibly inspirational voice. Brendan, on the other hand, on many of his vocal compositions, sounds like a subdued Eddie Vedder, if he were to do a soundtrack to a 60s Hitchcock Thriller (‘Anywhere Out of the World’).
But give 4AD credit, the label that made the Cocteau Twins, Throwing Muses, Lush, and later bands such as Blonde Redhead famous is because no matter how eclectic the sound, the quality and brilliance is always there.
Within the Realm of a Dying Sun has been re-released on vinyl by 4AD and if there was ever a better reason to bring out the turntable, it would be to flip this incredible album over, ease the needle onto the platter, listen to those first couple of subdued pops and crackles and experience ‘Cantara’. Then, guaranteed the rest will follow.
That's an interesting comparison with Goat, so far as the impact of the music. It's been years since I listened to Dead Can Dance. I'll have to go back and have a listen. My turntable has deadly spiders living in it, so it'll have to be the CD...
That's an interesting comparison with Goat, so far as the impact of the music. It's been years since I listened to Dead Can Dance. I'll have to go back and have a listen. My turntable has deadly spiders living in it, so it'll have to be the CD player.