In Concert

Dead Can Dance

Pias Music, 2013

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1981 by Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry, Dead Can Dance has been exhumed a couple of times now. Most recently, these resurrections have been for extensive tours, though the pair fleshed out a new studio album in 2012 as well. Having had much success on the charts in the area of world music, the duo's esteemed brand of African rhythms, Gaelic folk, Gregorian chant, Middle Eastern influences and experimental art rock is documented with my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 In Concert, which assembles selections from the band's extensive catalog on their 2012 world tour.

This new live album contains all eight tracks from their last album and their first in 16 years, Anastasis. Additionally, earlier songs like “Nierkia,” “Sanvean,” and “Rakim” are added. Though the disc is heavy on their most current work, the sounds explored do encapsulate Dead Can Dance's career as well.

The opener, “Children Of The Sun,” lays the foundation with electronic backdrops as well as horns, keys, haunting strings, and Perry's distinct baritone voice. Following is “Anabasis,” which illustrates Gerrad's distinct vocals as the musicianship moves from electric guitars to strings that lend themselves to an Eastern orchestral feel. The Eastern ideas continue in the hypnotic “Kiko” but then shift to neo-Gothic romanticism in the nearly operatic “All In Good Time.” A very different track from the rest, it exemplifies the outfit's accomplished and dynamic range. In Concert ends on one of their most luminous tunes, “Return Of The She King,” which yields waves of orchestral beauty against Gerrard's majestic voice.

Though I usually relegate live discs for diehard fans of a band, the incredible sound quality and mixing of earlier and more recent work here make this an ideal starting point for the first time listener. Cinematic, mesmerizing, and oh-so cultured, this is global/world music at its finest and a must for the sophisticated ears.

Rating: B+

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© 2013 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Pias Music, and is used for informational purposes only.