Dead Can Dance



Nov 05, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

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One of the otherworldly bands that made eclectic record label 4AD so appealing in the '80s, Dead Can Dance, the duo of multi-instrumentalist Brendan Perry and surreal vocalist Lisa Gerrard, are still going strong and celebrate the end of a 6-year hiatus with another ethereal and haunting, yet upbeat recording.

While Dionysus contains some of the sweeping cinematic soundscapes, delicate electronics and classical ambient tendencies the band is known for, it is also a much more bombastic affair. A decidedly Middle Eastern flavor permeates throughout, bolstered by tribal rhythmic beats and ethnic sounding instrumental embellishments. 

Dionysus consists of two tracks, ACT-I and ACT-II, with three and four distinct and disparate movements respectively. "Sea Borne," "Liberator of Minds," and "Dance of the Bacchantes" form ACT-I, while ACT-II consists of "The Mountain," "The Invocation," "The Forest," and "Psychopomp."

Those clamoring to hear Gerrard's operatic crooning will be somewhat disappointed though, as Perry takes the lead on the few vocal parts. There are a few exceptions where Gerrard delights with her angelic pipes and even sounds like a mysterious Bulgarian choir on "The Invocation."

Dead Can Dance have always had a knack for creating engaging, crafty, and atmospheric melodies that are combined with otherworldly rhythms and beats and Dionysus proves that they only get better with age. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Dameon Jamie
January 29th 2019

Really just gets better with every listen. As intoxicating as it is mesmerising. Dead Can Dance walk in and swim in the sea of existence and they take us with them.