by Michael Levine
Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard, a.k.a Dead Can Dance, have reunited for their first album of new material since 1996’s Spiritchaser. ‘Anastasis’ is a welcome return from one of the most remarkable musical ensembles ever.
If you’re not familiar with these musicians, DCD are renowned for mixing elements of western medieval music, Celtic, world-beat and etherial synth-rock to come up with their own unique mix. As on previous DCD albums, Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard each individually write and perform the lead vocal on their own compositions. Mr. Perry opens things with ‘Children Of The Sun’, a synth, drum machine driven, kind of assessment of how we as humans are divine but need to get our shit together, take care of ourselves and the planet. The other stand out Perry numbers are the hypnotic piano based ‘Amnesia’, the trance-like and tribal ‘Opium’, and the heavily atmospheric sound of the closing track ‘All In Good Time’. Here, Perry optimistically declares ‘At the end of the rainbow, chasing shadows, down on your luck, Look for a sign.’ Perry’s clear, strong vocals are full on throughout, rendering him somewhere been Jim Morrison of The Doors and Michael Gira of Swans.
Musical historians will no doubt go to their graves wondering what the hell Lisa Gerard is singing on about. Is she channeling or is she improvising? Maybe a bit of both. Only Ms. Lisa knows for certain. Since what comes out of her mouth is so heavenly, and utterly mesmerizing; it doesn’t really matter what she sings but how she sings it. ‘Anabasis’ and ‘Agape’ features Ms. Gerrard’s middle eastern flavored vocals as she plays her signature hammer dulcimer. ‘Kiko’ plods along with hard hitting drum beats and synthesized harpsichord chiming away with Lisa casting yet another undistinguishable yet spellbinding vocal performance throughout.
There’s one track on which their two voices merge to create something magical. It’s a gem entitled ‘Return Of The She-King’. This selection starts out with Lisa’s choral, chant-like voice and waltzing orchestrations that crescendos with Brendan joining in to create a sweeping, alternating vocal effect.
Don’t get me wrong- I love a good, loud band as much as the next person, but it’s DCD’s other worldliness that makes them special and separates them from the sad, cliche, Goth duh-heads. Their live performances are evening more mind blowing than their recordings. Check out the dates below to can catch them on their imminent tour.
Anastasis is available on mp3 download and will be available in whatever record stores exist anymore on August 14th.
DEAD CAN DANCE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES
August 9 /// Orpheum /// Vancouver, CA
August 10 /// Maymoor Amphitheater /// Seattle, WA
August 12 /// Greek Theater /// Berkley, CA
August 14 /// Gibson Amphitheater /// Los Angeles, CA
August 15 /// Humphreys /// San Diego, CA
August 17 /// Red Butte Garden /// Salt Lake City, UT
August 19 /// Temple Hoyle Buell Theater /// Denver, CO
August 21 /// Pritzer Pavilion at Millennium Park /// Chicago, IL
August 23 /// Sony Center for the Performing Arts /// Toronto, CA
August 24 /// Bell Centre /// Montreal, CA
August 26 /// Verizon Hall /// Philadelphia, PA
August 27 /// Filene Center/Wolftap /// Vienna, VA
August 29/30 /// Beacon Theater /// New York, NY
September 1 /// Durham Performing Arts Center /// Durham, NC
September 4 /// Ryman Auditorium /// Nashville, TN
September 5 /// Cobb Performing Arts /// Atlanta, GA
September 7 /// Austin City Limits- Moody Theater /// Austin, TX