Dead Can Dance recorded this, their 3rd album back in 1985. In the days of LP’s and cassettes you could split a record. Lisa Gerrard takes the B-Side, Brendan Perry takes the A-Side and each has four tracks that fall onto your ears like a doomsday apocalypse raining down on your soul in crystal drops of heaven.
“Anywhere in the World” sets the tone with echoing synths and swirling melodies and Brendan crying out for a saviours arms. “Windfall” is where the orchestral side really begins to seep through with this instrumental piece of tension while “In The Wake of Adversity” sees brass and strings pumping out a pointed march to the bows of hell. “Xavier” closes the first half with dramatic effect. This song expands and expands and expands into a enormous climax and remains as one of my favourite DCD tracks.
Side 2 bursts into action with the dramatic battle cry of “Dawn of the Iconoclast” which leads into the iconic “Cantara”. This song showcases Lisa’s impassioned vocals however it sounds much better on the live DVD as the studio performance is a little darker and less fraught and much more hypnotic. Instead the winner of the dramatic Lisa song goes to “Summoning of the Muse” which its mesmerizing vocal lines and heavy reverb on the ringing bells leave you standing on the edge of a mountain top. The album then ends with “Persephone” which is like the twin of “In the Wake of Adversity” with marching strings and dark chord patterns.
“Within the Realms of a Dying Sun” is a classic album which fans of any kind of alternative music should enjoy. It’s unique and universal all at once and I’ve been smitten with it since day one.