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Dead Can Dance – “Anastasis” Review

Dead Can Dance are back! After far too long away from our speakers they’ve reunited. I’ve followed and thoroughly enjoyed their solo projects but sometimes things come together when you pair greats up. The eight track “Anastasis” is very much a tour de force and in many ways it feels a natural progression.

“Children of the Sun” opens the album, where vocal duties are split firmly down the middle. Brendan’s vocals have only became more soulful and wise over time. His recent solo album has a real influence over the general sound of the album but no more so than here. The album constantly flows in a mid tempo and the song builds and builds to its almighty fanfare finale. It makes you wait but the emotion by feeling the explosion is worth it. It’s great to hear the Yang Chin in full swing too. “Anabasis” veers more towards the spooky oriental with Lisa’s mysterious vocal delivery we’re now all so familiar with leading the way while a hang drum makes it début into the instrument collection and fits beautifully. Lisa’s vocals are more soothing than powerful throughout the record aside from the next track.

“Apage” continues the lean towards the Middle East with some fantastic bent string arrangements that do their very best to miss any specific note and just float and soar around them. Lisa’s vocals are left off the reigns around the stunning arrangements. Dead Can Dance have always had some top-notch melodies and bridges and this is not exception. “Amnesia” is a spacious track full of reverb and Brendan’s deep voice floating away over the piano and keyboards. Again it builds into a symphonic triumph. Brendan led tracks have this intense building to them which I particularly enjoyed.

“Kiko” has a great time signature to it as the Asian influence seeps through the instrumentation and even the guitar solo. It’s another mid paced track but the percussion is particularly foreboding and it feels almost like a march to the death. “Opium” is possibly the most pacey track on the album with lots of percussion and the hang drum returning to beat out the melody. It another excellent track before you break into the only track where both Lisa and Brendan really interact together. “Return of the She-King” starts off with synthesized bag pipes before mellowing into a collage of Lisa’s vocals that slowly envelope and rouse the track into something regal and noble. The final third then explodes into a fanfare of keyboards and both our members overlapping almost in call and response. It’s a real stand out part of the album. The album then closes with “All in Good Time” which reminds me of Archangel from Brendan’s first album but replacing guitars with keyboards. It’s a sweet closure.

Anastasis is a fantastic album. It’s a little one tempo if I were heavily critical but each song has such a different dynamic that actually you don’t notice until afterwards. It’s great to have them back with us and I hope there’s more to come in the future!

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