The new Dead Can Dance album, the duo’s first in 16 years is wonderful. I’ve had it on my stereo for weeks – a couple of months now I guess. And it follows me everywhere. I hear it when it’s not playing. Tunes like Kiko and Opium seem to play on in my head long after the album finishes. And I carry this album with me on my iPod and phone, in the car (CD) and I will be buying the LP. I eyed it up last week – I’ll be back for it.
I was always a Dead Can Dance fan and I’m sure that helps. As I wrote here already, this album sends you back to the earlier records. It’s a continuation of the sound but it’s not a case of boring/same-same/business as usual. This is development. Anastasis flows on from the solo work that Gerrard and Perry have offered; it makes good on the 2005 reunion tour, it continues on in taking music from across centuries and from across countries (and continents). The Dead Can Dance sound is mercurial and majestic, haunting, deeply spiritual and sweeping. And Perry and Gerrard continue to be in fine voice – somewhat crucial to this project. Singing across languages, sometimes making up their own…okay, actually, the lyrics – for the most part – are the weak point of the album. But the vocals are one of the highpoints. It’s the sound – both the production and, I guess, the aura that carries the work through.
Much as Anastasis is for fans – I could imagine it turning on new people to the band’s old work. I could also imagine it outlasting a lot of what the group has done in the past. And I say that as a fan. A special record, this. One of my albums of the year.