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Dead Can Dance - The Serpent's Egg CD (album) cover


Dead Can Dance


Prog Folk

3.89 | 171 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars If perusing through t e DCD racks in a record store, I'd be careful not to associate this album with their "ethnic/world music" later career (ala Spiritchaser) of the 90's: indeed the tropical artwork is misleading, but we are firmly entrenched in DCD's Gothic era as Serpent's Egg is almost a carbon copy of Realm Of A Dying Sun, if you'll forget about the track lengths, much shorter on the average here. Some might say that this album is almost a stop in DCD's progression, wanting to stop a little further with Dying Sun, but not wanting to make something much different-sounding. Nothing in this album is to prepare us for the upcoming superb Aion though, despite a few discreet hints.

Lisa Gerrard's Eastern European origins appear to take a definitive presence in the group's music, as there are now hints of mid- Eastern classical music, giving an odd ethnic feel to the album, but nowhere near as close as their 90's albums. Musically, what's to say more than Dying Sun? Slow gothic church-like vocals, tons of synth layers (unfortunately and most likely, they were not aware of mellotrons), a full string quartet featured and Perry's use of a hurdy-gurdy (also hinting at further advances in the following albums by highlighting his Irish/Celtic ascendance) are the few differences from the previous album. But these seem minute, compared to the similarities between the two discs, thus not really making both albums really owning the two, unless you're a confirmed fan. Personally I like Dying Sun for its originality (back then), but Serpent is a tad more complete. Your call between these two.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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