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Dead Can Dance - Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun CD (album) cover

WITHIN THE REALM OF A DYING SUN

Dead Can Dance

 

Prog Folk

4.06 | 146 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Within the Realm of a Dying Sun" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Australian/UK act Dead Can Dance. The album was released through 4AD Records in July 1987. After the goth rock influenced debut album "Dean Can Dance (1984)" and the EP "Garden Of The Arcane Delights (1984)" which came later that same year, the band released a very different sounding second album in "Spleen And Ideal (1985)". The goth rock influences were much more subdued and in came world music/folk/Medieval/ambient music influences. The vocals by the now only remaining members of the band Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry have since that album been defining for the sound of Dead Can Dance. Lisa Gerrardīs trained operatic style (contralto)/ethnic Arabian style and Brendan Perryīs distinct deep and warm baritone. Dead Can Dance didnīt really find their trademark sound until later in their career but "Spleen And Ideal (1985)" was the first step to finding that sound. "Within the Realm of a Dying Sun" generally shows great progression from "Spleen And Ideal (1985)" and is ultimately a very different sounding album. It still doesnīt represent what I would characterize as the bandīs signature sound, but itīs a further step in that direction.

The 38:43 minutes long album features 8 tracks. All tracks are dark and melancholic featuring epic sounding synths and chimes but also more organic instrumentation like trombone, tuba, cello, violin, tympani and oboe. The first four tracks which made out Side 1 of the original LP release all feature male vocals by Brendan Perry (except the instrumental "Windfall") while the last four tracks which made out Side 2 of the original LP release all feature female vocals by Lisa Gerrard. On all succeeding releases by Dead Can Dance the female and male lead vocal tracks are more spread out on the tracklists, which is a thing that makes "Within the Realm of a Dying Sun" quite unique in the bandīs discography and also provide the album with a distinct flow. The way the tracks are arranged here it seems like the tracks on Side 1 is Brendan Perryīs children while the tracks on Side 2 appear to be Lisa Gerrardīs children. After listening to the deep, melancholic and elegant baritone vocals by Brendan Perry on the first tracks on the album itīs an effectful change in style listening to Lisa Gerrardīs ethnic flavoured vocal approach on the remaining tracks. The music is generally very ambient and rather slow paced. Many tracks open in minimalistic style and build to grand climaxes with multible layers of instruments and themes.

The sound production is professional, clear and organic. The organic instruments and the synths work well together and create an ominous and dark dreamlike soundscape. "Within the Realm of a Dying Sun" is overall an excellent studio album by Dead Can Dance and their darkest album to date. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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