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Dead Can Dance - Into The Labyrinth   CD (album) cover

INTO THE LABYRINTH

Dead Can Dance

 

Prog Folk

3.90 | 93 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "Into the Labyrinth" is the 6th full-length studio album by Australian/UK world music act Dead Can Dance. The album was released in September 1993. The band opted for a neo-medieval influenced world music approach on "Aion (1990)" but great changes have happened to the band since the release of "Aion (1990)", which have also affected the direction of the bandīs music. While the male part of the two-piece group Brendan Perry opted to live on a small island in Ireland, Lisa Gerrard moved back to Australia with her husband and daughter. This seperation meant that the group were forced to change their approach to making music. Lisa Gerrard travelled to Brendan Perry studio Quivvy Church in County Cavan, Ireland and the two musicians wrote and recorded "Into the Labyrinth" over a period of three months. There are no guest appearances on the album which is the first time on a Dead Can Dance album. Every instrument is played and all vocals are sung by Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry.

Into the Labyrinth is quite the interesting Dead Can Dance album to my ears. The ethnic influences are strong in tracks like "Yulunga (Spirit Dance)", the beautiful a capella sung "The Wind That Shakes the Barley", "Ariadne", "Saldek", "Towards the Within", "The Spiderīs Stratagem" and "Emmeleia" while the groupīs goth rock past isnīt totally forgotten in the Brendan Perry led "The Ubiquitous Mr Lovegrove", "The Carnival Is Over", "Tell Me About the Forest (You Once Called Home)" and the majestic "How Fortunate the Man With None", even though itīs mostly Perryīs vocals that point in that direction. Two of those four mentioned tracks have a couple of borrowed lyric lines from Joy Division songs, which of course further strengthens Dead Can Dance ties to the darker early eighties UK music scene. There is a good balance between the ethnic influences and the subtle rock influences on "Into the Labyrinth" and to my ears itīs the bandīs most artistically successful album. The instrumentation on the tracks are as usual a mix of various organic percussion, traditional ethnic instruments and synths. The mix works excellent here. The Brendan Perry led tracks are highlights to my ears and Iīd like to give a special mention to "The Carnival Is Over". There is a longing, nostalgic and melancholic feeling in that track that greatly appeals to me. "The Ubiquitous Mr Lovegrove" and "How Fortunate the Man With None" are highlights too but some of the Lisa Gerrard led compositions like "Yulunga (Spirit Dance)" and "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" are also among the highlights of the album and some of the strongest compositions in Dead Can Dance discography.

The sound production needs a very special mention too as this is an absolutely brilliantly produced album. The sound is crystal clear but never looses its organic qualities. A very hard balance to strike yet the group manages to do this to perfection on this self-produced affair. "Into the Labyrinth" is in every way possible a perfect album (gorgeous sound production, excellent musicianship and intriguing songwriting) and in my opinion the peak of the bandīs career. A 5 star (100%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 5/5 |

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