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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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3 stars Dead Can Dance are a group that I have heard about for years, maybe even heard a few of their songs, but never really investigated. Being added to PA most likely brought them back to my attention. The Serpent's Egg is my introduction to this group. When I first heard this I thought it was a little too New Agey and world music-y for my tastes. On repeated listens I found some things that I enjoyed. Guest musicians play strings while Brendan Perry plays hurdy-gurdy in addition to his mostly subdued vocals. Lisa Gerrard's multi-tracked vocals are all over the place.

Mostly percusionless, a couple of the songs are a capella. Lots of ancient and ethnic type singing, including chanting. "The Host Of Seraphim" has a droning organ sound set the mood for some vocals. Occasional pounding drum sounds. Later strings come in and everything gets more symphonic. The singing changes to more choir-like instead of the earlier chanting style. "Severance" has more organ (sounds like it's done on synth). Nice mix of male vocals and chord changes. Halfway some wind instruments(?) enter and you hear a creepy altered voice saying something.

"In The Kingdom Of The Blind The One-Eyed Are Kings" has a great title. Things start to pick up when the strings and synthetic drums start to dominate. The male singing gets more emotive as well. "Chant Of The Paladin" is based around some "hey, nah, nah" vocals along with what sounds like a cross between an accordion and a harmonium. Some percussion and bell sounds as well. Very hypnotic and raga-like. "Echolalia" has call and response chanting. Almost completely a cappella.

"Mother Tongue" has some very 1980s sounding drum machine programming, intended to imitate tribal drumming. A stringed instrument sound done on a keyboard. Before 2 minutes changes to a slower-paced part with ethereal keys. Some female vocals later. Waterfall sounds can be heard near the end. The highlight of the album for me. "Ullyses" sort of reminds me of 1980s Art Zoyd. Some Indian style chanting as well as "hoo...ha" type vocal sounds. Very melodic and symphonic.

Not a bad album but not really my cup of tea either. I'm not sure how many other songs they have like "Mother Tongue" but I would like to hear them. A good effort overall. 3 stars.

zravkapt | 3/5 |


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