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

INTO THE LABYRINTH

Dead Can Dance

 

Prog Folk

4.00 | 154 ratings

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Warthur
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Dead Can Dance took a break after Aion so that Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard could adjust to their now separate lives. When they reconvened to produce this album, the end result sounds to me like the pet projects of two separate individuals whose tracks happen to be on the same album than the revival of a musical partnership.

Something approaching cohesion is offered by the shift in influences from esoteric medieval music to world music, with a particular focus on traditional music of the Middle East and Mediterranean. But the sharp difference in musical approaches between Gerrard and Perry is more evident than ever; see, for instance, the contrast between the opening Gerrard-dominated track, the ethereal and otherworldly Yulunga (Spirit Dance), and the goth crooning of Perry on the following The Ubiquitous Mr Lovegrove. It honestly seems to me as though at this point in time Gerrard was firmly interested in soundscapes whilst Perry was more interested in songs, and the divisions between the two are unambiguously clear on Into the Labyrinth. They come up with some good stuff, but they seem to be working together purely out of inertia this time; it would, perhaps, have been better had they just gone off to make separate solo albums.

It's just about saved by the fact that, whilst it's not cohesive as a single album, as a disparate collection of songs it's quite good, and sometimes the stylistic turns and contrasts work quite well. The Wind That Shakes the Barley offers an a capalla folk outing, before the opening of The Carnival Is Over combines mystical medieval folk with Vangelis-esque Blade Runner soundscapes, for example. Take it as two solo EPs mashed together and you will enjoy yourself more - and the range of antique musical styles the duo draw on does genuinely impress.

Warthur | 4/5 |

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