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Dead Can Dance

Prog Folk

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Dead Can Dance Garden Of The Arcane Delights album cover
3.55 | 23 ratings | 4 reviews | 17% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1984

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Carnival Of Light (3:32)
2. In Power We Entrust The Love Advocated (4:11)
3. The Arcane (3:49)
4. Flowers Of The Sea (3:28)


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Lisa Gerrard / vocals, yang t'chin
- Brendan Perry / vocals, guitar, yang t'chin
with guest musicians:
- Peter Ulrich / percussion
- Scott Rodger / bass
- James Pinker / soundman

Releases information

12" EP 4AD Records BAD 408 (1984 UK)

Thanks to Seyo for the addition
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DEAD CAN DANCE Garden Of The Arcane Delights ratings distribution

(23 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

DEAD CAN DANCE Garden Of The Arcane Delights reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Debut album of DEAD CAN DANCE was followed by this excellent EP containing 4 songs. Lisa Gerrard's voice in Carnival of Light already suggests the future atmospheric, world fusion percussive tapestry. The rest is still rooted in the dark tones and moods of goth rock, where In Power We Entrust and The Arcane are filled with morbid, eerie sounds of monotonous bass rhythms. Brendan's vocal rises up from the ashes of Jim Morrison singing over the music of JOY DIVISION. The cover art depicts a sort of Garden of Eden in negative - an opposite side of Paradise? Highly recommended as a follow-up to Debut, The Garden of The Arcane Delights can be found included as bonus tracks to some CD reissues of Dead Can Dance.


P.A. RATING: 4/5

Review by ClemofNazareth
4 stars Dead Can Dance were one of those eighties post-punk/goth era bands like Bauhaus and Siouxsie & the Banshees and the Cure and Joy Division that seemed to owe a lot of debts to the punk movement but whose music didn’t echo that genre’s cultural or political sensibilities. It’s really only a product of time (a quarter-century actually) that has recast Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard as anything resembling ‘progressive folk’. In their day about the only place you’d hear this music besides on your own turntable was in a goth club or late at night on open-minded college radio stations.

All that said, it is great music and Gerrard’s voice is always a treat to hear. She’s an alto I guess – a deeper voice than most women is all I know, and her Irish lilt has a tendency to make her sound even younger than she was at the time (early twenties). Brendan Perry was a former punker, but with Dead Can Dance the musical arrangements are very well thought-out and carefully executed to maximum emotional effect; Perry clearly is working very hard to control one’s experience when listening to his music.

This little EP came out shortly after the debut album, which I actually don’t remember. I do remember ‘Spleen & Ideal’ which followed this one. If I’m not mistaken the debut did fairly well but not great on release, and EPs were a popular way at the time to put something inexpensive on the shelves as a teaser. That’s what this 12” was I suspect, as you could have picked it up for about $6 USD or so when it first came out.

There are only four tracks here but each of them is solid. “In Power we Entrust the Love Advocated” reminds me just a bit of the Cure, mostly because it’s pretty gothic and Perry does all the vocals and sounds not unlike Robert Smith. “The Arcane” is the marquee track and features Perry’s Casper-the- friendly-ghost vocals again but softened and given some depth with Gerrard’s throaty accompaniment. Gerrard plays that Oriental hammered dulcimer on all the tracks, something she did throughout most of the life of the band. Not sure if that’s because she can’t play anything else or because they actually think this add to the music’s vibe, but really it’s the guitar and percussion that make the music on all these tracks.

“Flowers of the Sea” has a synthesized riff that persists throughout and sounds like a bagpipe to give this either a martial or a Celtic tone, depending on your perspective. Either way the track seems ever so slightly out-of-place although it is a decent Dead composition.

This isn’t a masterpiece for sure but it is definitely required listening for Dead Can Dance fans and would be a good and reasonably-priced inclusion to most prog folk fans’ collections. Four stars (which might be a tad on the high side but justified in my mind) and well recommended.


Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Garden of the Arcane Delights is an EP released by Dead Can Dance in 1984. This EP was released after the debut album and shows some improvement over that album. If you already got the debut album on CD you wonīt need to use your time searching for this rare EP as the four tracks are included on the CD version of the debut.

Dead Can Dance is a two piece band that consist of Brendan Perry on vocals and guitar and Lisa Gerrard on vocals. The rest of the musicians are hired help. The style they played on the debut album and on this EP is dark early eighties rock in the vein of Fields of the Nephilim, Joy Division, The Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus but with an ethnic twist as Lisa Gerrardīs vocal style is very influenced by middle eastern techniques.

There are four songs on Garden of the Arcane Delights and they are all very good but I especially enjoy In Power We Entrust The Love Advocated and The Arcane where Brendan Perry sings lead vocals. These two songs deserve a 4 star rating but the more ethnic sounding Carnival Of Light and Flowers Of The Sea do drag this down to a 3 star rating from me. This is only because Iīm not that excited about the ethnic part of Dead Can Dance sound though. Like on the debut the drums are played by a drum machine which is an aquired taste, but itīs allright IMO.

The sound quality is just a notch better than on the debut which means that itīs still not very good.

Garden of the Arcane Delights is a really enjoyable EP that is very recommendable if you like dark early eighties rock.

Review by TCat
3 stars This EP was released shortly after the debut album and is in fact included in later released versions of the debut album being combined with it. In my opinion, putting the two albums together takes away from the impact of the first album and the last track on the debut album ends up becoming not as significant. But this review is for the EP on it's own. To me, it doesn't sound quite as cohesive as the debut album, but then it is a EP afterall. The production is definitely improved over the debut, but still not as good as what we would get on future albums. Instruments start to stand out a little more now and the vocals are a lot clearer. The individual songs have more personality than on the debut album and they don't have the "wall of sound" feeling that I felt on the previous release. However, nothing really stands out here again. Even though you hear a slight progression towards what was to become their trademark sound, this EP still has the goth-rock sound. Even if the individual songs are more interesting, as a whole I don't consider this work as important to their overall discography as the debut album. The last track, "Flowers of the Sea", with a little better production, could have easily fit on the next album however, and because of that, this EP serves as a great link to the progression of the band's music.

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