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Dead Can Dance

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Dead Can Dance Toward The Within album cover
4.23 | 73 ratings | 3 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Rakim (6:25)
2. Persian Love Song (2:56)
3. Desert Song (4:20)
4. Yulunga (Spirit Dance) (7:12)
5. Piece for Solo Flute (3:34)
6. The Wind That Shakes the Barley (3:12)
7. I Am Stretched on Your Grave (4:38)
8. I Can See Now (2:56)
9. American Dreaming (4:55)
10. Cantara (5:15)
11. Oman (5:49)
12. The Song of the Sybil (4:31)
13. Tristan (1:48)
14. Sanvean (4:05)
15. Don't Fade Away (6:12)

Total Time 67:56

Line-up / Musicians

- Lisa Gerrard / vocal, yang ch'in, percussions
- Brendan Perry / vocal, guitar 12-strings, Irish bouzouki, d whistle, percussions
- Robert Perry / Uillean pipes, Irish bouzouki, low d whistle, percussions
- John Bonnar / keyboards, vocal, percussions
- Ronan O'Snoriagh / percussions, vocal
- Andrew Claxton / keyboards
- Lance Hogan / bass, guitar, percussions, vocal

Releases information

CD 4AD Records CAD 4015 CD (1994 UK)

Thanks to seyo for the addition
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DEAD CAN DANCE Toward The Within ratings distribution

(73 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (10%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

DEAD CAN DANCE Toward The Within reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Toward the Within" is the first official live album released by Australian/UK world music act Dead Can Dance. The album was released in October 1994. "Toward the Within" was recorded in one take in November 1993 in the Mayfair Theatre in Santa Monica, California. In addition to the two members of the band, Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry, the album features several guest musicians including Brendan Perryīs brother Robert Perry (on percussion, flute, guitar). "Toward the Within" was also released as a VHS/DVD. The album and the Video differ slightly from each other but neither of them contain the full show from that evening. While most live albums feature live versions of tracks that have already been released on studio albums "Toward the Within" only features 4 out of 15 tracks that have been released before making this a very worthwile purchase even for those who already have the studio albums.

The quality of the show is rather brilliant all the way through. Even though this is the first time that I hear most of these tracks they instantly click with me. The excellent high quality production and the intense performance by both Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry (and their hired guns) makes this album a rather special treat. The 4 tracks that have previously been released in studio versions are "Yulunga (Spirit Dance)", "The Wind That Shakes the Barley", "Cantara" and "The Song of the Sybil". The first two are taken from "Into the Labyrinth (1993)", while the two latter are taken from "Within the Realm of a Dying Sun (1987)" and "Aion (1990)" respectively. While the first two are hard to improve on because the originals are so fantastic the latter two are delivered in such a powerful way that they far outshine their original studio versions. Especially "Cantara" needs a special mention here. Lisa Gerrardīs intense vocal performance on this track is probably her best performance ever. Aggressive and emotional to the full extent of her ability. Other highlights on the album are the three singer/songwriter style Brendan Perry penned tracks "I Can See Now", "American Dreaming" and "Don't Fade Away". His emotional singing and his 12-string guitar playing are spot on.

"Toward the Within" is overall an excellent live album release by Dead Can Dance. Donīt expect rock star attitudes or anything like that this is a much more subtle and introvert type performance. There are no talking between tracks for instance and my guess is that the performance is timed down to seconds. The audience do make noise between the tracks and itīs kind of deliberating when they do because the performance almost seems too perfect at times. A 4 star (80%) rating is well deserved.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars This is the 2nd album in what I like to refer to as "The Amazing Trilogy" by Dead Can Dance, the 1st being "Into the Labyrinth" and the 3rd is "Spiritwalker". The difference with this one is that it is a live recording, but only 4 out of the 15 tracks are previously released, so it is like a brand new album. The production is so amazing on this, if it weren't for the audience reactions between the tracks, you would never know it was in concert. Most of the tracks are quite amazing consisting of DCD's signature sound, which is old world and traditional music from different cultures and also original compositions mostly written and sung by Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry. Many of the vocals are wordless vocalizations/other languages and some are in English. Regardless of the delivery, the vocals are top notch and the instrumentals are outstanding. The first three tracks are not found on any previous DCD release, yet they are quite typical of their sound, beautiful, ethereal, and nicely textured. The 4th track is one of my favorites both in the studio and live, for the most part it sounds pretty much the same, but is immensely enjoyable anyway. There is then a short flute solo and then the accapella song from their previous album "The Wind that Shakes the Barley". This one sounds pretty much exactly as the studio version, and these last two tracks always make me start to doubt whether I like this album as much as the last. But, not to worry. Everything comes alive after this with Brendan singing his version of "I Am Stretched Across Your Grave" (an original for DCD, but it is a traditional song) which I have to say is the best performance I have heard from him. This brings the album back up again but what follows next is nothing short of awesomeness. "I Can See Now" and "American Dreaming" both original DCD songs never released before, sung by Perry with the acoustic guitar as the feature instrument on both. The awesomeness continues. Usually I am partial to Lisa's amazing vocals, but here live in front of an audience, Brendan proves that he is capable of not only writing great music, but conveying the real, raw emotion of it also. Wait....the amazingness isn't over yet....Lisa sings the previously released "Cantara" which was nothing but pure perfection in the studio, but here live, it is even more amazing. This song lifts my spirit each time, but done live, you feel like you are right there in the audience lost in the song. You can just picture people getting into the music, floating at first and then suddenly dancing wildly. Wow! The album continues with more original and traditional music mostly never released on any previous DCD album. This one is all full of surprises and should not be passed up if you are investigating DCD's music. It should be essential for any DCD fan but also considered a masterpiece because this is how a concert album should be done; giving music lovers a reason to purchase the album because there is either enough new material on it or the versions of the songs are varied enough from the original version so it feels fresh and new.
Review by Warthur
4 stars Dead Can Dance's only live album of their original incarnation was recorded hot on the heels of Into the Labyrinth, an album on which the duo had become intoxicated by world music but didn't seem to have much of a cohesive vision of how to bring it all together - or, for that matter, when it came to continuing to work together after the end of their romantic relationship. As a result whilst Into the Labyrinth had a number of great songs, it didn't quite seem to work as an album.

As with Into the Labyrinth (and the later Spiritchaser), I feel that Toward the Within is half a Lisa Gerrard solo release and half a Brendan Perry album mashed together uncomfortably. That said, the transition between Gerrard and Perry's sections seem to work somewhat more smoothly in a live context. Whilst it is still a shame that we don't have a solid live album from their true peak (say, around the time of Spleen and Ideal to Aion), Toward the Within to my ears offers a somewhat more cohesive vision than Into the Labyrinth at least.

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