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Dead Can Dance - Toward The Within CD (album) cover


Dead Can Dance


Prog Folk

4.28 | 63 ratings

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Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
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.
TCat | 5/5 |


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