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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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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.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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