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Dead Can Dance - The Serpent's Egg CD (album) cover


Dead Can Dance


Prog Folk

3.89 | 171 ratings

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4 stars On Dead Can Dance's 4th album they have completely outgrown their gothic gloom roots. That doesn't mean the music turned out to be lightweight or jumpy, it's still dramatic and downcast but still they let in just a bit more sunlight then Within the Realm of the Dying Sun did. This is the soundtrack to accompany the sun's new rising over a frosty early April landscape.

The Host Of Seraphim sounds as enigmatic as its title, featuring lush strings and gorgeous Eastern tinged vocals from Lisa, it's one of Dead Can Dance's most striking pieces and a sure calling card for their style. In just a bit over 1.30 minutes, Orbis De Ignis conjures up the morning prayer in a medieval cloister. It is followed by a morose hymn sung by Brendan Perry. The arrangement is strikingly simple again, basic organ chords and a beautiful melody on horns. On The Writing on My Father's Hand, Lisa continues the bleak mood. Accompanied with the sound of harpsichord she sings a plaintive melody ending in elegant harmonies.

In The Kingdom of the Blind resolves the overcast atmosphere. It still starts very sad, but in the middle, big orchestral chords and Brendan Perry's commanding baritone lift up the mood most dramatically. Chant of the Paladin is a plaintive and repetitive drone, very ethnic and Indian sounding, this tune could charm the most vicious snake. The extremely short Song of Sophia and Echolalia are two gripping moments that could easily have run twice their length. Mother Tongue has two parts, the first part is instrumental and heavy on percussion and the second is wonderfully atmospheric and has some sparse vocals from Lisa. With Ullyses, Brendan Perry has a gorgeous finale to end the album with, both playful and sweeping.

A very strong effort, but only the opening and closing pieces are pure 5 star material, it's probably Dead Can Dance's second best album after the preceding Within the Realm of the Dying Sun.

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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