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Dead Can Dance - Spiritchaser CD (album) cover


Dead Can Dance


Prog Folk

3.36 | 102 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars This is the third album in the DCD series of albums that I like to refer to as "The Amazing Trilogy", the first one being "Into the Labyrinth" and the 2nd "Toward the Within". This particular album concentrates completely on World music, but done on an epic scale. It is also largely driven by percussion throughout, not standard drums, but percussion appropriate for the music. Beautiful sounds, instrumentation, vocals and even poetry, it's all here. Once again, the best way to enjoy this album is to simply put on the headphones and close your eyes and let the music take you on a journey to far off lands. Many people might consider most of these tracks as being too repetitive but this is not the case. The most repetitive thing about this album is the constant percussion that changes very little through each individual track. That enhances the tribal aspect of this album, so it is necessary. But there is so much more to concentrate on here, including the ever changing instrumentation and vocal melodies throughout. The longest tracks here are the stand out tracks; "Song of the Stars" and "Indus". Since these tracks are back to back, your journey goes uninterrupted by other tracks. The percussion/rhythm is constant throughout the entire 10+ minutes of "Song of the Stars" and this is very effective when contrasted with the way different instruments are added into the song as it flies along and the vocals which begin with a poetry reading and then later very dynamic chanting in another language. The vocals do not distract from the beauty of the song but actually enhance it since they become instruments in and of themselves, which is another amazing trick that DCD can pull off just as well as Sigur Ros. "Indus" is another percussion driven piece with Lisa taking the lead vocals. This one is slower and more of a Litany I suppose. In the middle of this one, a guitar is introduced into the mix which plays a nice yet complex melody several times before Lisa and Brendan join in the vocals together with a nice understated harmony. Another effective thing about this one is the darkness and beauty of the lower strings. And then, just like on the track before, instruments and melodies are constantly being added into the constant rhythm of the percussion. Simply beautiful! Simple yet complex! There is so much going on here, yet it sounds so basic on the surface. That's why you have to listen closely. You know how you can get lost in Pink Floyd's instrumentals on Shine On You Crazy Diamond? I can get lost the same exact way on these two tracks. Worth the purchase price alone, even if the other tracks weren't worthy of this album, which, amazingly enough, they are. A very nice vocal by Brendan with English lyrics follows underlied with a nice plucked acoustic guitar and congas which is all joined by a piano and something brassy in a low register keep it interesting. Towards the last verse and fade out of the piece, the piano goes into a slow tango to backup the rest of the song. The next track is a short percussive track that bridges us into the next track which is another vocal by Brendan against a nice rhythmic bass and percussive line that repeats as a tribal dance. The modern and ancient come together so well on this track. And so it continues for the remaining tracks, every track unique and individual yet all tied together to work as a continuous whole. I'll leave the rest of the CD there for you to explore and leave the surprises for you to discover on your own. It's music like this that makes me want to explore other types of music that I normally would ignore simply because it is not embedded in my culture. This is a mistake we all make. I think it would do everyone a world of good to get familiar with DCD music and use it as a gateway to explore just how many options are out there in the real world of music. This is a masterpiece!
TCat | 5/5 |


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