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Dead Can Dance

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Dead Can Dance Spiritchaser album cover
3.36 | 102 ratings | 7 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Nierika (5:44)
2. Song Of The Stars (10:13)
3. Indus (9:23)
4. Song Of The Dispossessed (4:55)
5. Dedicacé Outō (1:14)
6. The Snake And The Moon (6:11)
7. Song Of The Nile (8:00)
8. Devorzhum (6:13)

Total Time 51:57

Line-up / Musicians

- Lisa Gerrard / performer, producer
- Brendan Perry / performer, producer

- Renaud Pion / Turkish clarinet (3)
- Peter Ulrich / percussions (1,5)
- Lance Hogan / percussions (1,5)
- Ronan O'Snodaigh / percussions (1,5)
- Robert Perry / percussions (1,5)

Note: The actual full instrumentation cold not be confirmed at this moment

Releases information

Artwork: Chris Bigg with Kevin Westenberg (photo)

2xLP 4AD ‎- DAD 6008 (1996, UK)
2xLP 4AD ‎- DAD 3637 (2017, UK) Remastered (?)

CD 4AD ‎- CAD 6008 CD (1996, UK)
CD 4AD ‎- CAD 2713 CD (2008, UK) Remastered by Neal Harris

Thanks to seyo for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy DEAD CAN DANCE Spiritchaser Music

DEAD CAN DANCE Spiritchaser ratings distribution

(102 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

DEAD CAN DANCE Spiritchaser reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars DCD's second last studio album is yet another step into their new ethnic directions started with Labyrinth. Gone are most forms of pre-classical music and the album is now fully into ethnic folk music, somewhere between Spanish folk and mid-Eastern/Arabian music, still underlined by Indian percussion, but not just tabla drums anymore. As first seen in the previous Labyrinth album, the music is much less acoustic and definitely more synthesized, but here this trend is even more obvious

The album seems to be lying in spritism, mythology, astrology and whatever else uninitiated shamanism underlying throughout the album and the whole thing is completely unconvincing; there are some didgeridoo on Songs of the Stars (which is normal for the Australian pair of DCD, it's a wonder why they hadn't used it up to now), but to no avail, except for a "batardisation" that sort of cheapens the aesthetics. Not much can be said of this album's depth, so therefore Spiritchaser can only be enjoyed in its shallowness and hollowness, just scratching the surface for the pleasure of a light and pleasant listening.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Even on their last album, DCD continued to search new musical forms to deliver their atmospherics to their audience. I must admit that this has been the hardest DCD album for me to get into. As is often the case with experienced bands the tempo has gotten slower, the music is stuffed to the brim with multiple textures of sound and the songs take a lot longer to get to the point. This takes away much of the immediate intensity that we loved DCD for. But if you are patient and play the album a few times as a late-night chill-out before bedtime, it slowly starts revealing its intricate layers of unobtrusive melodies and emotions. 3.5 stars
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Spiritchaser" is the 7th full-length studio album by Australian/UK world music act Dead Can Dance. The album was released in June 1996.

The music on the album has moved even more towards ethnic world music than was the case on any of the predecessors. Middle eastern, Indian and African ethnic influences are dominant on the album while the groupīs goth rock past is not that dominant on this album. Lisa Gerrardīs strong vocal performance is the focal point on the album while Brendan Perryīs contributions are a bit more subtle. Itīs only in "Song of the Dispossessed" that he gets to show what he can really do. The rest of the vocal parts he delivers on "Spiritchaser" are much more ethnic tinged than usual. As was the case on "Into The Labyrinth (1993)" there is an extensive use of various percussion instruments on the album. The combination of organic ethnic instruments and synth used for creating atmosphere are a trademark in the groupīs sound and that trademark is as present on "Spiritchaser" as on most other album by the group. One feature which is a bit different compared to other Dead Can Dance albums is that the tracks are a bit longer than usual. Both "Song of the Stars" (where Brendan Perry reads poetry in Jim Morrison style for the first couple of minutes) and "Indus" are each about 10 minutes long. The tracks are generally a bit more repetitive/hypnotic in nature and many of them use layer building for effect.

The production is wonderful. Warm organic and pleasant. "Spiritchaser" is overall another quality album release by Dead Can Dance and if you can appreciate the more dominant ethnic influences on the album this one might be right down your alley. Personally I find some of the tracks a bit too longdrawn for their own good and the I miss the gothic atmosphere of some of the earlier releases, but a 3.5 star (70%) rating is still deserved.

Review by kenethlevine
2 stars Given my penchant for mellow prog, it might surprise you to know that, aurally speaking, I can be distracted to the point of distraction. Sure, once, twice, three times that can be excused, but when I have in all sincerity approached a recording umpteen times with a blank slate and glimpsed the same blank slate in the rear view mirror an odd hour later, I really need to move on.

From "Within the Realm of a Dying Sun" through to "in the Labyrinth", DEAD CAN DANCE set trends at least as much as they followed them, thanks to their willingness to take chances. This entrepreneurial spirit remains intact on "Spiritchaser", but they are now in the realm already occupied by a variety of ambient world music groups who, quite frankly, were a little better at this. I am thinking of DEEP FOREST, BAKA BEYOND, and B-TRIBE, all of whom wed western rock with Aboriginal traditions with varying successes. But the one thing they did do, which seems sadly missing on "Spiritchaser", is produce at least a few stunning pieces on even the most moribund disks. Here I really can't find a highlight, acknowledge though I may that DCD has found a groove and played it well, it just isn't quite deep or heartfelt enough for my needs. THe best I can muster is that "Snake and the Moon" sounds like something JULUKA might have done if for a few minutes they were not quite so politically riled up. Or perhaps like an ok tune by TOURE KUNDA.

Maybe I'm off base but there isn't much to chase after here in the material or the spirit world. Not bad, but easily surpassed by contemporaries.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Dead Can Dance's final album sees the band steering in a heavily world music direction, and they seem particularly keen on appropriating Australian aboriginal music and fusing them with elements of Western rock music. The end results, I fear, are sometimes unconvincing - Song of the Stars mixes a repetitive drum rhythm with some rather uninspired guitar noodling and backing singing which wouldn't be out of place on any New Agey world music album out there, and at many points the distinctive sound of the band disappears in favour of a sound reminiscent of Peter Gabriel off-cuts from the Passion period.

That said, Devorzhum and other tracks (largely the Lisa Gerrard-heavy ones) do bring back echoes of a more glorious past, and it's not a total mess - in fact, much of it is quite listenable. But it's not a patch on their earlier stuff, and it makes sense that they went onto a long hiatus after this.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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!

Latest members reviews

4 stars Spiritchaser starts off with a wishwashi sounding synth followed by some native sounds, very soothing, extremely good production, throught the entire album. The vocal arragments are fantastic, along with the percussions. The synthesizer is not used in a "electronic" way, but in a way that sounds ... (read more)

Report this review (#137304) | Posted by Jake E. | Saturday, September 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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