Dead Can Dance – Anastasis album review

When I think of Dead Can Dance the first thing that comes to mind is the interview with Snorre Ruch in the book “Lords of Chaos”.  After assisting Varg Vikernes, of the band Burzum, with the murder of Oystein Aarseth, a friend and member of the band Mayhem, the two young Norwegians drove back from Oslo to Bergen.  “We drove with … Dead Can Dance on the stereo real loud.  It was quite atmospheric.”

I object to the basic notion of Dead Can Dance:  that some kind of meaning or spirituality can be found by teaming ethnic and folk melodies with plodding synths and looped percussion.  There is no there there.  It is spiritual empty calories fit for those who find profundity in pulpy fairy tales.  This is why the band would appeal to two young metal dudes who believed themselves to be on a valiant and dangerous mission, when in fact they were just two snot nosed thugs stupidly killing their friends over nothing.  Then again, I don’t really like the Beatles either, so I’ll let you judge whether my musical opinions are worth a damn.

This is the first DCD album since 1996 and sounds like, er, a Dead Can Dance record.  Compared to ‘Into the Labyrinth”, the only other album of theirs with which I am intimately familiar, it’s a little more plodding and one note.  Nothing on here matches the mischievousness of a track like “Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove” from “… Labyrinth”.  That stark songwriting style is dropped for songs drenched in lush synth arrangements.  This has the effect of taking the band even further into the realm of false depth that I moan about above.

Still I wouldn’t call it a bad album.  It ain’t my thing, but I think it probably is somebody’s thing.  And if you are one of those somebodies you could do a lot worse.  The songs are solid (aside from my obvious objections), the pace is a little slow and overly uniform, but I don’t think people get into DCD because they demand high energy,  So pick it up, grab your peace pipe and be profound, buddy.

By A. D. Terbush

Mr. Terbush would like to give you a back rub.

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