This release caught me by surprise and luckily it was a nice one. Dead Can Dance hail back from the heady early days of 4AD records and they have made such a glorious return. As Brendan Perry sings the opening lines of the first track ‘Children Of The Sun‘, “We are ancient… as ancient as the sun“, its statement that they have honed their many talents well over the intervening years. His voice can almost be equated to the formidable Scott Walker.
The album textures are very mature, spacial, worldly and ambient throughout. You can feel like you are being flown off to some Arabian adventure when Lisa Gerrard sings on ‘Anabasis‘ with delicate guitar sounds and melodic hand-claps. ‘Apage‘ continues this vein of thought with again Lisa taking the lead vocals. You can almost picture being sat next to Aladdin enjoying the entertainment at a feast and feast you should on this music.The album could easily be two solo records as ‘Amnesia‘ again eases back Brendan’s voice to the forefront. It’s so relaxing and not stretched as he painlessly sings those long and winding words. You’re entranced by the beat from a repeated single guitar note. It then harks back to the dark sounds of yesteryear with the introduction of a forbidding synth note under a back drop of strings. ‘Kiko‘ manages to merge both factions with enchanting vocals, crashing symbols and topped with a deep slow beat.
Percussion is paramount on this album and it sounds so lush on ‘Opium‘ which serves up such masterful tones from Brendan. Bells and layered echoing words from Lisa then illuminate ‘The Return Of the She-King’. With its military like drum rolls your mind is directed to a medieval world escorted by tambourines, that makes this a joy to listen to. It’s also the only song where they actually duet and subsequently takes it to another level.
The album rounds of with ‘All In Good Time‘ which is self prophetic in many respects, they’ve returned and delivered an album which sits proudly within their discography. As he sings “..you showed me a sign” are the last words you hear him sing before ebbing away to a beautiful synthesised horizon. It maybe sixteen years since they worked together lets hope its alot sooner next time. This release is so easy on the soul and wonderful how it manages to colours your mind. 9/10