The first thing long time listeners will notice about Dead Can Dance’s ninth album is how it just moves in a steady beat from start to finish with a renewed sense of urgency, driving forth that ethereal worldly sound propelled by Brendan Perry once again at the helm alongside musical partner Lisa Gerrard.
The second thing fans will notice is that the length of DCD’s first new album in over six years is just two tracks long. Yes, you read that right. Two tracks. But before you dismiss Dionysus, think back of one time Dead Can Dance has let you down with any of their recorded works. You can’t think of any, can you? Then let’s proceed.
The aforementioned Dionysus is in two movements and contains seven tracks total (For my heavy friends:Think Kyuss’ Sky Valley or Green Day’s American Idiot for all you more Pop inclined music fans) focused on the Dionysus myth. That said, It’s definitely not your typical Dead Can Dance record but let’s be honest: there’s no such thing as a “typical” Dead Can Dance album.
Dead Can Dance is the type of artist that, as a fan, you can come to appreciate in so many forms. There’s the intellectual aspect. The musicianship aspect. Hell, just the sheer enjoyable music aspect. What I’m trying to say is that there’s no end to the types of enjoyment and the stuff you can take from listening to any Dead Can Dance recording. And Dionysus is no different.
Take “Sea Borne”, the beginning of the first movement which alone features Perry playing the Zourna, the Gadulka, the Autoharp, the Bowed Psaltery, the Davul, and the Ocean Drum to create this beautiful and spiritual atmosphere accented by ethereal vocals and this holy tribal thump. “Liberator of Minds” is another mostly instrumental journey into the world of Dionysus while “Dance of the Bacchantes” is a transcendent thrill ride filled with Arabic-tinged delights.
Act II has the return of Perry vocally, although his presence is felt musically throughout, and more important is that the opening salvo of II entitled “The Mountain” featuring that dynamic of Perry and Gerrard’s distinct voices for the first time on the new recording (Gerrard actually only sings on this and “Psychopomp”).
“The Forest” is serene with Perry’s voice acting as an aural guide with shimmering synths and a barely audible back up vocal adding to the vocal flavor while “Psychopomp” is a somber end to a surreal and sublime album (This track featuring Rainstick, Bird Whistles, Aztec Flutes, and Stone for those keeping score) with Gerard singing once again and reminding listeners that the true magic of Dead Can Dance is made when Perry and Gerard come together.
Dionysus will be unveiled on November 2nd via PIAS. Pre-orders are up and available by clicking here. For the latest on DCD, including where you can see them in 2019 on their European tour, head on over here.