Dead Can Dance
Dionysus
[PIAS] Recordings
★★★★★

It did not take as long between the release of Anastasis and Dionysus as it did between Anastasis and Spiritchaser. Yet, it has felt like a lifetime since we have been graced with new Dead Can Dance music. But a lifetime is worth the wait when Dead Can Dance releases an album as heavy as Dionysus.

With the current state of the world, Dionysus is exactly what we need. The album transverses us to a place where cellphones are not necessary and technology is non-existent. An album in two acts and seven movements, the music encapsulates the aura of ritual. Caught in a duality between a story nested in ancient culture and modern cultural manifest based on traditions, Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard have taken the emotion of songs like “Rakim” and “Oman” from the past and pushed the vibrancy and mystique into a new level of awareness.

Dead Can Dance Dionysus New Tour 2019

In two years, Perry brought together an arsenal of instruments and found sounds through field recordings. He delicately pieced together a symphony of eclectic instrumentation with Gerrard lending vocals on “The Mountain” and “Psychopomp.” It’s a mesmerizing feeling of the natural that sends you into an exotic world trance only your mind can fully perceive, transforming each time you listen. The beehives from New Zealand, bird calls from Latin America and a Swiss goatherd scuttling about at the tail end of the song “The Mountain,” the beginning into the second act, it’s Perry’s way of bringing nature closer to the music and us closer to the basic necessity of humanity.

Dead Can Dance – Act II: The Mountain

Dionysus is both mystifying and frightening as this rite of passage transcends into the deep recesses of ourselves. Our senses soak up inspiration from around the world be it the Gaida echoing out at the beginning of Act II, the Turkish strings that feel like a Burham Öçal mood swing, the Eastern Paganism on “Dance of the Bachantes.” Dead Can Dance creates a feeling familiar in world music but is not of this world. And when you experience Dionysus, you will be experiencing something wondrous.

As the waves crash into the speakers of “The Sea,” and your heart beat joins in with the rhythm of the percussion, the world we live in is no longer necessary in your journey. Dead Can Dance has made a masterpiece.

Categories: Reviews

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