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Album Review: Dead Can Dance - Anastasis

12 September 2012 | 10:52 am | Jake Sun

Balancing the great dualities of humanity in ideal equilibrium, Perry and Gerrard both remain a rare complement to each other’s exquisite gifts.

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Many of us never thought ourselves lucky enough to see a new Dead Can Dance album eventuate. It's been 16 years since they left us with the phantasmic offerings of Spiritchaser, but gladly it seems the excruciatingly long wait was not in vain.

On opener Children Of The Sun, vocalist Brendan Perry resuscitates the cadaver in refined verses that enliven the spirit through the most expressionistic of motivations. His phrasings seem to extend as much from his recent solo offerings as the band's past, however, both the exotic instrumentation and the following complement of Lisa Gerrard, on Anabasis, immediately locates it within a space that is DCD's alone. Communicating in her favoured glossalic tongue, Gerrard's vocals slide over the hang (steel, percussive instrument) driven soundscape, with a silk-like liquidity – it dissolves all traces of attack to become pure plains of melody. Her dramatic utterances are otherworldly, yet they paradoxically conjure images of the earth crying forceful expressions from its core to its vast surface. There's a near unfamiliarity in the frightful depth of Gerrard's performance that gives it its sense of 'otherness', yet its viscerality is all too human. Anastasis expands from these opening trajectories, becoming realised through a host of powerful songs that nurture the sewn seeds into full fruition, to produce an album that's as consistent as it's magnificent.

Balancing the great dualities of humanity in ideal equilibrium, Perry and Gerrard both remain a rare complement to each other's exquisite gifts. One of the most awe-inspiring acts to ever come out of Australia have made a triumphant return, and in doing so provided a pleasant reminder of just how fertile our soil really is.