Anastasis - Review
This duo really should need no introduction. They've been around since 1984 on the 4AD label, the foundation and inspiration for countless bands spanning a broad range of genres.
Their previous original full-length album was released in 1996, and though they toured a few times after that and have released various solo works, as the official band it's been a long time coming to have this great reunion comeback album. With many bands, a comeback album often falls short or as the music changes, the old style is lost as they mature and move onto something new. However, this isn't the case with Dead Can Dance
, this album sounds like they never took a break, just simply picking right up where they left off, in fact even going back to a little more of a classic sound from their earlier works in some cases. This excellent album comes packaged in a nice digi-pack with a booklet of lyrics and art and the disc comes with eight new classic masterpieces.
With this band's seemingly broad range of styles and influences, everyone has their favorites from over the years. Some may prefer the mid-eastern elements that are more prominent on some pieces, including Lisa Gerrard's siren-like vocals, while others may enjoy the more solumn singer-songwriter styles that Brendan Perry takes the lead vocals on. And then there are a number of mixes in between and beyond and on this album we get a nice broad range. It kicks off with "Children of the Sun" with a mostly neo-classical approach with a latticework of heavy stringed and brass synths with the occasional near-eastern guitar sound. This slow-moving piece provides a nice re-introduction to the band and for this album with the solid, heavy sound. This style remains prominent on the few pieces that Perry takes the lead though "Amnesia" brings out a bit more of the eastern style in the instruments and includes a soft, subtle piano. Later in the album "Opium" takes center stage where a modern, darkwave sound meets the neo-classical, this one with just a soft, subtle eastern influence mostly in the percussion while the steady, moving heavy beat and throbbing synths create the solid foundation and backdrop.
For those longing for the near-eastern influence and Lisa's siren-like, mesmerizing vocals, there's definitely plenty here to please. These tracks range from the soft tribal sounds of "Anabasis" to the more upbeat and prominent sounds of "Agape and "Kiko". As the album winds on, we're presented with more of a medieval sound and style as we come close to the end with "Return of the She-King". This piece has quickly grown to be a favorite from this album with it's majestic styles and epic film soundtrack quality. Movies in the past have benefitted from the music from these talented musicians and I'm sure in years to come we'll be hearing this piece edited in and included in some majestic masterpiece in the future. Gerrard takes the lead on the vocals and while there are some subtle eastern influences in the tambourine, for the most part the somber beat and layers of ambient electronics and heavy bass create the foundation and mood for this piece which make it a great new classic masterpiece. And finally, to bring the album to a close, we have another great track in the form of "All In Good Time". This could easily be a finale to the Dead Can Dance
sound as much as it is to this album, and I think any listener could hear it and feel content, though longings for more will continue I'm sure for years. However, with this piece, I feel like we have something that we can really enjoy for years with it's very somber, almost a-capella sound with Perry's soothing vocals gliding over the subtle background synths and occasional heavy bass and almost imperceptible beat that serves as a rhythm to move it slowly along. This soft, peaceful and thoughtful track is a perfect way to close this excellent album, a new classic, definitely worth picking up and adding to your collection.