Dead Can Dance
Anastasis


4.0
excellent

Review

by Martin L. USER (44 Reviews)
August 15th, 2012 | 111 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: almost lives up to its self-imposed expectations of grandiosity

While the above summary of Anastasis may make it sound underwhelming or subpar, it should not. The soaring melange of post-punk, world music, and darkwave amongst many other influences, tampers with subjects like ancient thought and eternal return (“Anastasis” is a Greek word for resurrection which is timely considering that their eighth full-length is DCD’s first in sixteen years). It’s difficult to imagine recording sessions for Anastasis between Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard occurring without words like “ethereal” and “surreal” being thrown around a few times to accentuate the dramatic amalgam that is their comeback album. It’s a questionable move to even compare Anastasis to previous DCD works, being 16 years and numerous solo and side-projects removed; but even when doing so, it compares favorably. Anastasis is an impressive and disarming release that further underscores the high-reaching capabilities of Dead Can Dance.

The core duo must have felt like they had something to prove after all these years, because “Children of the Sun” does just that. It opens the album with a rendition in a more pop-oriented direction. While dramatic and beautiful, the track doesn’t alienate like the aforementioned concoction of wayward subgenres is able to, but will draw listeners in no matter their usual spectrum of listening. Herein lies one of Anastasis’s most desirable traits: the cohesion and composition. It’s no mistake that the album weaves in and out of the two distinct styles employed by Gerrard and Perry, culminating in the penultimate track and fan-favorite, “Return of the She-King,” a grand climax that marries the two voices and techniques.

Anastasis can be described most accurately in these two manners. In one, there’s Brendan Perry with his deep, booming lines. His voice infuses tracks like “Opium” and “Children of the Sun” with a Morrissey-esque, melodramatic drawl reminiscent of British shoegaze or post-punk. He’s complemented wonderfully by lush string sections, French horns, and piano riffs; it’s a concoction that makes it especially hard to nail down a specific genre for the mixture. Either way, Perry-led tracks have a distinct edge of their own, highlighting the more majestic and regal side of Anastasis. On the other side is Lisa Gerrard, with her more ambiguous approach which belies a style that employs Eastern music through a Western lens. While not as satisfying in my eyes, the important part of her contributing tracks like “Agape” is that they’re very much in keeping with the smooth and unencumbered feel of Anastasis. A few tracks are overlong and tiresome, but this is to be expected considering the sheer scope of the hour-long album and the territory it intended to cover. Cohesion is a point of strength for the two-faced album, not a weakness.

Whichever spectrum it shines through though, Anastasis is a momentous addition to an already-illustrious discography. Everything from the pristine, spellbinding production that aids its hugeness to the melodramatic, meaningful vocals of Perry and Gerrard to aspects like the track placement prove that Dead Can Dance haven’t lost a step of rhythm. Considering the impossibly lofty expectations that an hour-long melange of regal proportions and a fantasy-esque magnitude, Anastasis is an incredibly impressive album that almost lives up to Dead Can Dance’s self-imposed expectations of grandiosity.



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user ratings (135)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2012


6205 Comments


Good review, pos.

I have to check this sometime soon.

On another note, the reunion and this album have received a lot of negative criticism regarding their motives, most of it saying that the solo careers of Perry and Gerrard were nothing special as a whole and that the joined forces in order to sustain their bank accounts.

I don't believe any of this crap, this reunion is great.

Digging: Seduced (AT) - The Proclamation

Jethro42
August 15th 2012


12481 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow! A brand new DCD, I need to check it out.

Tyrael
August 15th 2012


20901 Comments


'On another note, this album has received a lot of negative criticism regarding the motives of its creation, most of it saying that the solo careers of Perry and Gerrard were nothing special as a whole and that the joined forces in order to fill their bank accounts.'

Wow, for real?

I should really give this another listen but the first time I heard it I thought it was a solid release.

ZedO
August 15th 2012


1096 Comments


good review, this sounds interesting...

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2012


6205 Comments


Wow, for real?

I saw some reviews in Hellenic media saying that, that's why i think this is elitist crap.

Anyway this must be interesting at least.

fsharptrit0ne
August 15th 2012


4814 Comments


album crushes

ThroneOfAgony
August 15th 2012


3485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review. This band has grown on me and they're pretty good.

I only have Aion but that album is pretty good. But the downside is there's not much to the album. It's fairly short

I urgently need this though ((

suppersready
August 15th 2012


61 Comments


gota check

suppersready
August 15th 2012


61 Comments


lol agony why would you not have dying sun

carouse
August 15th 2012


302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Glad SputnikMusic seems to dig this, as well.

CaptainDooRight
August 15th 2012


29942 Comments


good rev pos'd, glad you rev'd this

really solid and album needs attention



Digging: Fleurety - Min Tid Skal Komme

SCREAMorphine
August 16th 2012


1758 Comments


Really looking forward to listening to this in full.

Great review.

Graveyard
August 16th 2012


5749 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Fantastic review, pos'd

Kiko is definitely the best track on this, it brings back the early nostalgia of their earlier albums which I like

Amnesia = I really wasn't a fan of when it came out, but has since grown on me lots

Digging: Nurse With Wound - Spiral Insana

KILL
August 16th 2012


71955 Comments


damn need this

Digging: Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out

NoMeansYes
August 16th 2012


1012 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

completely forgot this had been released, getting it now

NoMeansYes
August 16th 2012


1012 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Damn, it's incredible. The review does it justice

carouse
August 16th 2012


302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the comments on the review, everyone.

NoMeansYes
August 16th 2012


1012 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I second that, especially breakingthefragile/Alex Beebe.

carouse
August 17th 2012


302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha thank you for your votes of confidence, everyone.

Gyromania
August 18th 2012


15941 Comments


pretty much what potato said. i might not even review this anymore tbh. great work.

can't wait to see these guys next week in toronto.

Digging: Lantlos - .neon



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