14 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Of all their albums, Dead Can Dance’s 1984 debut—recorded when Brendan Perry was 25 and Lisa Gerrard just 23—is the most connected to the punk generation that spawned the duo. Joy Division and Swans are the obvious touchstones, though where Joy Division were bleak and urban, Dead Can Dance are pastoral, and where Swans were assaultive, Perry and Gerrard are seductive. Even within the caustic drones of “The Fatal Impact,” it's possible to feel the spiritual dimension that would become a focus for the Australian duo on subsequent albums. While the album is dominated by Perry’s use of bass and drum machines—which work together to create slow rhythms that call to mind hordes of zombies marching together under some malevolent spell—the young duo were at their most effective when they were furthest away from conventional song structures. The drumless “Ocean” is among the most foreboding and hypnotic tracks they ever produced.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Of all their albums, Dead Can Dance’s 1984 debut—recorded when Brendan Perry was 25 and Lisa Gerrard just 23—is the most connected to the punk generation that spawned the duo. Joy Division and Swans are the obvious touchstones, though where Joy Division were bleak and urban, Dead Can Dance are pastoral, and where Swans were assaultive, Perry and Gerrard are seductive. Even within the caustic drones of “The Fatal Impact,” it's possible to feel the spiritual dimension that would become a focus for the Australian duo on subsequent albums. While the album is dominated by Perry’s use of bass and drum machines—which work together to create slow rhythms that call to mind hordes of zombies marching together under some malevolent spell—the young duo were at their most effective when they were furthest away from conventional song structures. The drumless “Ocean” is among the most foreboding and hypnotic tracks they ever produced.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
32 Ratings

32 Ratings

ketveen ,

Superb

This album ruled my life for several years (along with a lot of other 4AD bands at the time). It is the one DCD album that has help up over time for me (with the only exception being "Within The Realm of a Dying Sun" - equally fantastic). It is raw, it is dark, it is beautiful, and it is excellent. Side note: the last four songs were not originally part of this album, but were a subsequent EP called "Garden of Archane Delights".

electroambientspace ,

Early goth/rock classic

If I could only pick 4 albums to represent my Goth period in the 80s, they would be Cocteau Twins "Head Over Heels", Throwing Muses and Clan of Xymox' self-titled first albums, and this one by Dead Can Dance. Much different than their later modern classical/new age/world music, this was primal, visceral stuff, and still is. The original album ended with "Musica Eternal"; this iTunes remastered version includes their first EP as a welcome bonus.

asap chucky ,

internet music’s paradox

can’t experience full dynamics of the remaster by downloading in 256k. iTunes needs to offer better file types - at an inflated price - like they do with movies.

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