9 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Like a strange hothouse blossom, Dead Can Dance brought exotic colors to the post-punk scene when they emerged in the ‘80s. Singers Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry used the exalted gloom of Medieval European music as a departure point, then added international influences along with a modern rhythmic sensibility. Spleen and Ideal — first released in 1985, then remastered for a 2008 edition — marks an early high point in the band’s now-storied career. In these thickly atmospheric tracks, DCD lyrically invoke the spirit of French decadent poet Charles Baudelaire as they explore the nexus between sensual indulgence and spiritual obsession. Tracks like “De Profundis (Out of the Depths of Sorrow)” and “Circumradiant Dawn” are solemn, sinister liturgies, relieved by the serpentine pulsations animating “The Cardinal Sin” and “Indoctrination (A Design for Living).” Middle Eastern rhythms add a swirling texture to “Mesmerism” and “Avatar.” Throughout, Gerrard’s ethereal vocals transcend language, while Perry’s baritone conveys a priest-like authority. Dead Can Dance broadened its scope in later albums – but for rich, dark beauty, they rarely bested Spleen and Ideal.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Like a strange hothouse blossom, Dead Can Dance brought exotic colors to the post-punk scene when they emerged in the ‘80s. Singers Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry used the exalted gloom of Medieval European music as a departure point, then added international influences along with a modern rhythmic sensibility. Spleen and Ideal — first released in 1985, then remastered for a 2008 edition — marks an early high point in the band’s now-storied career. In these thickly atmospheric tracks, DCD lyrically invoke the spirit of French decadent poet Charles Baudelaire as they explore the nexus between sensual indulgence and spiritual obsession. Tracks like “De Profundis (Out of the Depths of Sorrow)” and “Circumradiant Dawn” are solemn, sinister liturgies, relieved by the serpentine pulsations animating “The Cardinal Sin” and “Indoctrination (A Design for Living).” Middle Eastern rhythms add a swirling texture to “Mesmerism” and “Avatar.” Throughout, Gerrard’s ethereal vocals transcend language, while Perry’s baritone conveys a priest-like authority. Dead Can Dance broadened its scope in later albums – but for rich, dark beauty, they rarely bested Spleen and Ideal.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
37 Ratings

37 Ratings

mad4mtl ,

Hauntingly Beautiful!

Wow! I will never forget the first time I heard this at a party ('85). It blew my mind. Bought a copy the next day and have been a fan ever since. Simply put - I feel DCD's music is some of the most beautiful ever recorded. Turn out the lights, turn it up, sit back, and enjoy the journey Spleen & Ideal will take you on! Also, try Within the Realm ...

djgirl ,

the 2nd best album from Dead Can Dance

When it was released on scratchy vinyl you could never get enough clarity from "De Profundis" followed by "Ascension". To have this on mp3 is worth everything. Throw your iPod on your Bose system and crank it...chilling. In my opinion the best album Dead Can Dance ever put out was "Within the Realm of a Dying Sun"

mozollini ,

Masterwork.

Gothic Cathedral International . My favorite of all their releases.

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