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.