Dionysus is not just the god of music and wine; in pre-Christian Europe, he was a symbol of harvest and regeneration. Dead Can Dance’s ninth album invokes his legacy as best they know how—in a radical fusion of influences from around the world. Singing in invented tongues and using Bulgarian gadulka, Brazilian berimbau, Balkan gaida, rainsticks, birdsong, and more, the Australian duo conjures a characteristically majestic sound. “ACT I: Sea Borne” employs Eastern string melodies to signal the god’s arrival by sea; “ACT I: Dance of the Bacchantes” channels trance-inducing Middle Eastern drones and soul-shaking ululations, while the closing “ACT II: Psychopomp,” following Dionysus to the underworld, is among the group’s most hypnotic and melancholy songs. It’s a masterfully evocative synthesis of ancient rituals.

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