Toward the Within (Remastered)
Dead Can Dance’s first live album, Toward the Within, isn't a live set in the traditional sense. Though it was recorded in one take during a performance at Santa Monica’s Mayfair Musical Hall in November 1993, the setlist isn't a recitation of the band’s “greatest hits.” Only four of its 15 songs appeared on prior albums, making it clear that the band were focused on using the stage to do things they couldn’t generate in the studio. While it’s hard to imagine some of the group’s highly orchestrated and often ethereal music translating to a live setting, these songs reveal the organic processes of their music. For all their complexity, “Rakim,” “The Song of the Sibyl,” and “Desert Song” are essentially folk songs, and hearing them performed by seven individuals onstage is a reminder of the human element behind the band’s otherworldly visions. The concert also highlights the two distinct personalities at the center of the group. Brendan Perry’s singer/songwriter leanings come to the fore on “Don’t Fade Away” and “American Dreaming,” while “Persian Love Song” and “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” are dominated by Lisa Gerrard's mystical and operatic presence.