Experimental, Hovering
"With "Dionysus", Dead Can Dance succeeds its first concept album as deep as it is spiritual. An ode to humanism and ecology."
CALGEPO (02.11.2018)  
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To release a record that evokes the Greek god Dionysus with a picture of a Mexican mask as a cover, only Dead Can Dance could do it. To explain this concept, we must put the Greek character in its context. Dionysus is the god of excessiveness, madness, vine and wine. He is also the god "born twice" (which explains his name) and contrary to his congeners, Dionysus appears as a god apart and tolerant to whom we still devote some of the most popular cults during the harvest and grape harvest in particular. Fascinated by these pagan cults and by his various readings on the subject, Brendan Perry decided to bring Dead Can Dance out of its sleep, six years after "Anasatis", to stage the journey of Dionysus from his childhood to the descent into hell in a role of guide of lost souls. The album in its structure breaks down into two acts cut into several scenes illustrating the different stages of Dionysus' life. 

On listening to this new album, the listener will be taken on a journey of absolute richness. The work done by Brendan, to which Lisa joins with her incredible voice, both fragile as crystal and very assertive, is absolutely phenomenal in terms of structure, density and variety. Here the relationship to nature and humanism takes on its full meaning. It must be said that the Noland project released last year must have left some traces in the creative spirit of the artist. 

The first act consists of three parts. The opening 'Sea Borne' evokes the arrival of Dionysus in Greece, who will become the protective god of those who do not belong to the conventional society. Indian and Middle Eastern music are very strong, evoking the origins of the man who is one of the first migrants. The movements are repeated and hypnotic, almost intoxicating ('Liberator Of Minds'). Nature plays an important part in these musical loops. Brendan introduces samples of recordings of night noises in a forest, of streams, of driving rain, affirming by this approach that music is all around us. Afterwards, the percussions invade the space as if to accentuate the hallucinations that make us lose our heads and symbolize the fact of freeing ourselves from constraints. They sound almost revolutionary and warlike. Women play an important role in the last movement of this act ('Dance Of The Bacchantes') in which Lisa becomes an invocator and literally goes into a vocal trance, thus illustrating the beginnings of a feminine liberation before its time.

Act two begins in a more disturbing way, the wind instruments come to be grafted to very low keyboards. 'The Mountain' evokes the childhood of Dionysus in the Pakistani mountains. The music is once again dense with string instruments and sitar which give more relief to the subject in which Brendan's detached voice full of wisdom and Lisa's vaporous and distant voice are mixed. The singer is once again in the foreground in 'The Invocation'. The percussions are bewitching, especially enhanced by oriental and exotic violins. 'The Forest' goes further in this self-abandonment and elevates the soul with a kind of raga, typical of traditional Indian music, in which the listener can definitely get lost. 

Constituting the first true concept-album of Dead Can Dance, "Dionysus" shows the know-how of the group in the creation of a music at the same time spiritual, deep, rich, intelligent and accessible. Through the myth of Dionysus, Dead Can Dance achieves an ode to humanism and ecology, free of any convention of a rare density in today's music industry. Be open minded.

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01. Act I: Sea Borne / Liberator Of Minds / Dance Of The Bacchantes
02. Act Ii: The Mountain / The Invocation / The Forest / Psychopomp

Brendan Perry: Chant / Guitares / Percussions, Daf, Fujara
Lisa Gerrard: Chant
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