Music Reviews

DEAD CAN DANCE The Serpent’s Egg/Aion/Spiritchaser Album Reviews

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The Serpent’s Egg/Aion/Spiritchaser
4AD
The final three re-issues of 4AD’s DCD catalogue.
9/10 9/10 9/10

The Serpent’s Egg (1988) is a sparse album. Minimalist sounds create a backdrop to the vocals. Gerrard’s vocals ululate across desert sands, a cry of the soul in the void or echo in a cathedral, rising up, searching the heavens. Perry’s vocals are more modern and the dichotomy, rather than creating tension, creates a symbiotic whole.

Aion (1990) is heavy on Renaissance and Middle Ages musical forms. They resist the urge to modernise the forms, thus creating something that is timeless, that transcends categorisation.

Spiritchaser (1996) moves the focus to African and Caribbean tribal rhythms. Percussion comes more to the fore on this album with a sultry, sensuous back beat that drips with sun and heat, whilst the vocals chant across the grooves.

Beautiful records, beautifully packaged by 4AD.

This review first appeared in Louder Than War magazine, issue 9.