DEAD CAN DANCE play the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts August 23. See listing. Rating: NN
It's been 16 years since the last album by Dead Can Dance, and time has not been kind to the duo. Their gothic-worldbeat sound seems very dated. At first you think it's just that their style hasn't aged particularly well, but a quick refresher listen to their earlier work reveals that they were actually a much better band back then.
They're still doing that brooding medieval ambient pop thing, but with less drama and inventiveness. Every song feels like it was built from the same library of generic "ethnic" rhythm loops, and there's just as little melodic variation. Anastasis sounds like it was designed to be played in a goth coffee shop (these must exist somewhere, right?) or as a soundtrack to a pseudo-historical movie about the Middle Ages featuring lots of shots of Kevin Costner staring at the ocean from windswept cliffs. Why come back after 16 years if you have nothing to say?
Top track: Return Of The She-King