This 1984 release set the pace for the band's career, helped define the tone of the 4AD label, and opened the door for a genre that includes Delirium, Deep Forest, and Enigma. While much less dense and textural than more recent DCD, this album begins the group's study of combining global rhythms and instrumentation from various musical eras with contemporary sounds. Here they explore the somewhat Gothic electronic and rock instrumentation of post-punk European pop. Featuring the lush, sonorous vocals of Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard, this is a dark, mysterious, and compelling release. Fans of later works will not be disappointed; newcomers will find this groundbreaker a good place to meet Dead Can Dance. --Andy Stevens
SACD Hybrid Remastered CD of the self titled Dead Can Dance. On the evidence of this, the band's first record, Dead Can Dance can clearly be seen as a "Goth" group in the vein of Bauhaus, et al. The band's sound here is much more clearly based in the "contemporary"--Dead Can Dance uses traditional song structures, the group's instrumentation is almost entirely synthesized, and co-vocalist Lisa Gerrard's voice rarely gets into the truly ethereal, other-worldly realms that it would on later albums. Perhaps the most surprising single song on the album is "East of Eden." Built on a picked (and heavily echoed) guitar line and a rolling drum pattern, it is probably the only track in the DCD catalogue that can be described as relentlessly perky. 10 tracks.