on June 2, 2001
Coming two years after their perfect WITHIN THE REALM OF A DYING SUN, Dead Can Dance's 1989 album THE SERPENT'S EGG shows the band continuing to evolve. Here, Dead Can Dance reached an interesting turning point. Lisa Gerrard's vocals begin to show the ethnic influence that would come to the front in 1993's INTO THE LABYRINTH, while the interest in older musical instruments foreshadows the renaissance-themed AION.
This album is especially remarkable because it departs from the use of orchestral musicians and lush atmospherics to give a more personal glimpse of Lisa and Brendan's partnership.
THE SERPENT'S EGG opens with "The Host of Seraphim," which may be their finest song ever. Featuring Lisa's pious wailing over the backing vocals of David Navarro Sust and Brendan Perry's drums, this song is literally heavenly.
As with much of Dead Can Dance's output, individual songs can be noticed as either Brendan's or Lisa's, such as the half-and-half split of WITHIN THE REALM OF A DYING SUN. Here, it's obvious that Brendan has provided "Severance," "In the Kingdom of the Blind...", and "Ulysses." Lisa clearly is the creator of "The Writing on My Father's Hand," "Song of Sophia," and "Mother Tongue."
Nonetheless, for the first time here are several tracks where Lisa and Brendan are equal, such as the aforementioned "The Host of Seraphim," as well as "Orbis de Ignis" and "Chant of the Paladin."
While not Dead Can Dance's best album, which is arguably WITHIN THE REALM OF A DYING SUN, this album should not be the last you purchase if you are a fan of this unique duo.
on August 19, 2009
Este disco es uno de las mejores creaciones de la banda, si bien ningun disco se puede calificar de malo o al menos de regular, The Serpen's Egg si se puede calificar de imprescindible, cierra los ojos y déjate llevar por los pasajes musicales mas exquisitos que es capaz de crear esta producción de principio a fin. La potencia y a la vez dulzura de la voz de Lisa Gerrard y el genio musical de Brendan Perry son simplemene incomparables con cualquier otra agrupación en la tierra. Si esto fuera poco esta remasterización ha limpiado con buen resultado el sonido del disco original, si bien se ha adelgazado las frecuencias bajas un poco, existe una mejor ubicación de los instrumentos, una mayor claridad de escenario y el disfrute es mucho mayor. Indispensable disco si eres fan del género, de la banda o amante de la música alternativa.
on November 17, 2001
In einer Welt, wo "Harry Potters" Phantasiereisen Buch- und Kinorekorde machen, da ist die mysteriöse Musik von "Dead Can Dance" bei vielen willkommen.
Das Album liegt zeitlich zwischen Aion und Within the Realms of a Dying Sun. Es hat die mittelalterlichen Elemente-Assoziationen des ersteren und die ruhige Atmosphäre (aber nicht so düster) wie "Within the ...").
Manche Tracks werden von einer Art Kirchenorgen begleitet (The Host of Seraphim) und "Severance" einer der besten Tracks des Duos überhaupt und eine gesangliche Sternstunde von Brendan Perry. Auf diesen beiden Stücken ist die Stimmung sehr relaxed und ernst, im Radio könnte man unbekannterweise auch glauben, es sei eine Gottesdienst-Übertragung eines fernen Landes an einem Feiertag. Das gleiche gilt meines Hörens für "Orbis de Ignis" daß sich wie eine Art erfundener gregorianischer Choral anhört (nur Gesang und manchmal eine Glocke, die auch auf Aion zu hören war.
"The Writing of my fathers Hand" ist eine schöne Ballade von Lisa Gerrard und klingt fast überirdisch schön. Fast zu schön für meinen Geschmack oder um es einem Gast vorzuspielen, der die Gruppe nicht kennt. Ähnlich "fast zu schön um wahr zu sein" klingt der Vocal-Track "Song of Sophia".
"Mother Tongue" hat einen monotonen Percussion-Hintergrund, eine Streicher-Begleitung und Lisas Stimme. Die Percussion ist aber nicht so bombastisch Wagnermäßig wie auf "Spleen and Ideal"
"Ulysses" getragen von Perry's Stimme hat Harpsichord/Streicher Elemente, die sich rhytmisch strukturieren.
Trotz der vielen Rezensionen scheint sich kein Hörer zu wagen, die Musik von "Dead Can Dance" näher zu analysieren. Begriffe wie "keltisch" oder "germanisch" (was ist das eigentlich?), gotisch (ebenso ein Gummiwort wo man viel interpretieren kann), mittelalterlich (wirklich oder nur assoziativ).
Die Gruppe hat(te) wirklich ein perfektes Image: Für ihre Plattenaufnahmen liesen sie sich sehr viel Zeit, perfekt produziert. Obwohl aus der "gotischen" Szene der Grufties kommend (?) spricht ihre Weltmusik viele Menschen an, die Umsätze dürften das zeigen.
Dead Can Dance ist die einzige Gruppe, wo ich noch nie eine ganz negative Rezension gelesen habe, ihr Nimbus und Ausstrahlung ist so erhaben, daß man eigene Kritik an den Musikern fast als sakrale Lästerung empfinden würde, was auch ich nicht tun werde. Nur in so weit, daß ich der CD nur 4 Sterne gebe statt 5. Es ärgert mich ein wenig, daß die meisten "regulären" CDs der Gruppe nur ca. 35 Minuten lang sind, auch diese. Brendan/Lisa vergebe mir diese Kritik! Auch die CD-Covers sind so spärlich gestaltet, daß sie Analysen ausschalten und zur eigenen Phantasie Lauf lassen. Man glaubt sich in ein Völkerkunde-Museum versetzt, mit Fotografien von uralten Kultgegeständen wie Masken, ohne natürlich das Land und den Herkunftsort zu nennen. Jedenfalls scheinen die Covers auch so bedeutungsvoll und tiefsinnig gestaltet, daß die Objekte zur Wichtigkeit und Suche im Zentrum eines "Indiana Jones" Filmes stehen könnten.
Wie hat die Gruppe es nur gemacht, sich so ein Image/Aura zu verschaffen? Wirklich faszinierend und beneidenswert. Hat sich die Gruppe die Rhytmusstrukturen, die seltsame Sprache in den weiblichen Vocals und die englisch-sprachigen Mystiktexte von Perry nur ausgedacht (wie Harry Potter) oder ist sie Essenz einer ausgeklügelten archäologischen Musikstudie des Paares? Niemand wird wohl dieses Geheimnis lüften, vielleicht ein Forscher im 4. Jahrtausend, der darauf eine neue Bewegung und Theorie aufbaut?
Diese CD ist unbedingt anschaffenswert, eine der besten von "Dead can Dance", etwas getragener und ruhiger wie die meisten anderen. Wenn man Perry einmal ausklammert ist sie in manchen Tracks schon den Soloplatten von Lisa Gerrard ähnlich.
on January 20, 2001
I do not own many CDs, and mostly because I never seem to find music I truly enjoy or even appreciate. Dead Can Dance has released many albums, but this one is something so different. "Aion" and "The Serpent's Egg" are the most treasured by me. After that, Dead Can Dance have seemed to drift off to other realms and cultures.
I find that "The Serpent's Egg" has a deep element of fear and sorrow. A serious maturity! Lisa Gerrard and Brendan are at their most developed musically and lyrically.
I am in love with "The Writing on my Father's Hand". I have never heard such a BEAUTIFUL, ELEGANT, POIGNANT piece in my whole life. Lisa, you are very lucky to have such a gorgeous voice and to be able to share it with the whole world. I also love mystical "Orbis De Ignis" with Brendan. Brendan has an artful way of representing his song called "Ullyses". His imagination and yearning to sing of old tales that were told throughout the world is so admirable.
When I listen to Dead Can Dance I hear a sincere desire to open the hidden doors of religions and myths. Dead Can Dance has been searching and searching all over and everywhere! Maybe they have found what they are looking for, because I know I have found a treasure that's sunk beneath tides and waves.
I LOVE this album "The Serpent's Egg"!
on December 29, 2000
with mystic soul vibrating vocals this album gives you a peace that can only described as erie yet beautiful, calming yet deadly, you can almost feel death is soothing you in to your clay overcoat, to just as you surrender, jolt you back out again in to a primeval celtic hacker, which gets you bouncing and bearing your teeth at the modern entrapments about you and the cat if near by, although like a fish on a hook your lured back in to spicy middle eastern mantras conjuring up images of belly dancers on the caravan routs of old, dancing round the night time fires, you half expect them to be painted blue and captain Kirk is looking on concerned with a sweated brow, that is the modern yet ancient mix this album gives out. as with there later albums its rich and deeply textured, if you like Greenaway type visuals Lisa Gerrard is the vocal embodiment, with a soothing voice that stroke your soul, not supriseing the tv media gripped this album with both hands, using it as backing music for just about everything, from nature/history programs to love in sifi metropolis, if you want to get lost in the past whilst being able to touching the future this is the album. personally it was the music i was listening to when my daughter was born it holds that much weight, as music for life changing events wether it death or to be born too
on September 19, 2002
This album was my introduction to DCD, and remains my favorite although it certainly has no shortage of competition from their later efforts.
I don't know how to relate to you how truly inspiring "The Host of Seraphim" is to me, both as a fan of the music and as a songwriter myself. I can only say with any effect that, for once, the title of a song like "Host of Seraphim" does not belie the pretense of the artist. It has that title because it REDEFINES the word angelic in my mind. I spent a great deal of time listening to Brendan Perry's takes on the album, mainly because when I was younger I was always very skeptical, being a man, that a woman's voice could have the same reach and dramatic effect as a man. And that I would equate that to Perry's voice is no mistake, because there is no doubt that he is a gifted singer, and Perry's slow sonorous tones in "Ulysses" still (and always will) give me the willies....but about three years after I first got this album (and was then listening to their later albums), I pulled out Serpent's Egg again and realized that the real depth of this album will always remain with Gerrard's songs, and particularly with "Host". The only gripe I could possibly have about this album is that they got the song order backwards...."Ulysses" really would have been more appropriate as an opener, and "Host" as the powerful finale. Instead, I find myself reordering the tracks in Winamp, but that's really not a major (and hardly a minor) complaint.
I don't want to waste myself away trying to describe the way this album moves me - and truly it would be a wasted effort, because I don't even think I'm through processing my reaction to it in a lot of ways musically - but to the potential listener I say: if you are curious about DCD at all, you can safely start here (or at the compilation called A Passage In Time, which contains both of the above-mentioned songs) and you'll never have to wonder again what all the hype is about.
on February 2, 2000
This album sits right between two 'pillars' of Dead Can Dance's work, in my opinion: "Within the Realm of a Dying Sun" and "Aion". And because of this, it shares some elements with both. The medieval atmospherics of the latter begin to come in strongly here, but there's still a major focus on European classicism present, as well. The sound, also, is right between those two in feel. It's an amazing release, and perhaps one of their darkest-sounding as well, but my suggestion would be to pick up those other two, then come back here for the treat of hearing how it all fits together. But like both of those, there's no duds, and we're clearly heading toward the 'unified' release style that began with "Aion" and really hit its pinnacle with their final album, "Spiritchaser".
on August 2, 2002
I was introduced to DCD in 1989. After first hearing Serpent's Egg and the 1st Album, I knew I had to get these in my collection. After being a DJ at a club or two, I realised I had invisible blinders on. Blinders that had me in the usual tones of rock, country, pop, blues, old time, swing, etc... Hearing Dead Can Dance was such a release and a coming out musically. These albums are all TIMELESS in the fact that I never grow tired of listening to. Spiritchaser sounds as fresh as Spleen and Ideal. I have had the chance to see them live on the Spiritchaser Tour and can say I was in awe. It is too bad that DCD has gone their separate ways, hopefully one day they will see fit to reunite. This music is as crisp and fresh as viewing nature's wonders from a morning sunrise to an evening's eclipse.
on June 26, 2002
Serpent's Egg is my personal introduction to the drenching atmospherics of DCD. This album is the creepy, beautiful, relaxing album that I have been looking for. As a pure extreme heavy metal listener, this album really took me off guard. It's beautiful, yet somehow hauntingly terrifying. The songs, the vocals, and the instruments will put you in a trance and warp your mind. For those who havent heard this, I highly recommend listening to it. Believe the hype, no matter how small it may be, and buy this album. All of the 5 star reviews reflect how good of an album this really is. For metal-heads how want something different, maybe something to relax to- or something new to explore, try this album.
on June 29, 2000
This is truly beautiful and the best Dead can Dance album I've heard (only "in the realms of a dying sun" and "into the labyrinth" left) there is less emphasis on synthesised instruments here apart from the last two tracks and more on a gothic classical kinda vibe. But of course it's not that easy to sum up in a few sentances - if your familiar with these guys then you know what to expect and you won't be dissapointed - the vocals on the album are moving and inspired - occasionaly lisa's voice can be overused a little but here she is always great. All in all this is a little mysterious, moody and introspective.