The uncompromising eponymous debut, Dead Can Dance (1984), harnessed a bewitching barrage of sounds (including the distinct sound of the yangqin) with the then five-piece interchanging instruments to leave the vocals of Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry as the only constant.
The albums cover was important as an introduction too, a Papua New Guinean mask that some believe when worn, a life force can be put into the inanimate wood - the dead can dance.
Formed in Australia in the early 80s by Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry, Dead Can Dance had veered away from the punk explosion towards a more non-conformist style. But finding the music scene unreceptive they moved to London, landed a record deal with 4AD and embarked on a career with the label that would last seventeen years.
Highly respected artists with a loyal global fanbase, Gerrard and Perry consistently made music full of integrity and passion. Both immensely talented vocalists - Gerrard with her inimitable, mesmeric style and Perrys haunting baritone - they were also gifted, instinctive musicians and their melding of traditional instruments with samplers created a bridge between ancient and modern music.
"Bearing much more resemblance to the similarly gripping, dark early work of bands like the Cocteau Twins and The Cure than to the later fusions of music that would come to characterize the duo's sound, Dead Can Dance is as goth as it gets in many places." - allmusic.com
1. The Fatal Impact
2. The Trial
1. East of Eden
3. A Passage In Time
4. Wild In the Woods
5. Musica Eterna