Dead Can Dance announce new LP ‘Dionysus’ & European tour
Dead Can Dance have announced details of their new album which is titled Dionysus and will be out November 2. It’s their first since 2012’s Anastasis. If you know your Greek mythology, Dionysus was the god of “wine and ecstasy” and here’s a little more about how that figures into the album:
The story to their forthcoming album Dionysus took shape as Brendan Perry became fascinated by long established spring and harvest festivals that had their origins in Dionysian religious practices throughout Europe. The presence of the religion was suppressed during the ideological control of Christianity and Islam since the Roman Empire, and so the influence that Dionysus still had on these festivals would continue to manifest itself albeit in a more censored form.
Dead Can Dance’s latest album brings to the fore the rites and rituals that today continue to be informed by the Greek god, with the album’s seven movements representing different facets of the Dionysus myth and his cult.
The musical form of Dionysus is that of an oratorio, which has informed spiritual and secular pieces of music as far back as the early 16th century.
Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard have also announced a 2019 Dead Can Dance tour, which so far just has dates in Europe. They’re billing it as “A Celebration – Life & Works 1980 – 2019,” so sounds like audiences can expect a cross-section of material across their entire career. And lets hope a North American tour gets announced soon — all dates are listed below.
In related news, the three This Mortal Coil albums, which Dead Can Dance contributed to, are getting deluxe vinyl and CD reissues this fall.
And while on the subject of classic ’80s 4AD bands and This Mortal Coil contributors, Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins played an intimate, invite-only solo show on Monday (9/3) in London. John Grant joined her at one point and the audience of 40-or-so included both Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt of Everything But the girl. “Well it’s been quite a day. Just seen Liz Fraser do a little tiny gig in Soho,” said Thorn on Twitter. “John Grant guesting on one song. No big deal.” Let’s hope there are more to come.
DEAD CAN DANCE – DIONYSUS tracklist & notes:
ACT I – Sea Borne announces Dionysus’ arrival from the east by ship. This movement is crucial to understanding Dionysus as an outsider god – ‘the god that comes’ – central to Ancient Greek city religions that affiliate him with the protection of those who do not belong to conventional society, and anything which escapes human reason.
ACT I – Liberator of Minds, with Dionysus being known as ‘he who lends men’s minds wings’, the album’s second movement conveys the use of hallucinogens and mind-expanding drugs that are associated with him as well as breaking free from the constraints of social norms within society.
ACT I – Dance of the Bacchantes, invokes the rite that Dionysus’ female followers took part in, abandoning their domestic duties for trance-like processions and dances.
ACT II – The Mountain, the first movement of the album’s second Act, the listener will find themselves visiting Mount Nysa. This mountain was Dionysus’ place of birth, where he was raised by the centaur Chiron, from whom he learned chants and dances together with Bacchic rites and initiations.
ACT II – The Invocation represents the chorus who summon the god to participate in the harvest ceremony which also refers to his pre-eminence in the creation and birth of Greek theatre and tragedy.
ACT II – The Forest, the call to abandon worldly and material pursuits and return to a primeval enlightened state of being as in the Hindu tradition of Vanaprastha “departure to the forest” which is seen as the final stage in human spiritual development.
ACT II – Psychopomp, the final movement sees Dionysus in his role as a guide to the afterlife, where he escorted dead souls to Hades.
DEAD CAN DANCE – 2019 TOUR DATES
MAY 2 – RENNES, FR – Le Liberte
MAY 4 – LONDON, GB – Hammersmith Apollo
MAY 5 – LONDON, GB – Hammersmith Apollo
MAY 7 – BRUSSELS, BE – Cirque Royale
MAY 8 – BRUSSELS, BE – Cirque Royale
MAY 10 – PARIS, FR – Grand Rex
MAY 11 – PARIS, FR – Grand Rex
MAY 13 – UTRECHT, NL – TivoliVredenburg
MAY 14 – UTRECHT, NL – TivoliVredenburg
MAY 16 – BERLIN, DE – Tempodrom
MAY 17 – BERLIN, DE – Tempodrom
MAY 20 – BARCELONA, ES – Barts
MAY 21 – BARCELONA, ES – Barts
MAY 23 – LISBON, PT – Aula Magna
MAY 24 – LISBON, PT – Aula Magna
MAY 26 – MILAN, IT – Teatro Degli Arcimboldi