Dead Can Dance: “Opium”
Anastasis is the first new album from Dead Can Dance in 16 years. The legendary musical duo consisting of Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard (backed by numerous accompanying musicians) has covered a lot of ground, both musically and geographically, since they formed DCD in Melbourne in 1981, and the appearance of a new album by them represents a musical and general artistic event of considerable significance.
Here are some notes from the official write-up about the album and its background, followed by the just-released video for one of the new tracks.
On the cover of Anastasis [is] a field of sunflowers, ripened, and then blackened, by the sun, standing with sad, slightly crowned heads. Less dead than dormant, the heads and stems will one day be chopped, but then via the roots, will return. For Anastasis is the Greek word for ‘resurrection’ and the seemingly dead will dance again.
… [Brendan Perry] reckons the core of Anastasis can be found “slap bang” in the near-Eastern Mediterranean, from Greece and Turkey across to North Africa: “The music I listen to and research becomes both unconsciously and consciously part of a new project, and for this album, I’ve been fascinated by the classic immutable elements of Greek culture, the depth of their music and their love for song that you don’t get as much in the West; the way they combine philosophy and love songs, and throw a bit of science in there too. I love the eastern influence that comes from being a crossroads between East and West, the kaleidoscopic mosaic of those fused cultures, while the further west you go, the more it’s a mono-cultural society.
… [He describes the track “Opium” as] nihilistic, “that opiate state of mind, a form of depression, that traps you, whether it’s addiction or just circumstances. To not be able to choose a road as they all seem to lead nowhere.”
— Dead Can Dance, official bio page, updated June 2012