Dead Can Dance — Toward the Within
(4AD CAD 2712 CD, 1994/2008, CD)
by Alan Gunnison, Published 1995-03-01
Toward the Within is a live disk that documents DCD's 1993 tour, ostensibly in support of their latest studio release, Into the Labyrinth. However, Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard slip their fans a few surprises with the release (as they did with the performance). Of the 11 songs on Into the Labyrinth, only two, "Yulunga" and "The Wind That Shakes the Barley," were used in this recording. Only two others, "Song of the Sybil" and the classic "Cantara," came from prior DCD releases. The remaining 11 tracks are all new. Of the new pieces, "Sanvean," "Don’t Fade Away," "I am Stretched on Your Grave," and "Desert Song" rise above the rest; of the familiar ones, the version of "Yulunga" is especially noteworthy. This disc is further testimony that DCD is one of the scant few bands that truly sound even better live than in the studio. Toward the Within also marks a departure for Brendan in terms of the musical styles that he has developed over the years. For one thing, he has clearly embraced ballads as a way of expressing himself. For another, his lyrics of late tend to focus on present-day issues rather than historical ones. Lastly, the instrumentation on this album is pared down compared to their earlier releases. Gone, and missed, are the violin and cello. "I Can See Now" and "American Dreaming" exemplify this stylistic transition. Admittedly, this release would have been even better with the accompaniment of violin and cello. Taken as a whole, however, Toward the Within reveals an outstanding performance by one of the premier live acts of our time.
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more