The GB Album Club 044 - Within the Realm of a Dying Sun by Dead Can Dance

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unclejam23

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Duders! Welcome to the 44th edition of the Unofficial Giant Bomb Album Club! Last week the vibes weren't fully great, but there was at least some guitars to rock out to offset the melancholy of the lyrics. This week, however, it's full blown party city baby! To the clubs to the parties to wherever there's alcohol and good times to be had, all across the nation we're getting down to neoclassical darkwave as this week, our album is Within the Realm of a Dying Sun by Dead CanDance! This album was selected by @fanaticalmilk, and you can listen with the links below:

Spotify:https://open.spotify.com/album/4WGpRBfDu7OJ4Rimkzu9jp

Apple Music:https://music.apple.com/us/album/within-the-realm-of-a-dying-sun-remastered/277713481

Youtube:https://youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_kOSn7NV4fEckFaAl9A76iCZks2-n-Ljb0&si=tgpf_r06OxM_vD6F

Here at the Unofficial Giant Bomb Album Club, we gathered in a Discord, we made a pool of albums, and we chose one at random every week to listen to and discuss! If you want in, come on down!

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unclejam23

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There was an album from 2017 called Peasant by Richard Dawson (not the Family Feud host). It's a folk concept album where every song centers around a different story in medieval England. Villagers attacked by ogres and witches and stuff like that, accompanied by the appropriate musical accompaniments. It's exactly the kind of thing I'd normally scoff at, but it ended up being one of my favorite albums of that year for one major reason: I appreciate commitment.

For me, art isn't about good or bad. It's about effective or not-effective, and in the end, it doesn't really matter what you put in front of me. I just want to experience whatever it is as far as my emotional core will let me, so if you're going to make a medieval folk album, I want the most medieval ass medieval folk album possible, and goddamn if Richard Dawson doesn't deliver.

I know this isn't a goth album in terms of genre, but I would argue that it is one in terms of aesthetic, and on that realm, Within the Realm of a Dying Sun is the most goth shit ever and I ate it up.

A couple of people in the Album Club discord said that this album sounds like the soundtrack to a horror movie that doesn't exist, and I think that's true. But specifically, it sounds like a very particular kind of horror movie. An '80s horror movie with teenage witches and bad vibes, and not one of the corny ones. I may feel this way because it's so rooted in certain '80s sounds that it probably can't have the same effect it had then as it does now, which is to say nothing of how much music I've heard that sounds just like this that's come out since. But still. The atmosphere of this album is so distinctly '80s horror goth you can almost feel the hairspray landing on your skin.

I should say something that feels like a conclusion here, but the only thing I really got left is that Lisa Gerrard's voice is stunning. She's the woman you've heard singing in many Hans Zimmer scores, and there's a reason she's earned that role is because her voice is as alien and haunting as you'd need without becoming a parody of itself.

And yeah, I loved the shit out of this and I'll be returning to it.

Favorite Songs: "Xavier," "Cantara," "Summoning of the Muse"

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fanaticalmilk

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Don't have a big post to make, but I discovered this album through the Alcest episode of Amoeba Music's "What's in Your Bag?" series on their YT channel. It is cool how otherwordly this music sounds, and especially for the time period it was released in.

Favorite songs: Dawn of the Iconoclast and Cantara.

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pauljeremiah

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"Within the Realm of a Dying Sun" is a mesmerizing and evocative musical journey showcasing Dead Can Dance's ethereal brilliance. Released in 1987, this album marks a pivotal point in the band's discography, as they masterfully blend elements of world music, neoclassical, and ambient genres to create a unique and haunting sonic landscape.

The album opens with the cinematic "Anywhere Out of the World," immediately immersing the listener in a lush atmosphere characterized by Lisa Gerrard's haunting vocals and Brendan Perry's atmospheric instrumentation. Using unconventional instruments, including ethnic percussion and strings, adds a rich texture to the compositions, creating an otherworldly experience.

Tracks like "Cantara" and "Summoning of the Muse" showcase the band's ability to weave together disparate musical elements seamlessly. Lisa Gerrard's wordless vocalizations are a powerful instrument in their own right, conveying a range of emotions that transcend linguistic boundaries. The album's title track, "Within the Realm of a Dying Sun," stands out as a majestic and contemplative piece with its orchestral arrangement and poignant lyrics.

The album's production quality is noteworthy, capturing the intricacies of each instrument and allowing the listener to appreciate the sonic details fully. The use of reverb and echo enhances the dreamlike quality of the music, creating a sense of grandeur and mystique.

"Within the Realm of a Dying Sun" is a timeless masterpiece that has left an indelible mark on the darkwave and ambient genres. Its ability to transport listeners to a realm of introspection and emotional depth is a testament to the enduring artistry of Dead Can Dance. Whether experienced as a whole or through individual tracks, this album continues to captivate audiences and remains a significant milestone in the band's illustrious career.

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redwing42

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I have to admit that I was expecting something different from this album. When I hear "Darkwave," I think goth or industrial music. You know, Sisters of Mercy, The Cure, things like that. That is not what this is. To me, it almost sounded more reminiscent of synthwave, but absolutely has that movie soundtrack feel that others have mentioned. Certain tracks also would feel at home in a JRPG. I liked the sound of this, but couldn't really pick out individual tracks that I preferred. It was interesting and enjoyable, but generally forgettable for me, I think.