Dead Can Dance - DIONYSUS
Critic Score
Based on 15 reviews
2018 Ratings: #221 / 830
User Score
Based on 103 ratings
2018 Ratings: #262
November 2, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
PIAS / Label
Tribal Ambient / Genres
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Loud and Quiet

The result is a magical sound collage of folk instruments, especially percussive, that’s woven together by place-setting field recordings.

God Is in the TV

With Dionysus, Dead Can Dance have shown that not only are they one of the most original acts ever, but also that they are continuing to break new ground and reinventing the rule book.


As an unofficial soundtrack for ritual madness, religious ecstasy, sex, winemaking, and song, Dionysus excels.


Dionysus sounds both ancient and contemporary at the same time, and there are not many groups that can show so much reverence for ancient traditions from a modern music perspective.


Dionysus is not only one of the most vivid works they’ve recorded, it’s also the most intricately and insistently rhythmic.

Northern Transmissions

On their ninth studio album Dionysus, Dead Can Dance make an album that is both extremely conceptual and focused, at least from an artistic standpoint ... It’s certainly a unique structure, but making it resonate on wax is another thing entirely. Despite some repetitive tunes, it’s a task they mostly manage to pull off.

Under The Radar

Dead Can Dance have always had a knack for creating engaging, crafty, and atmospheric melodies that are combined with otherworldly rhythms and beats and Dionysus proves that they only get better with age.


Even by Dead Can Dance’s own outsized standards ... Dionysus is an album of radical ambition, a work of scholarly pursuit and musical depth that explores European folk traditions, the boundaries of language, and Latin American bird calls.


Dionysus satisfies and demonstrates that Dead Can Dance are still alive, but it would be better with more vocals from Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry.

Rolling Stone
Each movement offers a unique interpretation of pagan fervor, making for something akin to a modern soundtrack to ancient rites.

Dionysus is a great album to play while relaxing, or, even better melting into a deep meditation. ... Just don’t expect Dionysus to show up when this is played—it’s too cluttered to work as the intended invocation, a showtunes version of ritual celebration.

Years ago, a favorite Portland bartender of mine got me to talk about music. Typically, I don't like to talk much about the music I listen to because so often I am met by straight faces and puzzled looks. So, the bartender and I begin sharing who we think the best band in the world happens to be, with him answering first. He says Dead Can Dance. I'm astonished. He continues to elaborate and reveals a tremendous knowledge on both Perry and Gerrard offering well-informed opinions on various ... read more
The folk instruments on 'DIONYSIS' are extraordinarily magnificent, they are able to present a person with the most beautiful view of a beautiful place, even despite the kind of people performing the compositions.
I was hoping this would be better so that i could write a review that just said "Anna Von Hausswolff BTFO" but this really aint anything special.
Dionysus is the best Dead Can Dance album since Into The Labyrinth. Mythical, spiritual, magical, timeless... And an extraordinary experience. It is incredible what they did here with World Music !!
This is just average ethno stuff for me - don’t consider this one of their best or anything too special, so NR.

If there’s a snake you just have to charm out of that ol’ wicker basket then go for it.
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Year End Lists

#32/God Is In The TV

Track List

  1. ACT I : Sea Borne - Liberator of Minds - Dance of the Bacchantes
  2. ACT II : The Mountain - The Invocation - The Forest - Psychopomp
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Added on: September 5, 2018