V/A – Summoning of the Muse

This is not the first album in honour of the influential group Dead Can Dance, and probably not the last. Cleopatra for instance released the tribute “Carnival Within” in 1997, with unlikely participants like Leaetherstrip. Last year the partly succeeded double cd “The Lotus Eaters” appeared on a Greek label, with both bands from the gothic and metal scene taking part. “Summoning The Muse” is a more focused affair, with acts which are musically not too far removed from each other. Projekt is of course a likely label for a DCD tribute, with many bands on their ethereal/darkwave roster which seem to be heavily inspired by the work of Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard.

The general conslusion of this tribute album is that there are no big surprises, but that the average quality is very solid. About half of the tracks are exclusive to this compilation. Most acts involved manage to convey with their interpretations the beauty and mystery of the music, without straying too far from the orginal versions. The solemn neo-classical sound of Arcana has always been compared with Dead Dan Dance, perhaps that’s why they are present with two convincing covers.

One of the more original songs is ‘Musica Eternal’ by Autumn’s Grey Solace, with lovely shimmering guitars and heavenly voices. ‘Faith & the Muse’ stress the dark ritual aspect of ‘Chant of the paladin’, making it sound close to The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath a Cloud. Also quite striking is the very percussive ‘Bird’ by Kobe. The only cover which is not really to my liking is the contribution of Chandeen, which sounds a bit hasty, with a singer who appears to be out of breath. Otherwise this is a worthy tribute, made with respect.

artist: V/A
label: Projekt
details: 12 tracks, 2005 [PRO00173]