It's not the first tribute collection to Dead Can Dance but it's possibly the most ambitious, a double-disc effort. The scope of the contributors can be generally described as from the goth/darkwave/black metal universe which, while not surprising, is a touch limiting. Hearing what other performers who work in indigenous musics first and foremost could do with the band's original work would be striking, not to mention creating a more all-encompassing portrait of Dead Can Dance's combination of many different styles and sounds. There are a few examples such as the Greek band Grido's quite lovely guitar/mandolin/accordion arrangement of "Oman," but more would have been quite something. With that noted, the bands and musicians on Dead Can Dance Tribute: The Lotus Eaters aim to capture the moody elegance of Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard's work and for the most part succeed. If nobody can truly sound as astonishing as Gerrard in particular, it's often lovely hearing other voices assay familiar songs, though in turn the musical arrangements too often replicate rather than reinterpret the originals. On that front the more metal-inclined acts, especially female-fronted acts as Trail of Tears and Darkwell, fare more successfully -- Hortus Animae even busts out some speed metal chops on "Windfall Introducing Summoning of the Muse." Meanwhile, the Gathering's contribution of a cover of "In Power We Entrust the Love Advocated," recorded some years previously, affirms their own role as pioneers of a particular dark/light sound. The singing standouts include Arcana's Peter Pettersson and Sarah Jezebel Deva, while Jarboe earns a definite nod for her fantastic version of "American Dreaming," originally a Perry song. There's definitely some eyebrow-raising participants here and there -- Anthrax/Nuclear Assault veteran Dan Lilker backs up Lisa Schreib on a straightforward take of "Cantara."
(The collection is the only place that you see this stars together: Daniel Cavanagh, Duncan Patterson, Kristoffer Rygg, Markus Stock, Mick Moss, Paul Kuhr, Peter Bjärgö, René Rutten, Thomas Helm, ...)