Our staff receives numerous email questions regarding the Dead Can Dance song entitled The Host of Seraphim, so I thought I would toss up a quick overview on the song, as well as on the group itself. For those of you unfamiliar with the music group Dead Can Dance, they were a band duo featuring Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard, as well as other minor side members. The group is no longer active, having disbanded in 1998, seventeen years after the group started out. They originally formed in Melbourne Australia, however they toured much of the world while they were together. As far as the genre of their music is concerned, there is still some debate as to which style best suits their music. Officially they are listed as a multi-genre band with influences of ethereal wave, darkwave, ambient, gothic, dream pop, post punk, or world music. When someone asks me personally what genre they are in, I say that it's a genre called Dead Can Dance.
As far as Lisa Gerrard is concerned, in my opinion she is hands down one of the best singers out there today. Her voice carries with it so much passion and melody, that it's really a language of raw human emotion. In some regards I have found her personal style to be somewhat like Enya, however Gerrard doesn't typically layer her voice to the best of my knowledge, and her energy is much darker than Enya's. Most people are familiar with her voice, even if they do not recognize her by name. Her voice has been featured in numerous film soundtracks, such as Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Mission Impossible II, Ali, 9/11, Tears of the Sun, The Passion of the Christ, Man on Fire, and Constantine. Probably the two most recognized tracks from her are Now We Are Free from the Gladiator soundtrack, and Gortoz a Ran performed as a duet together with Denez Prigent. Be sure and check out both her solo and Dead Can Dance work.
The other ambient half of the group Dead Can Dance, is of course Brendan Perry. He was born in Whitechapel London, to English Irish parents, until eventually immigrating to New Zealand. After singing along side Lisa Gerrard in Dead Can Dance, like her he began a solo career after the group's dissolution. In 1999 he released his first solo album, called Eye of the Hunter. The album had quite a bit of success, however Perry didn't release another solo album until 2010, opting to focus instead on collaborative musical projects for various composers. Despite disbanding from Gerrard in 1998, he temporarily joined her in 2005 for a world tour. Obviously many of the fans saw this as sort of a farewell tour for Dead Can Dance, however Perry has stated on record that there may indeed be another Dead Can Dance tour in 2010, and possibly even some new material as well. Perry stated that after the tour, him and Gerrard would record a new album.
As far as the song The Host of Seraphim goes, it is arguably one of the best songs from Dead Can Dance, and certainly my own personal favorite. The song is quite long, lasting six minutes and eighteen seconds, and is absolutely rich with emotion throughout it's entire duration. Although the song is heavily vocal, there aren't really lyrics to list here, otherwise I would publish them on our website. If I'm not mistaken, the vocals aren't forming actual lyrics, just raw melody. I would imagine that there is likely no religious meaning behind the song, despite the title of it being a play on the fact that the Seraphim are mentioned in scripture to be forever locked in song, which is known by it's Biblical definition as the Trisagion Song. The song lives up to it name, and you could envision these beautiful Seraphim singing it. If you haven't heard the song played before previously, then do be sure and buy the album that features it, which is called The Serpent's Egg.