Gothtober 2017 – 2nd of October / Dead Can Dance – Xavier

Let’s not kid ourselves here. I knew I was going to include Dead Can Dance, you knew I was going to include Dead Can Dance, EVERYBODY knew I was going to include Dead Can Dance.

So, let’s get it over with today, instead of putting it off and adding more days in which to agonize over which of their tracks to chose.

Because… It’s Dead Can Dance.
Almost every single track of theirs is perfect October music. Perfect Gothtober music. Perfect autumn music. … I could go on.

Here’s my pick.

Xavier, from Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun. I specifically picked it, because Within The Realm is the album I put in the least time into myself. There’s the amazing Persephone and the great Anywhere Out Of The World as well as the short but extremely powerful Dawn Of The Iconoclasts on it. But, well… It’s not Into The Labyrinth. It’s not Aion. It’s not Spleen And Ideal.

I think that, at least for me, Within The Realm somehow suffers “middle child syndrome”. The raw, initial power of Dead Can Dance/Garden of Arcane Delights and Spleen and Ideal has faded a bit but they did not yet fully enter the refinement that would come with Aion (Black Sun, Fortune Presents Gifts Not According To The Book…) and Into the Labyrinth (The Carnival Is Over, How Fortunate The Man With None…).

So I never really connected with it as much as I should have. But I recently rectified that, and gave each of their albums a proper, dedicated listening session. And Xavier just… It just jumped out at me. It’s a powerful yet playful track. It’s such a dark piece. Yet it also evokes some powerful, striking imagery.

These were the sins of Xavier’s past
Hung like jewels in the forest of veils
Deep in the heart where the mysteries emerge
Eve bears the stigma of original sin

And it ends on such a forlorn, depressing note.

And as the night turns into day
Will the sun illuminate your way
Or will your nightmares come home to stay?
Xavier’s love lies in chains

How could I not go with Xavier for today’s song? It combines the aspect of dark romance, hope and despair into one whole, and so manages to encapsulate one of the many facets that make “Goth” for me.

It also makes me remember a time about 12 years ago, when Dead Can Dance were a significant aspect of bonding between me and a then new friend. Berlin, in the spring of 2005, lying on her couch, her head in my lap and listening to Dead Can Dance. No words between us. Just a long, shared moment between two people who were going through their own bullshit, but managed to find strength and companionship in each other, with that weird mix of romantic and platonic that only exists between really good, close, intimate friends.

Here’s to you, Julia.
I miss you.
I hope we’ll be able to share space together again, in the future.

Gelsenkirchen, Germany, 2nd of October 2017

Gelsenkirchen, Germany, 2nd of October 2017

Today’s picture was taken specifically with Dead Can Dance in mind. It’s a view from Gelsenkirchen’s Domplatte, and I tried for something that would evoke the dark grandeur that Dead Can Dance so often manage to create with their music.