Within the Realm of a Dying Sun

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Within the Realm of a Dying Sun
Within the Realm of a Dying Sun.jpg
Studio album by
Released27 July 1987
RecordedApril–May 1987 at Woodbine Studios, Warwickshire, England
GenreNeoclassical dark wave, dark wave, modern classical, dark ambient
ProducerBrendan Perry, Lisa Gerrard, John A. Rivers
Dead Can Dance chronology
Spleen and Ideal
Within the Realm of a Dying Sun
The Serpent's Egg

Within the Realm of a Dying Sun is the third studio album by the band Dead Can Dance. It was released on 27 July 1987 by record label 4AD.


By this time, Dead Can Dance were predominantly a duo of Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry, along with Peter Ulrich, after the departure of Scott Rodger and James Pinker in 1987.[citation needed]

On the sound of the album, the group commented, "We realised we had been limiting our musical visions [before], relying around guitar, bass and drums. These instruments weren't adequate to express a lot of the things we were hearing".[1] On the making of the album, 4AD label owner Ivo Watts-Russell commented, "I think the relationship between them and [producer] John Rivers was at its peak with [Within the Realm of a Dying Sun]. It's probably my favourite record of theirs".[1]

Gerrard's vocals featured prominently on the second half of the album, and her singing style often had mellifluous oriental overtones, especially on "Cantara".

The cover's photograph was taken in Paris, at the family grave of François-Vincent Raspail at Père-Lachaise cemetery.[2]


Vocals from "Dawn of the Iconoclast" were sampled by The Future Sound of London for their 1991 single "Papua New Guinea". American pop singer Fergie later also sampled "Dawn of the Iconoclast" for her song "Hungry" featuring Rick Ross, featured on her 2017 album, Double Dutchess. The song interpolated the chant with hip-hop beats and vocals from both artists.

"Xavier" has been covered by British gothic metal band Paradise Lost. This cover is available on the Limited Edition of their 2002 album Symbol of Life.

The opening section of "Anywhere Out of the World" was also used repeatedly as haunting background music in the BBC Horizon episode #30.7 "Hunt For The Doomsday Asteroid" in February 1994, originally broadcast ahead of the predicted impact of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with the planet Jupiter in July that same year.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry.

side 1
1."Anywhere Out of the World"5:08
2."Windfall" (instrumental)3:30
3."In the Wake of Adversity"4:14
side 2
1."Dawn of the Iconoclast"2:06
3."Summoning of the Muse"4:55
4."Persephone (The Gathering of Flowers)"6:36
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[3]

Release history[edit]

Country Date
Australia 27 July 1987
United States 8 February 1994


Dead Can Dance
  • Lisa Gerrard – vocals (5,6,7,8), all other instruments, production
  • Brendan Perry – vocals (1,3,4), all other instruments, production, sleeve design
Additional personnel
  • Peter Ulrichtimpani, military snare
  • Ruth Watson – oboe
  • Gus Ferguson – cello
  • Tony Gamage – cello
  • John Singleton – trombone
  • Richard Avison – trombone
  • Andrew Claxton – bass trombone, tuba
  • Mark Gerrard – trumpet
  • Piero Gasparini – viola
  • Alison Harling – violin
  • Emlyn Singleton – violin
  • John A. Rivers – production, engineering
  • Francisco Cabeza – engineering
  • Bernard Oudin – sleeve photography


  1. ^ a b "deadcan-dance.com". dead-can-dance.com. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  2. ^ The Goth Bible: A Compendium for the Darkly Inclined by Nancy Kilpatrick
  3. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Within the Realm of a Dying Sun – Dead Can Dance : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 October 2013.

External links[edit]