On November 25th, 1985, Dead Can Dance released their second studio album Spleen and Ideal—a transitional work that began the group’s foray into neoclassical and world music, incorporating a wider array of instruments such as cello, trombone, and timpani., while still containing strong elements of their post-punk roots.

The title is directly taken from “Spleen et Idéal”, a collection of poems by French poet Charles Baudelaire which form a section of his magnum opus Les Fleurs du mal.

The album, produced by the duo Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry, along with John A. Rivers, opens with the dirgeful “De Profundis (Out of the Depths of Sorrow)”, alluding to the seminal farewell love letter Oscar Wilde wrote to Bosie, and continues with an almost world-spanning monastic feel until the album’s closer “Indoctrination (A Design for Living)”, with perhaps “Avatar” but most certainly “Advent” retaining that strong gothic rock evoke by the band’s 1984 debut.

This was the last album with Scott Rodger and James Pinker, who departed the band in 1987.


  1. De Profundis (Out Of The Depths Of Sorrow)
  2. Ascension
  3. Circumradiant Dawn
  4. The Cardinal Sin
  5. Mesmerism
  6. Enigma Of The Absolute
  7. Advent
  8. Avatar
  9. Indoctrination (A Design For Living)


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