Technically, as I am a huge fan of the now sadly disbanded Dead Can Dance, I should be perhaps a bit miffed that Vas sound quite a bit like them. Under different circumstances, perhaps, but as Dead Can Dance are no more, and vocalist Lisa Gerrard is unable to tour because her entourage is large enough to break the travel budget, I can let the similarity slide - especially because Vas do it so well. This is no mean feat - though many have tried, few have managed to match the awesome power of Dead Can Dance's percussion, their unusual instrumentation, and Lisa Gerrard's hauntingly spiritual vocals.
Percussion-wise, Vas are perhaps a bit more mellow than their predecessors, though the rolling tabla and dumbek are no less hypnotic. As far as unusual instrumentation goes, there is plenty here to keep snooty wireframe glasses wearing ethnomusicologists happy: udu (?), tunpura (?), rigg (?), nagara (?) and the slightly more mainstream hammered dulcimer (yes, just like Dead Can Dance...). And then there's Iranian-born Azam Ali's voice - generally, I find the word 'otherworldly' to be a huge cop out, but not if the voice in question could actually be from another world. I'm a little late to the party, having just picked up their third album "In the garden of souls" - and I can't wait to see them live.
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