Abbattoir Blues / The Lyre Of Orpheus / Nocturama / Dig Lazarus Dig!!!

There are few Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds albums which might be considered career dips, but ‘Nocturama’ is largely regarded as one. Failing to scale the bleak, emotional heights of ‘No More Shall We Part’, it chugs a little, failing to find new ground.

The gentle sense of disappointment which ensued ensured that the double sucker-punch of ‘Abattoir Blues’ and ‘The Lyre Of Orpheus’ was all the more pronounced. Arguably the finest work of the band’s career, this double album was grandiose, thunderous and lyrically verbose. The thrusting mantra of ‘There She Goes, My Beautiful World’ was as vital as they had sounded in a decade and listening again some eight years on, it’s lost none of its potency; this is a stone-cold classic. Whether it’s the multi-tracked flutes on ‘Breathless’ or the clattering drums of ‘Get Ready For Love’, this is a collection of songs beyond compare. The earnest rhapsodising about the record on the wonderful accompanying documentary is entirely justified, shedding new light on old friends through the ears of others.

‘Dig, Lazarus Dig!!!’ was a none-too-shabby follow-up, but the real jewel in this final batch of CD/DVD remastered reissues is ‘Abattoir Blues / The Lyre Of Orpheus’ which captures this band in twelve short days at the peak of their powers. A true must-have.

10/10

Words by GARETH JAMES
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