Diamanda Galas' CD of live covers (of B.B. King, the Supremes, Johnny Cash and Billie Holiday songs, among others) is one of her most accessible works to date. Her screaming, demonic, cacophonous vocal style has been tamed, and throughout Greek anti-ballads to blues, spirituals, and flamenco-classical hybrids, Galas' voice is shown to be a stunningly flexible instrument. Galas croons, intones, grooves and laments with enormous agility and beauty, and accents her singing with minimalism, classical, blues and improvised piano. "Si La Muerte," the highlight of this recording, is an old-style Spanish ballad with hints of flamenco vocal rhythm, enhanced by both classical and minimalist piano. Live: Malediction and Prayer is a dynamic, phenomenal recording.
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AllMusic Review by Lisa Schwartzman