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Current 93 - Imperium CD (album) cover


Current 93


Prog Folk

4.16 | 10 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Somber and quite religious in a "what the hell is this weird thing" sort of way, Imperium is, oddly enough, an album I've already used to soothe myself to sleep on numerous occasions. Absolutely drenched in reverb, it has elements of both C93's earlier industrial/noise style and their later apocalyptic folk. There are strange whale-like noises in the background at times, meandering flute, soft harp. Is that a camel yawning? Some of the more electronic-sounding instrumentation reminds me of the earliest era of Tangerine Dream. Lots of the things making sounds are fairly unidentifiable; I dig it. Imperium IV maybe doesn't entirely fit in, but then again, by that point the album basically just starts drifting in and out of all sorts of random themes.

Half the vocals are whispered or spoken word, a decent portion of the rest are outright yelling (closer to the end); it's a decent mix. The lyrics are moderately holy but also largely depressive and dark. Is it religious to sing about Christ dying? David Tibet works his way pretty rapidly into his signature "fields of rape" theme; I dig it. Slavery is also a prominent topic. For the most part, Imperium crescendos throughout, leading to some pretty grover sh*t near the end before a slight trail off. By the time we hit Locust, it's some kind of catchy quasi-industrial groove thing, pretty far drawn from the start of the album. The vocals on this track, by the way, are another Tibet signature: the "I'll sing in tune if I damn well want to, okay?" voice. Lalalalala-la lala! What joy we had! Anybody who can sing about trampling the weak in such a nonchalant manner has my vote. Immediately afterward, the album returns to spoken word and chorales. No wait, is that opera? Doesn't matter, because BASS GROOVE. YELL. PAN WILDLY. I think you get the idea.

You could probably look at Imperium a number of ways; a religious experience for Tibet perhaps, some sort of satire maybe, the sloppy ruminations of a borderline psychotic, it's possible. It could be nothing more than a convenient transition for the band. Whatever it's supposed to be, whether it's indeed supposed to be anything specific at all and not just a happy coincident, I'd say this is probably my favourite Current 93 album, as it stands. If church services were more like this I might wake up more often on Sundays. Decidedly more peculiar than your average "folk" album, I, forget what I was going to say. Best approach this with an open mind, at any rate.


And yes, you are going to spend the night with pain Mr. Tibet. Wasn't that the theme of the whole album?

Triceratopsoil | 5/5 |


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