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Current 93

Prog Folk

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Current 93 Imperium album cover
4.16 | 10 ratings | 2 reviews | 20% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1989

Songs / Tracks Listing

Maldoror and Durtro LP version:
I. Imperium I
II. Imperium II
III. Imperium III
IV. Imperium IV
1. Be
2. Locust
3. Or
4. Alone

Durtro CD version:
1. Imperium I (6:08)
2. Imperium II (5:48)
3. Imperium III (7:03)
4. Imperium IV (3:17)
5. Be (0:53)
6. Locust (9:49)
7. Or (9:23)
8. Alone (7:39)
9. Time Stands Still (3:25)
10. Untitled (0:18)

Total time: 53:43

Russian version:
1. Империум I (6:07)
2. Империум II (5:46)
3. Империум III (7:01)
4. Империум IV (3:15)
5. Время Замерло И Стоит (2:57)
6. Будь (0:53)
7. Саранчой (9:47)
8. (9:21)
9. ь Один (7:35)

Line-up / Musicians

- Current 93

Releases information

LP Maldoror MAL777 (1987) UK
LP Maldoror MAL777 (1989) UK
CD Durtro DURTRO008CD (1992) UK
CD Durtro DURTRO008CD (2001) UK
LP Durtro DURTRO008 (2002) UK
CD Durtro Soyuz DSM3371-06 (2006) Russia
LP Durtro DURTRO008 (2008) UK

Thanks to clemofnazareth for the addition
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CURRENT 93 Imperium ratings distribution

(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(60%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (10%)

CURRENT 93 Imperium reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Warthur
4 stars David Tibet of Current 93's tendency to work with anyone and everyone who comes into the Current 93 gravity well has led to some collaborations with decidedly controversial types, and 1987's Imperium album (initially an extremely limited release) might well represent the apogee of that, with the musicians involved including Douglas P. of the ever- controversial Death In June and Tony Wakeford, who based on when this came out was presumably either in the National Front when it was recorded or had only very recently left.

Combine this with a title that shares its name with a Francis Yockey book much beloved by the more intellectual sections of the far right, and you have ample potential for controversy, especially when Imperium IV includes ill-judged lyrics about Christ being betrayed to and crucified by the Jews. (It was the Romans who crucified Christ, a point which somehow doesn't get across despite the chanting of "Imperium!" throughout the Imperium pieces, though since the same song also says Mary rolled away the stone of Christ's tomb perhaps orthodox doctrinal accuracy is not the order of the day here.) There's also ranting about "only the strong survive" in Locust, though in the context of that song it does not sound like something Tibet agrees with.

So, all in all a piece with some profoundly dodgy associations and implications (whether these were intentional or otherwise is rather besides the point), and one which I wouldn't blame anyone for veering away from. And yet, on an artistic front Imperium represents a remarkable creative transition for Current 93, representing the new "apocalyptic folk" approach of the project emerging from the shell of the old ritual ambient industrial format. As with many preceding Death In June releases, each side of the album is essentially one long piece - the four-part Imperium suite on one side and the mysterious "Be Locust Or Alone" quartet on the other.

From moaning, reverb-heavy industrial depths various sounds emerge until they ultimately coalesce into gentle neofolk strumming, with David Tibet rambling about his esoteric religious views and the depravity of the world. Lyrically, aside from the needless emphasis on sniping at Jews the piece is basically politically unobjectionable (though the Jew bit is a serious flaw which shouldn't be brushed aside), and whilst it's not always clear what Tibet is talking about in his sprawling maze of quotes and allusions, it's hard not to be terrified by some parts - such as when he screams "Take me to my dead Christ!" imploringly.

A marred piece, then, but one which is undeniably important to the Current 93 catalogue and musically rewarding in its own right.

Latest members reviews

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 apoc ... (read more)

Report this review (#629511) | Posted by Triceratopsoil | Thursday, February 9, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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