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CURRENT 93

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


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Current 93 picture
Current 93 biography
Founded in London, UK in 1982 - Still active as of 2019

CURRENT 93 is a longstanding project of musician/artist David Michael BUNTING (aka David TIBET, Born 1960-03-05 in Perak, Malaysia), a loose collective who record and perform an eclectic brand of music that has roots in folk but employs sounds that range from metal to post-rock to industrial to neofolk, with nuanced sounds that encompass everything in between.

Founder member David Tibet has been the only constant presence in the band since their inception and his lyrical themes and subject matter encompass a wide variety of esoteric interests including: Christian eschatology, Aleister Crowley (from whom he took the band's name), Christian mysticism, Tibetan Buddhism, the iconography of the swastika and various occult left hand path traditions.

The group's direction is primarily guided by Tibet, but the group has close ties to many other groups including the avant band NURSE WITH WOUND (Steven Stapleton has recorded and toured extensively with both bands), as well as DEATH IN JUNE whose leader Douglas Pearce regularly appears with band. Other bands associated with the group include SOL INVICTUS, COIL, CRASS, HH and FIRE+ICE.

Tibet's prolific body of work has attracted significant attention from musicians of all genres over the years, and the band's album include appearances from an very broad range of artists from the folk singer Shirley Collins to Nick Cave to Marc Almond to the porn star Sasha Grey.

CURRENT 93's music challenges definitions of nearly every subgenre of progressive rock, and their inclusion on the ProgArchives will undoubtedly lead to an expanded definition of the Prog Folk label.

>> Bio by Bob Moore (aka ClemofNazareth) and ExittheLemming <<

See also: HERE

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CURRENT 93 discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CURRENT 93 top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.21 | 18 ratings
Nature Unveiled
1984
3.90 | 15 ratings
Dogs Blood Rising
1984
2.08 | 5 ratings
The Aryan Aquarians: Meet Their Waterloo
1987
3.04 | 9 ratings
Dawn
1987
3.90 | 10 ratings
Swastikas For Noddy
1988
4.02 | 12 ratings
Crooked Crosses For The Nodding God
1989
3.00 | 1 ratings
Death in June / Current 93 - 1888
1990
3.13 | 10 ratings
Current 93 & HH: Island
1991
4.49 | 25 ratings
Thunder Perfect Mind
1992
4.03 | 15 ratings
Of Ruine Or Some Blazing Starre
1994
4.25 | 25 ratings
All The Pretty Little Horses
1996
3.96 | 8 ratings
Current 93 & Thomas Ligotti: In A Foreign Town, In A Foreign Land
1997
4.48 | 18 ratings
Soft Black Stars
1998
4.00 | 11 ratings
Sleep Has His House
2000
3.48 | 8 ratings
Faust
2000
1.50 | 6 ratings
The Great In The Small
2001
3.08 | 8 ratings
Current 93 & Nurse With Wound: Bright Yellow Moon
2001
3.00 | 2 ratings
Hypnagogue
2005
4.28 | 18 ratings
Black Ships Ate The Sky
2006
2.00 | 2 ratings
Black Ships Eat The Sky
2006
3.81 | 13 ratings
Aleph At Hallucinatory Mountain
2009
3.96 | 9 ratings
Baalstorm, Sing Omega
2010
3.77 | 7 ratings
Honeysuckle ons
2011
4.02 | 12 ratings
I Am The Last Of All The Field That Fell (A Channel)
2014
2.22 | 8 ratings
My Name Is Nearly All That's Left
2014
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Moons At Your Door
2015
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Stars on Their Horsies
2018
3.33 | 3 ratings
The Light Is Leaving Us All
2018
2.96 | 4 ratings
Invocations of Almost
2019
0.00 | 0 ratings
If a City Is Set Upon a Hill
2022

CURRENT 93 Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.00 | 1 ratings
NL-Centrum Amsterdam w/Nurse with Wound
1985
3.47 | 7 ratings
Live at Bar Maldoror
1986
4.86 | 3 ratings
As the World Disappears...
1991
3.00 | 1 ratings
Frankfurt Sound Depot 24-03-1991 (with Death In June and Sol Invictus)
1992
3.83 | 5 ratings
Hitler as Kalki
1993
4.83 | 4 ratings
All Dolled Up Like Christ
1999
4.96 | 4 ratings
Cats Drunk on Copper
2001
3.00 | 2 ratings
Who is the Sufferer?
2001
4.00 | 2 ratings
Live At Saint Olave's Church (with Antony And The Johnsons)
2002
3.92 | 6 ratings
Halo
2003
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live at the Teatro Ibrico, Lisbon, Portugal on Saturday 8 February 2003
2003
4.15 | 7 ratings
How I Devoured Apocalypse Balloon
2005
3.78 | 4 ratings
Birdsong in the Empire
2007
1.00 | 1 ratings
Live at Hotel Island, Reykjavk, 11 February 1988 / Live at the 100 Club, London, 23 April 1985
2010
2.00 | 1 ratings
Aleph at Docetic Mountain
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live At Hotel Island, Reykjavik, 11 Febuary 1988
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live In Tokyo, 20/21 December 1988
2010
4.00 | 2 ratings
Live At Off Festival 2011, Katowice, Poland 4th August 2011
2011
2.17 | 5 ratings
And When Rome Falls
2012

CURRENT 93 Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Since Yesterday: A Peek into the Pit
1995
2.33 | 3 ratings
Black Ships Heat the Dancefloor
2008

CURRENT 93 Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.88 | 6 ratings
Christ and the Pale Queens Mighty in Sorrow
1988
4.04 | 7 ratings
Earth Covers Earth
1988
4.00 | 3 ratings
Emblems
1993
4.03 | 6 ratings
Horsey
1997
4.00 | 2 ratings
Calling for Vanished Faces
1999
4.05 | 3 ratings
Untitled (with Michael Cashmore and Christoph Heemann)
1999
2.50 | 2 ratings
Maldoror Is Dead
2002
2.00 | 1 ratings
A Little Menstrual Night Music
2003
5.00 | 1 ratings
England's Hidden Reverse (with Nurse With Wound and Coil)
2003
4.04 | 5 ratings
SixSixSix: SickSickSick
2004
2.67 | 3 ratings
How He Loved the Moon (Moonsongs for Jhonn Balance)
2005
4.50 | 2 ratings
Judas as Black Moth
2005
4.14 | 9 ratings
The Inmost Light
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Current 93 Compilation Part I
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Current 93 Compilation Part II
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Like Swallowing Eclipses (Current 93 As Dreamt By Andrew Liles)
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Unreleased Rarities, Out-takes And Rehearsals Volume II 1991-1995
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Unreleased Rarities, Out-takes And Rehearsals Volume I 1984-1990
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Unreleased Rarities, Out-takes and Rehearsals Vol. 4
2010
3.00 | 1 ratings
Untitled
2014

CURRENT 93 Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 2 ratings
Mi-Mort w/Nurse with Wound
1983
3.42 | 5 ratings
LAShTAL
1984
2.00 | 2 ratings
Nylon Coverin' Body Smotherin' w/ Nurse with Wound
1984
3.33 | 3 ratings
No Hiding From The Blackbird / Burial Of The Stoned Sardine (with Nurse With Wound)
1984
3.02 | 4 ratings
In Menstrual Night
1985
3.83 | 5 ratings
Nightmare Culture w/Sickness of Snakes
1985
3.00 | 1 ratings
Dawn
1987
3.00 | 1 ratings
Happy Birthday Pigface Christus
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ekki Er Allt Gull, Sem Gloir... Skamt Er fganna Milli
1987
3.00 | 4 ratings
Crowleymass w/ HH
1987
1.00 | 1 ratings
Augenblick #5 w/Nurse with Wound
1988
3.00 | 3 ratings
The Red Face of God
1988
3.50 | 2 ratings
Faith's Favourites w/Nurse with Wound
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
Hourglass
1989
3.50 | 2 ratings
She is Dead and all Fall Down / God has Three Faces and Wood has no Name
1989
4.17 | 11 ratings
Imperium
1989
3.00 | 2 ratings
????! (with Nurse With Wound and Sol Invictus)
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
American Society / Broken Birds (with Randy California)
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
Horse w/Nurse with Wound
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
Summer of Love
1990
4.00 | 3 ratings
Looney Runes
1990
4.00 | 2 ratings
1888 w/Death in June
1991
3.00 | 3 ratings
The Nodding Folk
1993
4.96 | 7 ratings
Lucifer over London
1994
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Fire of the Mind
1994
4.08 | 5 ratings
Tamlin
1994
4.13 | 5 ratings
Where the Long Shadows Fall (BeforeTheInmostLight)
1994
3.92 | 6 ratings
The Starres are Marching Sadly Home (The InMostLight ThirdAndFinal)
1996
4.00 | 1 ratings
When the May Rain Comes
1996
5.00 | 3 ratings
Seven Seals (w/ Nature and Organization / Tiny Tim / Nurse With Wound)
1996
3.12 | 6 ratings
A Gothic Love Song
1998
3.50 | 2 ratings
Misery Farm
1999
4.85 | 8 ratings
I Have a Special Plan for this World
2000
4.00 | 3 ratings
Immortal Bird / Cripple And The Starfish (with Antony And The Johnsons)
2000
3.50 | 2 ratings
This Degenerate Little Town
2001
4.50 | 2 ratings
Music For The Horse Hospital / Sounds From The Horse Hospital (with Nurse With Wound)
2002
0.00 | 0 ratings
Calling For Vanished Faces I / Virgin Mary (with Antony And The Johnsons)
2003
4.74 | 4 ratings
Some Soft Black Stars Seen Over London
2003
4.00 | 4 ratings
The Seahorse Rears to Oblivion
2003
4.40 | 5 ratings
Hypnagogue
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Niemandswasser
2004
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Courtyard / Jerusalem
2004
3.50 | 2 ratings
Time Of The Last Persecution / Black Flowers, Please
2004
3.00 | 1 ratings
Ntnau Nhtp Mpr Ahenju Eukm Ouem Tpe
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Dream of the Green Goddess
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Moonbird
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Deuteronomy XXXIII:14 / Joshua X:12
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
Black Ships Ate the Sky Tour Single
2006
3.50 | 6 ratings
Inerrant Rays of Infallible Sun (Blackship Shrinebuilder)
2006
3.00 | 1 ratings
Black Ship In The Underworld (with Sebastian Horsley)
2007
2.50 | 2 ratings
Black Ships Heat the Dancefloor
2007
4.07 | 8 ratings
Birth Canal Blues
2008
4.33 | 3 ratings
Haunted Waves, Moving Graves
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
When the May Rain Comes
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Suddenly The Living Are Dying
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
Drank Honeysuckle ons
2011
4.00 | 1 ratings
Passenger Aleph In Name
2012
3.00 | 1 ratings
Purtle (with Nurse With Wound)
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
I Arose As Aleph, The Speller, The Killer
2013
4.00 | 1 ratings
Channel
2014
0.00 | 0 ratings
If a Star Turns into Ashes
2020

CURRENT 93 Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Inmost Light by CURRENT 93 album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2007
4.14 | 9 ratings

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The Inmost Light
Current 93 Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Compiles both the excellent All the Pretty Little Horses album and the EPs which precede and follow it, forming the entire Inmost Light trilogy. Adding in Where The Long Shadows Fall and The Stars Are Marching Sadly Home to the picture means that the album is essentially bookended by two long ambient pieces, allowing for a deeper establishment of atmosphere beforehand and a long chance for rumination afterwards. To be honest, I've never listened to it all the way through like this, and I think if I am in the mood for ambient Current 93 I listen to that and if I'm in the mood for their neofolk stuff I listen to that, but nonetheless getting the entire triptych in one package is good value.
 SixSixSix: SickSickSick by CURRENT 93 album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2004
4.04 | 5 ratings

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SixSixSix: SickSickSick
Current 93 Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Collects various Current 93 non-album tracks, from the whimsical music hall cover Misery Farm to more serious fare. The big gems here are the tracks from the Lucifer Over London and Tamlin EPs, the former of which is a classic and the latter of which is very, very good. The track listing is rounded off with the studio tracks from the rather muddled part-studio part-live Looney Runes release. The end result makes it a little bit of a mixed bag, but at the same time it's an interesting snapshot of where Current 93 was in the mid-1990s and is a convenient way of obtaining those two EPs in particular, which most Current 93 fans will want to obtain.
 Earth Covers Earth by CURRENT 93 album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1988
4.04 | 7 ratings

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Earth Covers Earth
Current 93 Prog Folk

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars While pretty far removed from their first album, Current 93's Earth Covers Earth is a pretty interesting album in relation to the neofolk sound they're most known for. In some ways you can really tell that this was one of their earlier attempts at truly defining this kind of sound and approach, with some pretty rough edges here and there, but even so, I find it pretty impressive just how well-conceived so many elements of this manage to be. The elegant sense of beauty brought in by the soft, acoustic instrumentation feels perfectly balanced with this wonderfully dark atmosphere and lyricism that manages to add this special quality to the music, evoking imagery and concepts like evil lurking in an otherwise safe, comfortable environment, or of one's innocence and naivety being torn away by the harsh truths of reality. Whatever it exactly might represent with its atmosphere, what feels certain to me is that it makes for a fantastic, enthralling album.

The Dilly Song immediately establishes that this isn't just going to be your typical, pastoral folk music. The song plays out like a horribly warped nursery rhyme, having similar melodic sensibilities to one, but being put through such a thick layer of dissonance that it sounds uncomfortable and downright disorienting, almost as if the vocals are entirely detached from everything else that's happening, and it makes for such a memorable opening song. While this might be great in setting things up, it's really Hourglass for Diana that makes this such an amazing little album to me. The way it evolves and develops is a real sight to behold, starting off with a basic set of guitar chords and gradually adding more to the mix, starting off with some gorgeous violin flourishes that play off the repetitive guitar work perfectly. By the end however, you've got this intense barrage from this spiralling set of strings as a flute feels like it's almost shouting at you with its constant short , loud bursts, taken even further by the way the various repetitive elements that the song has created by this point get louder while completely falling apart, which makes for a really twisted instrumental backdrop. David Tibet's vocal delivery really sells this as well, falling into his typical approach, where it's closer to half singing and half madly reciting abstract, yet evocative poetry. In the case of Hourglass for Diana however, it gets taken a step further thanks to the fact that he sounds as if he's getting so into it that he's practically screaming, bringing forth an unexpected, yet welcome element of visceral intensity to further elevate it all.

The title track works well as a counterweight to the nature of the previous song, having a sense of fragility to it instead. While this isn't at all devoid of a darker edge, having a melancholic, maybe even mournful tone to it, it's still such a gorgeous song that so clearly demonstrates how these instruments are able to make something so scary, yet then go and make something breathtaking right after. I find that the album drops off a bit from this point onwards, not that it's actually bad or anything, but it definitely doesn't quite feel as nicely formed and composed either, revealing a bit of that roughness present in certain ideas that are explored. Rome for Douglas is a truly great track in a lot of ways, particularly with Tibet's delivery causing each word uttered to take on a very confrontational angle, as if everything he's saying is almost being spat out with pure contempt. Really my main issue with this song is the way that it ends up feeling pretty repetitive, as while I think the chorus is amazing, the amount it gets repeated without any real changes causes it to feel stagnant, even though I still think that it's pretty great and I've likely simply been spoilt by the sheer perfection of Hourglass for Diana.

The final 2 songs really don't impress me all that much unfortunately. While I love the way Time Tryeth Truth reprises the title track, it just all feels a bit hollow and boring beyond this. The way everything works here is doubtlessly pretty, but unlike anything else this album has to offer, it doesn't feel as if it's contributing to something greater, it's just pretty for the sake of it and nothing more. Hourglass for Rosy Abelisk closes things off in a very unremarkable fashion, just generally being rather boring and not feeling as if it does anything other than make me want to hear Hourglass for Diana again, not even that backing droning soundscape manages to do anything I find that appealing. Despite my complaints about the final 2 tracks, I still think that this is fantastic overall, being really intense and atmospheric, yet leaving room for beauty, with some songwriting that feels truly masterful in places. This definitely acted as a blueprint for some directions that Current 93 would take in the future, but in certain regards, elements of this would still tower above a lot of their other works, even if I'm almost exclusively referring to Hourglass for Diana.

Best tracks: Hourglass for Diana, Earth Covers Earth

Weakest tracks: Time Tryeth Truth, Hourglass for Rosy Abelisk

 Invocations of Almost by CURRENT 93 album cover Studio Album, 2019
2.96 | 4 ratings

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Invocations of Almost
Current 93 Prog Folk

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars One of the things you have to say about David Tibet is that the music he produces for his Current 93 project is always evolving/morphing into something else. On his 2019 release "Invocations of Almost", music that he created to accompany his exhibition at The Begovich Gallery, you can fully experience his newest complete transformation. We have heard him moving to this style in his last few albums, and now he has moved into an ambient/drone laden style that almost sound more like post rock which incorporates subdued vocals, drones, shoegaze, minimal sound, and a more unpredictable dynamic style. But through it all, he keeps his lyrical style, just now with a lot less drama and a lot more monotone, whispery and spoken word than before, but with the dark and tenuous sound.

This is the overall feel of the music on this album. However, that doesn't mean that it is all a one-level, monotonous sound through the entire album. These 9 tracks, which are all unnamed movements, can vary a lot in emotion, some actually sounding quite joyous at times, and the dynamic level is always changing, just not in the typical "start soft and crescendo to a climax", but with a more classical style of building and breaking down at irregular intervals. The music consists of some synth, guitar, percussion, bass and all of the usual instruments in rock music, but more in a post-rock, progressive style. It's sometimes hypnotic and other times totally capturing your attention.

This is not music for everyone, which is one constant through Current 93's discography. It's experimental and non- traditional, still following the neo-folk lyricism, but with a style that incorporates a lot of the more recent styles and not so much of the traditional folk styles. Its a pretty good listen, but seems to wear out its welcome by the end of the album. Its music that probably does better with visualizations of some kind. As far as casual listening, however, it works okay as background music, which I suppose it was originally intended. It sounded great after the first listen, but seems to lose it's greatness after that and as such, doesn't get a full listen very often.

 Inerrant Rays of Infallible Sun (Blackship Shrinebuilder) by CURRENT 93 album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2006
3.50 | 6 ratings

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Inerrant Rays of Infallible Sun (Blackship Shrinebuilder)
Current 93 Prog Folk

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars This is a split single featuring the band Om on the A side and Current 93 on the B side. There were two different versions of this split single released, one for the US and one for Great Britain. Side A is a dark, stoner rock style track driven forward by a repeating bass riff and solid drums. The bass riff changes half way through the track for the second section, but the dark, fuzzy sound of the track remains throughout. The vocals are clean, but are drone-like as they are mostly sung as a single note melody that fluctuates a bit as it goes along. It's not too bad, probably not what you would expect to hear along with a Current 93 style sound, but there is not much in the way of prog here.

Where the Om track is the same on both versions of the single, the B side consists of the Current 93 track which apparently is different on the different versions that were issued. Tibet's vocals are a bit on the frantic side of his neo-folk style. The instrumentation hearkens back to some of Current 93's earlier albums, dark and a bit noisy with a lot of guitar noise. There is some musical tone to Tibet's chant/recitation style. The guitar motif changes very little as Tibet continues forward with his sing-song narration.

It's an interesting split which probably won't do much to win over fans of either band, and if there is some cross-interest from fans of one band or the other, it probably won't be for very long. Both styles are similar in topic, but not as similar in style, and the Current 93 track is not indicative of the music the project was producing at the time. This hard-to-find item probably isn't worth the trouble of looking for, but if you do run across it, it's still interesting enough to pick up more out of curiosity and novelty than anything else. Lovers of vocal drones and instrumental experimentation will love this though.

 In Menstrual Night by CURRENT 93 album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1985
3.02 | 4 ratings

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In Menstrual Night
Current 93 Prog Folk

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

2 stars This strange album was released in 1985 when David Tibet's project Current 93 was going through some stylistic changes and trying to find a place to land in the passage from their more abrasive sound to trying out different formats and experimental styles. I'm not exactly sure what the underlying purpose or reason for this album, and it may be from this lack of understanding that it doesn't make a lot of sense to me as to what purpose it would serve.

On the original vinyl album, there were only two tracks which took up a side each of the album. In 1994, the CD reissue added a third track that was taken from an earlier work to help flesh out this project. The album doesn't seem like a proper concept album or typical sounding recording, but more of a ritualistic recording of some fashion, or maybe just an experimentation, probably with vocal sounds and percussion (on the 2nd track), I'm not really 100 percent sure here. But it is one of the toughest Current 93 albums to sit through.

Sucking Up Souls - This is a surreal, vocal sound collage with a mixture of spoken word, chanting and singing. The snippets and loops come and go, usually playing over each other and feature Tibet and various other guests male and female. The vocals are all under the influence of various types of special effects to give it all a spooky and psychedelic effect. It's not until 10 minutes into the track that you start to hear some minimal brass and subdued percussion which soon fades deep into the background of the layers of vocal loops. Unsettling sounds and vocalizations appear at different times throughout this 21 minute track. Not much musical going on here, but more of a curious art piece.

To Feed the Moon - An interesting 12/8 percussive passages fades slowly in building up intensity as it rolls along. When it finally levels off in volume, you can hear more vocalization loops superimposed over each other similar to the first track. The percussion will continue in the same beat for long sections with some variance coming along once in a while. The vocalizations fade to the back ground, but other electronically produced tones and noises start sounding off, and the voices fade in and out as the percussion shifts position and beat in long intervals. After nine minutes, the percussion stops and we are left with just vocal loops again, but in a more minimal vein. After a few minutes, the percussion fades back in again. The track continues to roll along with the percussion and vocal loops for almost 20 minutes.

KillyKillKill (A Fire Sermon) - This was a bonus track that was finally added to the CD reissue released in 1994. It was originally part of a collaborative album released with the project "Coil" on an album named "Nightmare Culture". It has a somewhat regal sounding beginning that seems like it could be lifted from some recording. After a short beginning, tribal chanting and deep, dark instrumental sounds give this track a much darker atmosphere. As it moves along, vocalizations and instrumental noises ebb and flow along. This one sounds more like the heavier and darker style of the project at the time. It is more of their pre-neo-folk style. You'll recognize a musical sample here and there as it rolls along. It's probably the most interesting of the tracks, but it's still not something you would play for listening pleasure as it continues to be totally experimental and bizarre. Five minutes in, you can hear a recitation from Tibet in the mix of strangeness, and at points, his recitations become quite animated and even violent as does the bits of instrumentation signifying some impeding doom and destruction.

This album would end up generating a remix album called "A Little Menstrual Night Music" which features remixed versions of the 3 tracks done by Andrew Liles. This is a completely different sounding album and seems to be more of a total restructuring of the tracks that a simple remix. But, this is not an album that I would recommend anyone beginning with when exploring Current 93's massive discography. In fact, it is one that is probably left with the rabid fans, followers and completionists out there, and would be of very little interest to most casual listeners. To me, the only real interesting track here is the 3rd track because of it's darker and more industrial style. The other two tracks are too difficult to sit through.

 Imperium by CURRENT 93 album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1989
4.17 | 11 ratings

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Imperium
Current 93 Prog Folk

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars This album, originally very limited, was sort of an experiment for David Tibet's Current 93 project. Previously, the focus was on noisy, industrial heaviness. The project was starting its foray into a more organic neo-folk style, and this album would help usher that in.

Imperium I - It begins with a dark and sinister ambience with Tibet whispering at the start of the track. His vocals slowly build to his spoken/sung style, but stays quite soft, but you can feel the tension building.

Imperium II - This is where the listener can start to hear borrowed harp samples that have been manipulated, bent and looped (the samples come from "Renaissance of the Celtic Harp" by Alan Stivell) which starts to come out of the menacing quietness of the previous track. There is a bit more volume on this track and Tibet's vocals become a tad more intense, but not by much. However, there is more of a melodic bent to this one, and the reverb is used as a very effective special effect to add to the mysteriousness of it all. It is a bit eerie, especially considering the questionable lyric content, but, at the same time, there is a pleasant feel to it all no matter how creepy it sounds.

Imperium III - Now there are some vocal effects with an extremely slowed down vocal sample taking this further into avant-garde territory. Tibet's voice gets further buried into reverb effects, and gets more and more intense as it continues, varying from spoken to sing-song styles freely. If you are not yet feeling uneasy by the time you get to this track, you soon will be. As the volume increases slowly, Tibet's reverb manipulations make it sound more like he is speaking in a large, empty auditorium. By the end of the track, though, the vocals and instrumental manipulation falls back in volume to a spooky ambience.

Imperium IV - This section seems a bit more controlled as the strumming starts and carries through the track, though it get some manipulation to keep things weird, and Tibet sound much more melodic here, but singing a bit out of tune at some points. Tibet also gets some of the Biblical references mixed up, but try not to let it bother you too much since it's all just interpretations of history anyway.

Be - A manipulated echo as Tibet recites one of his lyrical odes with some odd effects and strumming going on. This one is very short.

Locust - This track is much more traditional sounding in a folk-rock sense. It's the first time we hear any percussion which establishes a constant rhythm along with an industrial sounding metal strum while Tibet lightens up a bit on the raspiness and sounds a bit friendlier and melodic at times. The off key sound of his vocals is one of the signature sounds, but it actually starts to grow on you after a while to the point that you might make the mistake of saying its accessible, but it's not. The intensity builds over the course of the track (over 9 minutes), the vocals becoming more frantic and more instrumental loops get added in as it goes along.

Or - Begins with a menacing sounding male choir in the background buried in reverb while Tibet recites in a more oratorical fashion. It comes off sounding almost like a preacher talking as a religious sounding, old, manipulated recording of a hymn plays behind him. Well into the 3rd minute, a slow drum beat and bass replaces the recording. The subject of the preaching seems to be about the horrid signs of the last days which grows in intensity as it goes on. Two competing vocal lines by Tibet split off and start preaching against each other, getting quite loud at points. The drums pound louder and louder and get quite frantic along with chimes and etc as Tibet yells and screams out to a crazy climax.

Alone - A lone bass accompanies Tibet's oratorio and a drone-like sound plays lightly behind it all. Reverb effects surround his voice as the track continues, but the background instrumentation remains the same minimal style, but the droning keys do get a bit more intense. It's actually more interesting than it all sound as it is more like a recitation than anything.

The Durtro version has two additional tracks that were originally released on a 7" split collaboration with Nurse With Wound :

Time Stands Still - Different vocal lines are twined around each other as a march-like dirge plays along behind it all giving it a celtic feel.

Epilogue - A short spoken word piece that wraps it all up.

This is a bit of a strange one, yet it is still attractive in its own way, especially to fans of Tibet's project as it is one of the transitional albums as the project shifted it's focus from noisy music to a more pensive, yet still sinister folk sound. It's not going to be one for the masses, but then, its difficult to say any Current 93 album is for the masses. But it is still well done for those that enjoy this experimental folk sound. It isn't the best one to get started on as far as the project's discography goes, but it's still one that is quite important and even entertaining in its own right. Its folk with an avant-garde edge.

 Immortal Bird / Cripple And The Starfish (with Antony And The Johnsons) by CURRENT 93 album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2000
4.00 | 3 ratings

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Immortal Bird / Cripple And The Starfish (with Antony And The Johnsons)
Current 93 Prog Folk

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars Here is a very nice split single featuring Tibet's project Current 93 on the A side along with the equally talented and engaging band Antony and the Johnsons. For newcomers to both of these bands, you will hear one song each that really show the best of what these projects have to offer. Antony has also guested on several Current 93 albums and has one of the most memorable voices ever, a very expressive and full mid-range.

Immortal Bird - A nicely accompanied track with guitar, orchestral keys and percussion accompanying David Tibet's usual spoken/sung vocals. This track comes from the Current 93 album "Sleep Has His House" which features Michael Cashmore doing most of the instrumentation, Steven Stapleton on drums and mixing and, of course, Tibet on vocals and composition. It is quite a lovely track, one of the projects more accessible ones even with Tibet's vocal delivery style. But a lot of it is instrumental.

Cripple and the Starfish - The B-side is from Antony & the Johnsons with whom Tibet has worked with on many Current 93 albums. If you haven't heard Antony's voice, just know that he is a lot more melodic than Tibet, though his vocal is definitely unique, if you really listen, you can hear how beautiful and expressive his voice is. Several traditional instruments accompany the vocals, these performers and The Johnson. Their instrumentals always perfectly backup Antony's vocals. There is not percussion, but the music is quite beautiful using cello, sax, clarinet, violin, harp and piano with only a little percussion in this instance. It's also quite a lovely song.

It might be a difficult split single to find, but it is definitely worth your while to look it up as both songs are excellent and should probably appeal to lovers of both bands and even to people that have never heard them before. It's only just over 10 minutes total, but if it appeals to you, then you should explore the music of both bands.

 I Am The Last Of All The Field That Fell (A Channel) by CURRENT 93 album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.02 | 12 ratings

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I Am The Last Of All The Field That Fell (A Channel)
Current 93 Prog Folk

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars Released in 2014, Current 93's "I Am the Last of All the Field that Fell (A Channel)" is another of the many albums released by the project headed over by David Tibet. Tibet has really been the only constant with the project through the years. However, he has utilized a collective of several different musicians on his albums. This always helps bring more depth and variety to his music, which definitely benefits from the wide array of talent from these various musicians.

The music on this album, at first listen, may seem too much alike. However, the only thing that remains constant through the album is the piano interpretations of classically-trained Dutch pianist Reinier Van Houdt. Every one of the tracks feature his piano which is even more prevalent than Tibet himself, though he is there a lot also with his unique speak-sing style. On this album, his vocals are less melodious, however and more tuneless, but not quite just plain spoken word either.

Those things are the only constants on this album. Beginning with "The Invisible Church", the piano chords are quite dissonant, and this is the case through the entire track. To help bring in more sound and depth, Bobbie Watson's (from Comus) lovely soprano vocals sing along as Tibet's monotone-like voice continues along. Then John Zorn brings along his sax to give even more of a layer of chaos to the track. This is the first time Zorn has guested on any of Current 93's albums, but it was a given that he would eventually appear in this discography. At the same time, we get the addition of a cello, acoustic guitar and drums as it all continues. "Those Flowers Grew" becomes less dissonant and less chaotic, but retains Zorn's sax, but is also a little less interesting, however you can hear how Tibet's use of inflection and urgency directs the instruments to increase or decrease in intensity even as the piano continues to drive the track along as it does throughout the album.

In various points of the album, there is a recitative called "Truth is One" read by another guest to provide a few breaks from Tibet's signature vocalizations. "Kings and Things" is a more quiet, yet sometimes quietly chaotic, track and utilizes Bobbie Watson again, which is something you wish would occur more often on the album as it helps to soften the sometimes brashness of Tibet's vocals. This is what you can expect through most of this album but with some extreme differences at times. This is the case with the heavy guitar outbursts that work almost like thunder blasts contrasting the persistent piano and soft flute on "The Heart Full of Eyes" and the track that nears extreme music on "And Onto PickNickMagick". There is also the very surprising turn on the almost accessible pop-beat and instrumentation on "I Remember the Berlin Boys" which almost sounds like an attempt at a radio-friendly single, even with Tibet's vocals. Another great surprise is the jazz-influenced sounds of "Spring Sand Spent Larks" which sees the return of Zorn's sax.

To also help in the variety department, Tibet brings along a few other friends to take over lead vocals on a couple of tracks. Antony Hegarty (from Antony & the Johnsons) utilizes his more melodic, yet unique style on the lovely "Mourned Winter Then" which also utilizes some deep, monastic wordless vocals that give the song even more depth. Also, Nick Cave comes in for lead vocals on the last track "I Could Not Shift the Shadow" where his deep vocals sound right at home with Tibet's lyrics and the shimmering harmonizations of some background vocalists. A very lovely Ziorn sax solo that plays under the piano riff at the end of this track finishes off the album.

As with most of Current 93's albums, the taste for Tibet's music is an acquired one. His subjects for lyrics are quite deeply entrenched in his religious beliefs and ends up being way over the heads of many listeners. However, there is a lot of beauty and variety in this album and that is one of Tibet's strengths, knowing (for the most part) what musicians will match the atmosphere he is trying to create from each track. It doesn't always work on this album, but it does work more often than not. Those that love the sometimes strange and unusual sounds of Neo-folk mixed with experimental progressive music will find a lot to love here.

 A Gothic Love Song by CURRENT 93 album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1998
3.12 | 6 ratings

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A Gothic Love Song
Current 93 Prog Folk

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars This single from Current 93 is an interesting one especially when trying to give it a fair rating. The A side is the title track and is one of the most lovely songs of the project's history. The song starts off with a nice drone-ish introduction which gives some depth to the track by varying tones. Soon, the track falls into a solo piano and David Tibet's signature "songspeak" style, but throughout, he remains pensive and restrained making for a perfect track that should have attracted a lot more attention than it did. It's a perfect track.

Unfortunately, the B side doesn't really fit the A side very well. "Moon: Page 209, Twenty Two Eighteen Now" is an odd choice to back up this single. It is a nearly 10 minute drone that never changes it's note. The thing that does change in this track is the dynamic and the layers. Apparently, the drone is produced by 4 mystery instruments, but it sounds live a string quartet as the layers are added in slowly in a constant flow. There is a pulsating texture to it all, and the lower tone (cello sounding), which comes in quietly below the other tones eventually almost obliterates the other layers before it calms down and fades away while the other tones continue to build and begin pulsating faster and faster until the end. It's interesting, but not something that fits the beauty of the other track and is probably more effective placed with other experimental tracks, but seeming out of place here.

It would be easy just to say this one is only good for collectors and fans, but the title track is just too good to be ignored. The track can be found on the album, however, it is unfortunately shortened as the introductory section is left off and it doesn't stand out as well as it does here. So, it kind of makes this single much more necessary. So, in the end, I will split the difference and will give it 3 stars. But, be warned, if you are not the type to sit through a single-note drone, you will probably only find yourself playing the A side.

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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