A horrible hack

Current 93

Aleph At Hallucinatory Mountain

Year Released: 2009
Format: CD
Label: Coptic Cat
Reviewed by Ben Haynes on Jul 15, 2009
A devout Christian obsessed with scripture, Current 93’s David Tibet has spent the last three decades boldly exploring various interpretations of the occult, the mystic, the holy and the personal. Following in fairly close proximity to his last full-length – the stunning, critically lauded and double-platinum selling masterpiece ‘Black Ships Ate The Sky’ (2006), Tibet amassed a supergroup-esque collective of musicians and vocalists to record a sprawling conceptual trilogy of albums for his protagonist, Aleph. After the sessions, however, Tibet chose to condense the recordings into a single album with eight songs making the cut. Steven Stapleton (Nurse With Wound), Ossian Brown (Coil, Cyclobe), Andrew Liles, Matt Sweeney (Chavez, Zwan, Superwolf), Andrew W.K., James Blackshaw, Alex Neilson (Red Krayola), Baby Dee, Keith Wood (Hush Arbors, the Vanishing Voice, Sunburned), Andria Degens (Pantaleimon), and hardcore porn star Sasha Grey among several others, are the cast of characters involved.

Both the Studio and Live recorded ‘Birth Canal Blues’ EPs (2008), and previous ‘Inerrant Rays Of Infallible Sun’ split 10” with Om (2006) had introduced a more contemporary rock-infused doom and drone aesthetic to Current 93’s already multifaceted sound, and further evidence of this new direction is prevalent here on ‘Aleph At Hallucinatory Mountain’. The record ebbs and flows between intense, fuzzy, cacophonous guitars and rolling percussion, hazy electronic drones and washes, and more pensive folk and ambient compositions, all a highly complimentary vehicle for Tibet’s uniquely chilling, sensational vocal delivery.

Dark, unsettling and deeply beautiful, ‘Aleph’ evolves so fluidly and showcases yet another side to Tibet’s broad, expansive body of output. Equally, it also represents an unusually inviting and accessible entry-point for newcomers to Current 93’s incredible canon. A timeless, compelling and quite remarkable album that’s as heavy and bombastic as it is immersive and psychedelic.
Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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