Current 93

Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain

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Blasted blues carved from a conceptual monolith that might well be David Tibet's most inflamed vision since The Inmost Light, Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain is the sound of Current 93 at their most bruising. Sonically, it is a smorgasbord of feedback and electronics, shrieking shots and shocks of imagery that commence their assault on the opening "Aleph Is the Butterfly Net"; dip for the contrarily hushed "As Real as Rainbows," with its snatches of speech and conversation whispered out by a guesting Sasha Grey; and then implode again around the sepulchral "Invocation of Almost," guitars screaming like incendiary bombs while Tibet recites with almost Biblical solemnity over a carnage that is all the more effective for its unpredictability. It is arguable whether Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain could be considered Current 93's heaviest album, since the nightmare loops of their '80s output also sleep beneath some of Tibet's tenderest melodies: "On Docetic Mountain" is mournfully beautiful because of, not despite, the riffs that scythe across the cellos; "Poppyskins" is epic regardless of the absence of any obviously ear-catching embellishments; and "UrShadow" could have been culled from almost any Current 93 album, at almost any time. This is the beauty of Tibet's constantly shifting and eternally mesmerizing vision; at his best (and this album is up there with any of it), he is not simply timeless. He eclipses time altogether.

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