Current 93

Baalstorm, Sing Omega

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Released no more than a year after 2009's fretful Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain, Baalstorm, Sing Omega is the other side of Current 93, if such a purposeful pendulum could ever be placed on such a pedestal. Opening with the near-spoken word overture of "Baalstorm! Baalstorm!," the album is near orchestral in intent if not delivery, soundscapes and shapes that switch and whisper through David Tibet's customarily blasted heath of private myth and vision. Lonely and lyrical, moody and magic, it hisses and howls with Tibet's expected abstract energy -- the voices of spectral children, the invocations of Biblical apocalypse, and Louis Wain-ian kittens -- yet it does so with a far more harmonic ear than his recent albums. There are no tunes here, just themes and images that replace them so thoroughly that you scarcely notice their absence -- until those moments ("I Dreamt I Was Æon," "The Nudes Lift Shields for War") when they do creep into view, and paint the sparsity of their surroundings in even darker shadows. It is an album that screams, cries, mystifies, and flies; the discordant funeral march that pounds beneath "Night! Death! Storm! Omega!" contrasts itself cruelly with the pretty tinkle of "Passenger Aleph in Name," while the melancholy cello that is the album's most pronounced instrument opens the door to all manner of imaginings. Just like the best Current 93 is meant to do.

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