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current 93 - Aleph At Hallucinatory Mountain
Always a band to divide opinion, Current 93 return with another apocalyptic doom-folk epic, their follow-up to the hugely ambitious (and according to the press release, double-platinum selling) Black Ships Ate The Sky. Once again David Tibet assembles an auspicious line-up of supporting players, with regulars like Stephen Stapleton, Andrew Lilesand Baby Dee joined by Andrew WK, James Blackshaw, Alex Neilson, Pantaleimon, Matt Sweeney, Hush Arbors' Keith Wood and 'adult entertainer' Sasha Grey, who is clearly no stranger to open-minded collaborations (as confirmed by another fact from the press release: her career credentials include awards for 'Best Three Way Sex Scene' and 'Best Group Scene' at the Adult Video Network awards). Given such a far-reaching cast this record acquires a cinematically expansive quality, something reinforced by Tibet's knack with narrative. The half-spoken lyrics are great, playing out like a perverse sermon doused in dark mythology and Biblical allusion while the intensely ambitious musical component (dabbling in archaic folk, industrial sound-sculpting and gutsy metal guitars) might be the most complex set Current 93 has produced to date. Originally this was conceived as a sprawling trilogy of albums, but Tibet and co. have compacted everything into a single long-player, meaning there's a density here that'll keep C93 fanatics busy for a long, long time to come.