This is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful secrets in music. As Current 93 albums go, it's quite unusual. Gone are the twenty minute distorted choirs with anti-religious screaming, as too gone are the folky guitars, flutes and other odd instruments that cropped up on the records. This album is almost purely piano and poetry, David Tibet's voice sounding more beautiful then ever before, and Maja Elliot's piano as heartbreaking as music comes. The album sounds as if Tibet is shunning all that has come before him. His lyrics are, as is often said in regards to the album, deeply personal, and seem to deal with regret, and maybe exorcism of the past. The music itself, whilst beautiful, is no easy load. The piano is every bit as melancholy as Tibet's lyrics, and the mood changes very little throughout. For those lucky enough to own the limited edition digipak, the album ends with a slight return to form, with Steven Stapleton and Michael Cashmore back onboard for the ten minute epic ambient 'Chewing On Shadows' - a heartbreaking ending to a heartbreaking album. My personal favourites would be the un-hit single, A Gothic Love Song (track 3), The Signs In The Stars (track 8), and Whilst The Night Rejoyces Profound And Still (track 9), but this is certainly an album with no bad tracks. For anyone after subtle but beautiful music, look no further.
Whilst Current 93's early work saw mainstay David Tibet wrestling with ideas on religion, apocalypse and the world at large, 1996's "Inmost Light" trilogy saw him turn his gaze inwards, examining his own life in uncomfortable depth. This exceptional album takes this even further. Paring down the C93 sound to just piano and Tibet's haunting and disturbed voice, these songs are intensly personal, an uneasy and, at times, genuinely distressing look into the author's emotional life. Clearly an examination of loss, probably death, David Tibet frames his most touching, poetic and upsetting lyrics to date with simple yet enthralling piano lines, written by long term collaborator Michael Cashmore. Only on the final track does the trademark C93 sound belatedly appear, with Steven Stapleton (C93's regular producer) and Christoph Heemann creating a cut-up, drone-fuelled atmosphere for Tibet's epilogue. This is not an easy album to enjoy. But it is a compelling, emotive journey through loss, grief and personal darkness which repays every listen. Highest recommendation possible.
Stunning...utterly stunning. I can find no words to accurately describe how much I love this album. It is unlike anything Current93 have ever done before, or after. The simple, yet powerful piano lines of Michael Cashmore and David Tibet's unique voice are the dominant instrumentation present. Less most definitely is more. The songs themselves are deeply personal, chronicling Tibet's life and loves and hates, most notably in the venomous "Gothic Love Song", which carries a faint hint of an orchestra beneath it, hinting at the over-the-top "manifest decadence" of the lyrics' antagonist. A lot of people say that this is not an easy album, but personally I found it the most accessible and consistent of all C93's work. But it does have its unsettling moments, such as the final track's one and only line "The car sweeps by with a murdered child, the car sweeps by with a violated girl..." It is also worth buying Antony and the Johnsons' "I Fell in Love with a Dead Boy" single for their moving rendition of "Soft Black Stars".