“Almost in the beginning was the murderer, and I fell faceless into the world, unaware the moon could change its face”
Current 93’s esoterically mythological career has taken innumerous twists and turns into obscure genre-bending corridors as if Tibet himself was living between realms co-existing as the muse for both dominions, and fortunately for us the message is far from obtuse, and moreso direct of a message your god would herd you away from. Plus, the pretty acoustics sure help.
Aleph At Hallucinatory Mountain is a new venture for Current 93 that takes influence from eastern music moreso than recent memory and continues the enigma that is Tibet’s narrations, however over long periods of time he begins to make sense…whether that is good or not is your perception. The opening track almost immediately engorges you into droning, buzzing electronic layers until it brings in the slow, distorted(!) riff style the band finally begins to incorporate to a great extent. And yet, while the tracks flow together seamlessly, each one has its own identity (Poppyseed’s upbeat European folk nuances, Not Because The Fox Barks’ doomy tendancies and muffled, howling shrieks, As Real As Rainbows’ beautiful piano dirge). There’s also a few new influences, or at least influences composed in a more unique than previous, such as the IBM sounds spliced with the band’s freeform unfolding of folk and choir ambience.
Amongst these incredibly detailed arrangements, you have the exceptionally illustrative and discordant performance of Tibet’s vocals. It’s quite amazing how his style doesn’t get old from album to album, but this could be due to his subtle alterations of tone and melody throughout the songs that keep you ensnared in his stories, which seem to be conceptual here. The ways he chooses to change the mood of the songs is interesting enough, but when he stays with the character the music brings, like in the melancholic UrShadow, the concordance is remarkably natural and enthralling.
Aleph At Hallucinatory Mountain is illustrious to say the least. Neofolk is also not the most palpable genre, and Current 93’s style doesn’t help this matter, but if it is something that grows on you, it’s hard to not love it. Close-minded people need not apply.