Current 93
Baalstorm, Sing Omega


4.0
excellent

Review

by Matthew D. French USER (50 Reviews)
November 12th, 2010 | 27 replies | 7,862 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Current 93 are just as consistent as ever. Baalstorm, Sing Omega is one of 2010’s hidden gems, and it’s a mighty fine record.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Heard of Madame Max?
She hides her gargoyle eyes
Reflects torture and landslides
Her carrion gun is cocked
And ready for flight
When BaalStorm shudders


So I’ve been sitting here for the past couple of hours trying to collect and jot down my thoughts on just how unfathomably odd Baalstorm, Sing Omega is and I just can’t find the words to describe it. The only concisely realized thought I have is: ‘What. The. Fuck.’ Being that I’m not intimately familiar with ‘neo-folk’, it’s difficult for me to place this album against something of substantial praise, but despite that, I can confirm that the music here is completely drenched in odd textures and contorted vocals, and it’s all the better for it. For those of you not in the know, Current 93 is a prolific British group that was founded by David Tibet, whose since been the only consistent member. Right from the get-go it’s apparent that this is a band that thrives on their ability to convey lurid imagery through Tibet’s nursery-rhyme-esque lyrics and subtle textures.

Fans of the older Current 93 might find Baalstorm, Sing Omega a little uncomfortable at first, mainly because of the vocals - taking on a more profound style - and the lovely acoustic passages fans fawn over have gone by the wayside. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, as they’ve allowed themselves more room to explore and venture out further. “With Flowers in the Garden of Fires” has a Middle Eastern feel to it; “Passenger Aleph in Name” features strings you’d expect to hear the Kronos Quartet playing for an OST like The Fountain; and “I Dreamt I Was Aeon” has a backing synth similar to something you’d hear a band like Styx come up with, except darker. It’s definitely varied enough to merit a full listen from any long-standing fans of the band or newcomers for that matter.

Current 93 have perhaps even written their best song to date on Baalstorm, Sing Omega. Demented organ, crows squawking, unintelligible children spontaneously screaming, smooth strings, overly enunciated vocals, sampling of wind, striking lighting, and crashing cymbals all make up for what is “I Dance Narcoleptic”. Sounds retarded, doesn’t it? It is, but in such a way that the listener becomes immersed in the overtly dark and wacky nature of both the music and Tibet’s excoriating voice. It’s the bewilderment at the miscellaneous nature of “I Dance Narcoleptic” that allows for replay value and makes it so essential. To put it into perspective: think of a time when you’ve witnessed something truly disturbing or odd, but couldn’t help but continue to maintain focus on it. This is the charm behind “I Dance Narcoleptic” - it invites you to open your mind to its disturbing and unconventional nature and sticks in your head as a result of simply being different. After the song is over we’re graced with white noise emulating the sound of a torrent waterfall descending over a steep, rocky surface and a contextual stream of dreamy vocals. It’s a more than fitting end to a considerably outlandish album.

Unfortunately Current 93 will continue to be overlooked by people, despite being pioneers of the so-called ‘apocalypse/neo-folk’ genres and going strong for twenty five plus years now. Baalstorm, Sing Omega is another fine addition to their gargantuan discography and a hidden gem of 2010. My only criticism is that certain songs are overlong and the vocals tend to come off as cheesy at times (they can be really over-the-top). Despite that, there’s not much in the way of stopping this from being an extraordinary listen. Of course it goes without saying that Current 93 aren’t for everyone, but they’re perhaps one of the most innovative bands still making consistently enjoyable music.



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user ratings (26)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Fugue
November 12th 2010



7351 Comments


What. The. Fuck.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
November 12th 2010



15281 Comments


What the folk. Great review.

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus

pizzamachine
November 12th 2010



12571 Comments


Good writing Spyro! Unfortunately, I can't say I like this.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
November 12th 2010



17195 Comments


great write up. you know where i stand on this

Gyromania
November 12th 2010



15164 Comments


Thank you all for the kind words =]

Dryden
November 12th 2010



12928 Comments


current 93 are so good

Gyromania
November 12th 2010



15164 Comments


Glad we agree. I'm waiting for Meatplow and Austin to get here.

Realm
November 12th 2010



2074 Comments


Current 93 are like great, man.

Gyromania
November 12th 2010



15164 Comments


I post reviews at the worst times, lol.

Meatplow
November 13th 2010



5524 Comments


Must have missed this, glad someone reviewed it actually.

I was a little underwhelmed at first, I probably enjoy Aleph just a little bit more. This seems a continuation of the themes on that album though, in a way and I really like the direction C93 has gone over the past few years.

I’m not intimately familiar with ‘neo-folk’


You need to change this, get the following -

Current 93 - Imperium, Christ and The Pale Queens Mighty In Sorrow, Swastikas For Goddy, All The Pretty Little Horses
Death In June - Burial, The Wall of Sacrifice, Brown Book, But, What Ends When The Symbols Shatter?, Rose Clouds of Holocaust, Kapo!
Sol Invictus - Lex Talionis, King & Queen, Thrones
Fire + Ice - Gilded By The Sun, Hollow Ways, Runa, Birdking
Nature & Organisation - Beauty Reaps The Blood of Solitude
Death In June & Boyd Rice - Scorpion Wind

The last two are the pinnacle of the British scene for me, this isn't even to touch the stuff from the rest of the world (particularly Europe, where it seems to have taken off). It is pretty much a revolving door of artists who have all lived in each others pockets and collaborated over the years, plenty of familiar sounds to be had, so much to discover.

Edwin
November 13th 2010



1399 Comments


Amazing group. Haven't heard this one however.

Gyromania
November 13th 2010



15164 Comments


Having only ever heard Aleph and Thunder Perfect Mind I thought that this stood up well enough to both. I think it's as good, if not perhaps better than Aleph, however, it doesn't touch Thunder Perfect Mind

Thanks a lot for the recommendations Meatplow, I appreciate that. I think I'll first look into All The Pretty Little Horses first, as it's a band I'm familiar with and I've heard great things, but I'll definitely work on acquiring the others as well.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
November 13th 2010



10584 Comments


Fantastic review.

Digging: United Nations - The Next Four Years

Ire
November 13th 2010



41746 Comments


this is good

Gyromania
November 13th 2010



15164 Comments


Thanks Elijah. Bump

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 14th 2010



7135 Comments


WHAT THE - can't believe I missed a Gyro review!

This is a great review man - easily one of your best (if not the best). I like the way you let some personality win through, and it has to be said that the flair which it exudes wouldn't seem entirely out of place on a contributor-level piece =)

Please accept my apologies for being so late to the party.

Gyromania
November 14th 2010



15164 Comments


Irving, you're far too kind =] Thank you very much man. Also: it's no biggie, my reviews sometimes fly below the radar as I tend to review obscure shit from time to time.

Yotimi
November 16th 2010



6436 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Such a strange album. Don't know if I like it yet

Gyromania
November 16th 2010



15164 Comments


I love it, but it does take time for most.

Meatplow
November 17th 2010



5524 Comments


I wouldn't advise starting here



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