I have been a fan of David Tibet's Current 93 since 1988 when its mystery and beauty were revealed to me in my college years. Kat, thank you for turning me onto such a great band and a whole slew of new music!  I have since grown with the band, going through changes in my life as they went through changes in their musical styles.  I have settled into a very eclectic taste in music, but Current 93 has been the cornerstone of my CD collection from early on.

    Briefly, for those of you unfamiliar with the music, Current 93 is primarily the work of David Tibet and Steven Stapleton (Nurse With Wound).  How to describe them?  Chaotic, bowel churning noise;  morose musings of futility;  salvation;  destruction and utter annhilation;  richly layered musical sculpture; melodic folk music.  These are all just the demons hovering at the edge of the pit that is the music of the Current.  The sound changes and evolves with each release, many building on the one before.  There is no one work that can be described as atypical of Current 93, just as there is no one work that can describe them as a whole.

    I have not liked everything they have released, as you will see. But with such an immense body of work, there are bound to be releases that do not appeal, in their entirety, to even the staunchest follower of this band. I know that some will be offended as they read that their favorite C93 releases are not as dear to everyone.  All I can tell you, is that you are more than welcome to your own opinion.  David's music touches all of us in different ways and at different times.  People often hold almost mystical attachments to certain issuances of the Current.

    I have reviewed only the releases that I own.  There a still a few discs out there which I do not own, but they are discs I am not overly fond of.  They will be added when I find them used.  For a more chronological and complete listing of the entire canon, to include LPs, please go to Skot's Official C93 page on  For more detailed opinions, to include tracklistings and cover art, you should take a look at Satya's Current 93 page at  It is a much more professional and pleasing layout - super informative. 

Top Ten Current 93 Releases as per Ryoko and the Oni
1.  Thunder Perfect Mind 6.  IHave a Special Plan for this World
2.  Dog's Blood Rising 7.  Lucifer Over London
3.  Island 8.  Imperium
4.  All the Pretty Horsies, the Trilogy 9.  Dawn
5.  Soft Black Stars 10.  Sleep has His House


Christ and the Pale Queens: MAL 666CD, circa 1988. This CD consists of 7 tracks of varying quality. The first four are among C93's better works. Dogun is almost danceable (!) with a great drumbeat, distorted loops, and the mixing refrains of "Destruction/Take the torch to daddy's house." The Ballad of Christ and the Pale Queens is the standout song on this CD. A hard strum on the guitar opens this folksy track, with nice wood block percussion. The song is a very upbeat duet between David and Rose, and is a prelude to the shape of things to come. Overall, this is a beautiful release with only one problem. I'm afraid I find the last track, Mighty in Sorrow, to be rather needless. For 20 minutes we are treated to the same medieval sounding loop...No change, no variation. Some may find this sort of track to be meditative, and they are certainly entitled to their own opinions. I found it to be an early example of C93's use of filler.

Dawn: DURTRO 002CD, circa 1988. One of the best of the soundscape periods, second only to Dog's Blood Rising. This is one of those CDs that really must be listened to in its entirety to be fully enjoyed. This is odd since the pieces were not recorded together, nor intended for release on one CD. I'm a big fan of Great Black Time. It's fabulous dinner music! Actually, Dawn has more of a mystical feel to it than the Apocalyptic noise assault of Nature Unveiled or the terrifying Dog's Blood Rising. I long for the day David will return to soundscapes of this sort. He and Steven made fine composers, and while I do appreciate David as a lyricist, I'm afraid he has turned his back on another great talent. I understand that the LP and CD differ trackless.

Crooked Crosses for the Nodding God: UDCD, 1989. This is the remix companion to Swastikas for Noddy. The songs follow a different order and are mixed differently as well. Some, such as Beausoleil, are very different sounding songs. Everything you will see in the description for Swastikas also applies to Crooked Crosses. I would expect to see this re released in the near future, as I believe it is considered by most to be the better of the two. I do want to emphasize that this release is well worth owning, even if you already have Swastikas, or vice versa.

Looney Runes: DURTRO 004CD,circa 1990. Being a cassette man back in my High School and College days, this was the first C93 CD I purchased, and so it has a great deal of sentimental value to me...I even got a tat of the back cover. Other than that, it is a short, inexpensive look at what C93 are capable of. I recommend it as a good introduction for people not yet in the know about this band. For under ten dollars, it makes a great birthday gift! The songs are live and studio recordings. The quality of the live pieces are good, and the studio tracks are plain excellent. Another wonderful release.

Island: DURTRO 006CD, 1991. This CD was a surprising departure for David. Until I heard this, I had known only two sides to C93: Nightmarish soundscapes and dark folk music. This music is almost dreamy. Under the right circumstances, I can feel myself floating away when I hear this disc. Some of the song titles may sound familiar to you. I assure you, the renditions are not. Alas, all is not perfection here. With a little more thought and focus, this could have been the C93 lullabye album, full of lush beautiful music. What hurts the CD as a whole are two tracks: Crowleymass and Paperback Honey - cute, catchy, poppy tunes that are fun, but belong on a separate EP. As is, they just spoil the euphoric daydream of Island.

As the World Disappears: DURTRO 007, Circa 1991. One of many live C93 releases, this one recorded in Amiens, France. I'm not a big fan of live recordings, but this is a generally nice job. Very laid back with sparse instrumentation, this makes a nice follow-up to the dreamy Island. There is also a return to the folk sound here (as much of the material is from Earth Covers Earth) and an interesting version of Horsey, a track I'd dearly love to hear done in studio. All in all, a nice fix for diehard fans in need of more sleepy time music.

Imperium: DURTRO 008, Circa 1991? This is a lovely, lovely CD. One of my absolute favorite C93 discs. An amazing, spiritual work, Imperium is the release where David's calling as a poet and a storyteller really begins to blossom. The accompanying music consists of a lot of strumming guitar and underlying noise. The instrumentation vs. "noise" on Imperium is perfect. I really enjoyed the overall sound of Imperium. Depressing at times, but truly majestic. This is a must have CD. The song titles make for a confusing track listing by the way.

Thunder Perfect Mind: DURTRO 011, 1992. This is it. The best album ever recorded. No shit. I'll say it again. This is the best album EVER recorded. By anyone. C93 will probably never again reach the godhead they attained with this remarkable release. I buy a copy every time I see one used...Just in case. Greedy and selfish of me I know. So sorry. David finds the perfect mix on TPM, between vocals and instruments, noise and music. Every song is an absolute masterpiece. We all have our favorites but mine are Hitler As Kalki, Riverdeadbank, and Rosy Stars Fall From Heaven - a song as bone chilling in its own right as anything C93 released in their early years. The closest David has ever come to touching this was the wonderful project Nature and Organization with Michael Cashmore. This would make an excellent starting point for someone interested in this band. Bonus notches - Very nice booklet.

Earth Covers Earth: DURTRO 012, 1992. ECE was originally released in 1988. The CD itself is folksy Current in the vein of Swastikas. The songs herein, however, are more melodic and beautiful. Even so, this CD still gives no indication of a band that is capable of the dreamy splendor of Island. We are given many bonuses with the CD release. There are four nicely done live tracks (three of which appear on the Portable Altamont), and a long final track, that is, partially at least, a remix of my fave C93 tune, Killykillkilly. Actually, there is much more to it than that, but it is the portion of the song which most stands out in my mind. A must have release.

Hitler As Kalki: DURTRO 014, 1993. This live recording was taken from three concerts after the release of Thunder perfect Mind. While David describes the sound quality as average, I beg to differ. I found this excellent recording to easily be the best live C93 to date. The five tracks are Hitler As Kalke, Christ and the Pale Queens Mighty in Sorrow, And All the Stars are Dead Now, and two versions of Imperium V. The songs are all different enough from their original interpretations to be worth hearing again, and similar enough to bring back fond memories. As an odd side note, the ending piece brought back nostalgic memories of my fraternity days...If you can imagine that.

Emblems: The Menstrual Years: DURTRO 016, 1993. This two disc retrospective was compiled by David and Steven. The tracks were well chosen as a historical archive of the musical evolution of C93. Is it worth owning even if you already own every other release? Yes, as we are graced with a fair number of unreleased tracks. And for those not too deep into C93, this would do...But it would look so lonely on your CD rack. And what if it were sandwiched between the Cure and the Damned? The Horror. The Horror. I remember buying this years ago in a music store that carried nothing else remotely similar. I had just gotten out of Basic Training and didn't even know this had been released. Ecstatic is not the word. This CD was like divine intervention.

Swastikas for Goddy: DURTRO 017, 1993. This is the re-release of Swastikas for Noddy (1987). There are no bonus tracks, but the sound has been cleaned up a bit. Yes, I own both, and I noticed a difference. Other than that, there are some nice black and white photos in the booklet. This is a very fine CD, but in my opinion, pales somewhat in comparison to Crooked Crosses. Just my opinion and many would disagree. Anyway, this is one of those CDs that simply has to be heard to be believed. Haunting and beautiful (North, Since Yesterday), Apocolyptic (Panzer Ruin), folk (Oh Coal Black Smith), creepy (Hey Ho, Black Sun Bloody Moon), even a little rock (Summer of Love). Whether you buy this release or Crooked Crosses, you will be pleased, but if you are a fan, consider buying both.

Of Ruine or Some Blazing Starre: DURTRO 018, 1994. After a slew of re-releases, a live recording, and a compilation, this was the first NEW C93 since TPM. I can still remember the excitement I felt as I made my way home with this CD. I just as vividly remember the disappointment I felt as it played. In all fairness, this is a huge departure from TPM, and it has grown on me as much as any C93 release. This is more like one great epic track than 14 individual songs. They all have a very similar feel to them, and there is not much change, musically, from track to track. The lyrics have center stage here, and David shows off an uncanny ability to pull the listener into his world and out of the stagnant background. This CD is a testament to David's skills as a writer as well as the strength of his emotive voice. If David's lyrical skill blossomed on Imperium, they are in full bloom here. Still, this is not a favorite of mine, but it does find its way into my CD player when the mood hits me, most often as I drift off to sleep.

The Final Church of the Nodding Apocalypse: 1993/4. This CD was released with a cute black and white comic showing the adventures of Noddy and that naughty pixie. Lottsa Larfs. Comic aside, onto the music. Two priceless and honestly indescribable tracks. But, I'll try: A happy little salvation dissertation by David turns into a wicked smurfy little jingle titled Love Dance of the Nodding Folk. Short and charming. I love it.

Lucifer Over London: DURTRO 019, 1994. Hot on the heels of Ruine comes the C93 rock EP. Sort of. The first two songs are dynamic and full of a churning, restrained energy. Lucifer Over London is one of C93's best songs and makes this worth owning alone. My only complaint is that they did not wait and go with this as a full length release. They could have included a studio version of Horsey (hint, hint), the fabulous I Arise (to appear on the Crowleymass EP), The Great Satanic Glory (from Tamlin), and a few other new rocking tracks. This was a good sound for C93, and one I don't feel was fully exploited.

Tamlin: DURTRO 025, 1994. The CD store I bought this from sold it to me for 24.00. That was on its immediate release. They justified their price by its limited release. I later found out the bastards doubled the price on me. Well, if you don't have it now, I imagine that is the price you will be paying - if not more. So, is it worth it? For C93 fans, the answer is yes. For those of you with a passing interest or limited budget, this is by no means a "must have" CD. Tamlin is a long folk song. It's OK, but no standout. On the other hand, How the Great Satanic Glory Faded is another POWERFUL piece, much like the music on Lucifer Over London. I don't understand why David chose not to pursue this sound for a full length album. Two tracks, one bleh, one yeah. 24.00. You do the math.

Dog's Blood Rising: DURTRO 027, 1995. This was originally released in 1984 and will be the release that Current 93 are most famous for. The overall effect of this CD on the listener is so intense, I've seen it literally shred people's minds. At some point in your life, this CD will get to you. You'll know it when it happens. You'll FEEL it. Fight it out. Resist the temptation to turn it off. Some things need to be braved. There are two extremes in the music of C93. This is one, Thunder Perfect Mind is the other. Both are exceptional, cathartic recordings. TPM is also the perfect follow up if Dog's Blood brings you TOO far down.

Where the Long Shadows Fall: DURTRO 028, 1995. This is the first bookend piece to C93's Inmost Light Trilogy. The tension and expectations that this piece builds up are incredible. Lots of loops are used here, and only sparse vocalization by David. I was quite thrilled by the direction that this had C93 going in. While not as noise or chaos driven as earlier works, that sense of majesty still prevails. The song is quite long, but it does not overstay its welcome. A worthwhile listen if you are a fan of more "soundscape" pieces.

All the Pretty Little Horsies: DURTRO 030, 1996. The first full length studio album since Ruine does not disappoint. Like that album, the songs on this release are very intertwined. Here, however, there is much more change in structure evident between one track and the next. This makes for a much more dynamic listening experience. That just means that it doesn't put me to sleep like Ruine does. Pretty? Oh yeah. Creepy? Oh yeah. Sneaks up on you too. Dead! Yipe! Bravo. This is a brilliant gem and one of my faves. Bonus notches: The cute baby pix and the gust vocals by Nick Cave. So David, How about a duet on Nicky's next endeavor?

The Starres are Marching Sadly Home: DURTRO 031, 1996. The cherry on top. The icing on the cake. What good is a trilogy if you can't end on a high note? David's vocals are much more prominent on this piece than on the first, and the message they deliver is not, well, soothing. Be that as it may, it works very well bringing the cycle begun on Long Shadows to a close. A final note. These CDs are most effective when you listen to them as a trilogy, in their entirety. Find the time, and you will not be let down.

Horsey: DURTRO 32, 1997. More live C93. The majority of this was released in the late 80s/early 90s as a box set LP with NWW and Sol Invictus. As I consider the NWW piece, Lumb's Sister, the best thing they've ever recorded, I was very upset to see C93 release their part of the box set on its own instead of releasing the box on disc. Buttholes. It's an okay live release, with a few added tracks. The only real reason to buy this is to have the best recorded version of Horsey, a slow building rock piece, deserving of studio treatment.

In a Foreign Land In a Foreign Town. DURTRO , 1997. This four track release comes with a short CD sized hardback by Thomas Ligotti. The stories have a creepy yet dreamy quality to them, unusual in this day of in your face horror. The music is a nice little bit of accompaniment, but is secondary to the stories. I'd rather read the book and listen to, say, Dawn. To make matters worse, the lyrics are simply David reading the text. Great, David does books on tape. If you're illiterate, I suppose this is a good thing. My advice - For this steep price, you could obtain a good sized volume of Ligotti's works. Buy that, and consume it while listening to some better music. I found this release to be a bit of a waste...As an added note, many have told be they disagree entirely and love this release. Still, I have to rank this near the bottom of C93's works. Sorry, but to each their own.

Crowleymass: DURTRO 418, 1997. I assume the numbering of the CD is some sort of Thelemic joke, but that's not my bag, so I won't speculate. The meat of this EP is the dancey C93 joke, Crowleymass in versions two. Along with the three tracks from the original EP comes a long piece entitled I Arise. When was this recorded? Very interesting and different sound for David & Co., like some kind of experimental 60s drug induced rock band would come up with. I liked it.

Current 93 Present, Alas, the Aryan Aquarians Meet Their Waterloo: DURTRO 038, 1997. Woof! Woof! Dog alert! To be fair, David never denied that this was a piece of shit. In fact, the only reason it was re released was because he was tired of seeing fans pay such high prices for the vinyl. This was a sort of early C93 side project. You'll buy it just to hear it, as I did, and you'll likely never listen to it again, just as I haven't.

Current 93: A Gothic lovesong, DURTRO 40, 1998. It may be a while before I get to this on the C93 page so...Another release that didn't live up to my expectations. I suppose I have such high hopes for this band because I know that they are capable of perfection. But, on to this CD. The first track is a real beauty. This is a very concise song for David. By that, I mean that A Gothic Lovesong is just that, a lovesong. Actually, more of an anti lovesong in the vein of REM's The One I Love. I enjoyed the light instrumentation and am looking forward to the continuation of this style on September's Soft Black Stars. My problem is with the second track. MANY will disagree, but I find quite a bit of filler in some C93 releases. That may be the wrong word, but, that's how I feel. This track is as needless and repetitive as the last track on the Christ and the Pale Queens CD. That is a shame since A Gothic Lovesong will appear on Soft Black Stars and the second track, Moon, is the only track exclusive to this release. So, I would only recommend this to collectors, or persons too impatient to wait for the new full length.

Current 93:  Soft Black Stars, Durtro 042LCD, 1998.  The Inmostlight appears to be finally fading away.  Thank "Bob."  It was beginning to get rather overdone.  So, what have we here David?  Something light and airy?  Some effortless piece of minimalist treacle?  That's what I had been led to expect after reading some rather unflattering descriptions of SBS.  Still, I rather enjoyed the single, so was quite looking forward to hearing more music in a similar vein.  But is it enough to support a full album, and IS it an effortless release on David's part?  A resounding "YES!" to the former, "NO!" to the later.  While all of the first eleven tracks have a very similar feel both in style and in lyrical musings, they are distinct enough to me to each stand on their own merits.  Minimalist?  Well, yeah.  While there are more instruments than piano, they are not a predominate part of any of the first eleven tracks.  But, as good as these songs are, the reason you NEED to buy the LP or EXQUISITE limited edition digipack is for the 12th track.  Let's just say we begin to notice Stapleton and Heeman here.  The piano is still there, but there is more.  Background and atmosphere energize this track and set a mood .  The previous tracks depended on David's vocals for that.  I cannot help but feel that this would have been an even better release had the majority of the album been wrought in this fashion, with only a couple of the sparser recordings thrown if to break things up.  This is not meant to sound like it is a failing of this CD.  It's just that this final track is SO good, it left me wanting much more.  Any fan simply must have it as it is one of the best tracks ever recorded by the Current.  There you have it.  Bonus notches:  The beautiful packaging and David's striking colorful art.  Think "Piano Bar" at closing time.
Current 93/Michael Cashmore/Christoph Heeman:  An Introduction to Suffering, DURTRO , 1999:  this is a collection of recent offerings by the players in the latest C93 concert in New York this March.  This limited release (2000) is a Louis Wain digipack containing a handful of unreleased C93 outtakes from the Soft Black Starres/Inmostlight era.  The Michael Cashmore pieces are accompanied by David, as his are accompanied by Michael.  The music all blends together and fits for me as a footnote to Soft Black Starres.  Also, coming full circle are two more Christoph Heeman Moon pieces, like the one included on the Soft Black Starres hit single, "Gothic Love Song."  My opinion  has not changed since then either.  A must have for all Current 93 fans.  More loungey C93.  Where's my damn whiskey?

Current 93:  Calling For Vanished Faces, DURTRO 043CD, 1999:  As a birthday present to himself and his fans, David released this wonderful two disc retrospective at a domestic rate price!  It traces some of David's favorite tracks from the past 15 years.  The difference between this and the last compilation, Emblems, is that there is no exclusive material to this release save for one track.  That's a shame, but this is still a wonderful collection at a great price.  I'd recommend this to anyone wanting to see what Current 93 is all about.  The gamut from soundscapes to dark folk and lounge music.

Current 93:  Misery Farm, 1999:   A funny little children's song from Current 93.  For all of its nearly 3 minutes, it is quite fun.  This is no musical triumph, but then I doubt it was meant to be. Just have fun with it.  Folk stuff.

Current 93:  All Dolled Up Like Christ, WSD 1999.  In October of 1996, Current 93 played two shows in New York.  To say I wish I could have been there is an understatement.  I've still never really had a chance to see them perform live.  The Military and cash flow have been two major stumbling blocks, along with infrequent performances.  Luckily, the few times that they have played to an audience are well represented on disc.  This is among the best sounding of all of them, if not the best.  The recording quality is just excellent.  The only drawback is the hooting of the overzealous fans  between each song - but I completely understand and am actually just completely bitter about not having been able to be there to hoot myself.  The song selection is magnificent stretching far back into their canon.  The lineup is also top notch.  Both nights are represented and while I do prefer the show on the first evening, there is really no fault to be found on the second.  Artwork - lovely, but the practicality of the jacket is lacking unless you enjoy scratching the hell out of your discs.

Current 93:  I Have a Special Plan for this World - DURTRO 048CD, 2000. The latest pairing of David Tibet and Thomas Ligotti is a twenty two minute excerpt of madness which I found to be much more enjoyable that their last pairing.  This is what I get from the track:  There is a scrambling of garbled voices and scratchy frequencies worrying over an ominous tone.  Clicking in and out of this madness (the speaker's subconscious) David speaks into his recorder (his diary) his thoughts regarding the world and the special plans he has for it.  Each time he chimes in, it is a new  entry as his his special plan begins to take shape.  This is so much more effective than the last collaboration because it is to me a story which could exist in no other form and still maintain its chilling power.  The music is not just background to the story, it is very much a part of it, as illustrative as the lyrics.  Ligotti is a great writer of psychological horror and this time David has found the means to perfectly convey his work.  Bravo.  Experimental sounds capes and a wonderful tale.

Current 93 / Antony and the Johnsons:  ST - DURTRO 049CD, 2000.  This accomplishes what a CD single should do - It leaves you positively drooling for more.  The first track, Cripple and the Starfish, Is by Antony and the Johnsons.  I read high praises from David Tibet regarding this band and so was eager to hear what all of the fuss was about.  If this track reveals what we can expect from the forthcoming album proper, the fuss may well have been about the best release of the year.  So many comparisons came to mind while I listened to this, from Big Star to Tiny Tim.  In the end however, Antony's voice is uniquely his own.  As for the backing instrumentation, it is as full and lush as anything you would find on a This Mortal Coil release.  The next track, Immortal Bird, is taken from the forthcoming Current 93 release, Sleep Has Its House.  I am pleased to see that their sound has shifted yet again, this time harking back to the dreamy sounds of  1989's Island.  I really hate dissecting a Current 93 song, so I'll just say that the overall effect of this reminds me of a sad rusty squeezebox, an eloquent teaser of things to come.  Simply beautiful efforts by both parties.  Words cannot describe.

Current 93:  Sleep Has His House - DURTRO051CD, 2000.  I never really know what to expect from a new Current 93 album other than the knowledge that I will hear something that will touch me deeply and will grow to love more and more with each and every listen.  No band, no singer, evolves as much as David's Current.  He has done more exploration within his chosen medium, sound, than most visual artists have done with theirs.  It is that ever-changing sound that enraptures many fans of Current 93 and also may alienate many newcomers.  Current 93 have gone through many "periods," but there is no one defining album to express their "sound."  Each body of work is a unique experience for the listener to explore.  The latest is Sleep has His House.  The feeling of this album is most similar to that of Island in its dreamy qualities.  However, unlike in Island, it is a feeling that is maintained, uninterrupted, for the duration of the album.  The drone of the harmonium is the anchor that holds this piece together.  Its persistence may be uncomfortable, but I think of it as the parchment upon which the rest of this work is presented.  It helps to bring out the sparse instrumentation and the rich visual lyrics. It also makes this a release that is more powerful when listened to as a whole.  This is another beautiful and engaging recording from one of the most prolific and consistently exciting musicians alive.