Thunder Perfect Mind
Durtro 011CD, 1992, Running time: 78:52
- A Beginning - 00:44
- The Descent of Long Satan and Babylon - 03:01
- A Sadness Song - 04:14
- A Song For Douglas After He's Dead - 04:58
- In the Heart of the Woods and What I Found There - 02:51
- Mary Waits in Silence - 02:57
- A Silence Song - 05:28
- A Lament for My Suzanne - 04:21
- Riverdeadbank - 03:47
- All the Stars are Dead Now - 09:07
- Rosy Star Tears From Heaven - 03:07
- When the May Rain Comes - 03:23
- Thunder Perfect Mind I - 05:06
- Thunder Perfect Mind II - 02:21
- Hitler as Kalki (SDM) - 16:28
- A Sad Sadness Song - 07:00
If you ask any Current 93 fan for a list of their top five favorite c93 albums, this one will almost surely be on it; this 80-minute epic is widely considered to be one of c93's best albums ever. It mostly runs in the apocalyptic folk vein, but naturally has some rather experimental tinges to it. It's a wonderful album, and definitely a must-have. Almost all lyrics are printed in the liner. This is a companion to Nurse With Wound's album "Thunder Perfect Mind," the titles for which are borrowed from a piece of the Nag Hammadi library of early Gnostic texts.
A BEGINNING is indeed a very lovely beginning. Shirley Collins speaking, acoustic guitar, and recorder start the album with the right mood.
THE DESCENT OF LONG SATAN AND BABYLON is an exquisite song, mostly acoustic guitar and David Tibet's soft vocals over.
Track three, A SADNESS SONG, continues, musically and lyrically, with the album's melencholy beginnings.
The fourth track, A SONG FOR DOUGLAS AFTER HE'S DEAD, is another beautiful (but this time a little faster-paced) folk-style song. The Douglas in the title is Douglas P. (from Death in June), who often plays on Current 93's albums. This is actually the 2nd song that Tibet has written for Douglas; the first was ROME FOR DOUGLAS P., from the Earth Covers Earth album.
And slightly more intense and faster-paced is the fifth track, IN THE HEART OF THE WOOD AND WHAT I FOUND THERE. More wonderful depressing melodies and lyrics. The music in this song is based on the first track, A BEGINNING, but is vastly expanded upon. One of my favorite songs on the album.
MARY WAITS IN SILENCE is a somewhat slower song, beautiful and depressing (but really, "beautiful and depressing" is a good description of just about every song on this album, isn't it?).
A SILENCE SONG is probably my second favorite song on this album. Tibet's vocals are simply exquisite, and the lush cello and acoustic guitar mesh to form the wonderfully melancholy music for this piece.
Drawing a bit from past concepts, A LAMENT FOR MY SUZANNE revisits a concept from the album Island. Musically, the songs are rather different, but most of the lyrics are the same (however, this version adds a few extra lines at the end).
RIVERDEADBANK is another extremely depressing folk song, mixing female vocals with violin and acoustic guitar.
With ALL THE STARS ARE DEAD NOW, the album suddenly develops into rather darker, more ominous tone. It begins with a few strains of big-band music (which sounds to me like part of the Dorsey Brothers' "St. Louis Blues"), which is faded out as guitar is brought in, along with background vocals buried deep in the mix (singing what sounds like "Jesus kills Hitler"). Tibet's vocals are sinister and eerie, and the lyrics are quite ominous (the liner notes imply they're inspired by William Blake). Lots of interesting vocal effects in this song.
ROSY STAR TEARS FROM HEAVEN continues with the vaguely experimental theme. More ominous music, while Tibet's voice is warped in various scary ways. It's quite a bizarre mix of lovely folk music and creepy vocals. These (or similar) vocals also appear on the sister album by Nurse With Wound.
Track twelve, WHEN THE MAY RAIN COMES, is an extremely pretty cover of the song from Sand's "Golem" album.
Back into the less traditional side, THUNDER PERFECT MIND I is mostly slow and vaguely melodic background music, with Tibet speaking pieces of the Gnostic "Thunder Perfect Mind" text in the foreground, as well as reciting some manic text of his own deeper in the mix (see if you can confirm the line "Hitler appears as a woman in drag," because that's what it sounds like to me). The music builds to be more and more more ominous as the song progresses.
THUNDER PERFECT MIND II continues with even more scary music; pieces of this song also appear on the sister album by Nurse With Wound.
HITLER AS KALKI begins quietly, with harp, acoustic guitar and electric guitar, but soon gains tempo as Tibet's vocals swing in. It's easily the most intense song on the album, and quite an apocalyptic epic. The concept of this song seems to be about how Hitler might have been the tenth incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu, sent to destroy the universe. Tibet's dedication in the liner reads "To my father who fought Hitler."
And finally, A SAD SADNESS SONG ends this wonderful album with a quiet reprise of track three, though this time without Tibet's vocals.
Epilogue: (David Tibet) 14 long years, she lies, oh she lies, oh. And love as she lies, she dreams in white stone. Colonnade marbled and balcony empty. A broken band, broken remarks, broken time. 14 long years, she dreams, oh she dreams, oh. As dream as she dreams on of lover entwines. Her limbs grow round his limbs. She drinks from a bottle. She walks through the city. She's lost and then found. 14 long years, further back scattered. She sits on some beach and reasons with him in a secret red moist heart. The most loved and most dark. The flame shaft and fierce dart. The rose leaf the moss part. Spread eagled like starfish, Most pain and most fear. Like flower of sea grass, Most fragile and harmless. Most fiery and bloody. Most child-like and wrinkled. This starfish, this spider, Most wretched and great. Do not cry for me. Let me show you the path, on which we neither come nor go. She smiles at me lakewide, wet brown-eyed and dark skinned. Some dark moon unmoved stalks through her loss. Do not spend this night with me. I shall make the fallen blind see. This too another broken toy , from broken girl gift to broken boy. I ask my sea blue rushing mother, "Shall she hear the lions roar?"