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Black Ships Ate the Sky

by Current 93

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Elicoor13 thumbnail
Elicoor13 no other band can make an album where they cover the same song 9 times and still have the rest of the album be good, let alone be one of the most iconic neo-folk albums ever.
joycedevivre75 thumbnail
joycedevivre75 ordered this in CD too, it's perfect to me, probably my fave C93 Favorite track: Then Kill Caesar.
Dalton  thumbnail
Dalton cats, horsies, boats. nothing is off limits when tibet wants to instill the feeling of the apocalypse. Favorite track: Idumea (vocals Bonnie Prince Billy).
Levrikon thumbnail
Levrikon This is it: what everything Current 93 had been working toward. Not only a jaw-dropping masterpiece, one of the best albums ever recorded. They took their gothic folk sound as far as could possibly go with this, there was no way to continue so the records after went in a totally different direction. The different versions of Idumæa are all absolutely heart-wrenching... next to Swans' The Seer this is the closest art has ever come to inspiring religious fervor in me. Favorite track: Idumea (vocals: Shirley Collins).
bottomlessmassgrave thumbnail
bottomlessmassgrave Utterly deranged man yells about boats for an hour. Favorite track: This Ausistic Imperium is Nihil Reich.
guy thumbnail
guy manages to be haunting, beautiful, and terrifying - sometimes all at once. Favorite track: Black Ships Ate The Sky.
Idumea 03:22



David Tibet
Michael Cashmore
Ben Chasny
John Contreras
Steven Stapleton
Marc Almond
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
Baby Dee
Ida Mercer
Clodagh Simonds
Cosey Fanni Tutti
Chris Carter
Andria Degens
Shirley Collins
Iris Bishop
Amy Phillips
William Breeze
William Basinski
Colin Potter
Sleeve Notes
A Hallucinatory Patripassianist Dream

The texts for this album were started following an intense dream I had that Black Ships had entered our skys in preparation for the arising of the final Cæsar and for the Second Coming of Christ. In subsequent dreams I saw geometric faces , colours, words and shapes falling into my head. They appeared as a multitude of images; they were dreamlike yet vital, manifesting as processions of characters and scenesand dialogues that shifted between being utterly lacking in conventional perspectiveto that of being hyper-dimensional. I commenced writing furiously, and the words of Black Ships Ate The Sky are the recording of this period in my life.
I asked those friends and artists whom I love and whose works I most admire to interpret the haunted words of that great hymn "Idumæa" by Charles Wesley; this piece had become an obsession for me before starting work on this albumand its face watched over all these Black Ships, providing one key to this Hallucinatory Patripassianist Dream.
I live in an increasing awareness that a Love will some suddenly who will finally tear our skies apart. And then all Black Ships will be no more. This album was started four years ago by myself and Michael Cahsmore without whom this album would not exist, and finished four years later by myself and Ben Chasny, John Contreras and Steven Stapleton, without whom too this album would not exist. My heartfelt thanks to them for all they have done. More detailed acknowledgements can be found below, but I also wish to thank those other friends who worked on this album, for without them there would be just words. Andria, Marc, Will, Dee, Antony, Clodagh, Cosey, Chris, Shirley, Amy, Bill, William, Mark, Colin, Geoff, Al, Paul, Lance: thank you.
Thanks too to Blessed John Bradburne for prayers answered and and favours received.
I Dedicate Black Ships Ate The Sky to our beloved friend and companion Squiggy who went on from us on St. Valentine's Day, 2006. May she rest in the Love of Christ till all times and and all friends meet again.

I Am Black Ship

David Tibet, March 5 2006

Current 93 dreamt Black Ships sailing by, sailing by, sailing by: David Tibet voice, guitars on 19, electric leaking voices passim; Michael Cashmore guitars on 1, 3, 6, 7, 11, 12, 14, 20, slide guitar on 3, bass guitar on 20; Ben Chasny guitar on 2, 4, 9, 17, 18; John Contreras cello; Steven Stapleton goatheard.
With: Marc Almond voice on 1; Bonnie 'Prince' Billy voice, banjo and tambura on 5; Baby Dee voice and harp, Ida Mercer cello on 8; Antony voice on 10, voice and piano on 15; Clodagh Simonds voice, psaltery, zither and harmonium on 13; Cosey Fanni Tutti voice and musics, Chris Carter musics on the "Idumæa" section of 14; Andria Degens voice, Appalachian dulcimer and harmonica on 16; Shirley Collins voice, Iris Bishop concertina on 21; Amy Phillips subliminal threnodic voice on 14 and 19; William Breeze viola on 17 and 19; William Basinski 9.29.82 galaxial compositions on 12 and 18. Astral projection protection production by Mark Logan, Al Cisneros and Tina Gordon with thanks and blessings.
Mixed by Steven Stapleton, David Tibet and Colin Potter at The Water Tower, England. Engineered by Colin Potter at The Water Tower. Mastered by Denis Blackham at Skye Mastering.
All texts by David Tibet except "Idumæa" , written by Charles Wesley, and the phrase "Hello Monkey-Paw" which was how I was greeted by John Contreras in a letter in 2005. Music on tracks 1, 3, 6, 7, 11, 12, 14, 20 written by Michael Cashmore; music on tracks 2, 4, 9, 17, 18 written by Ben Chasny; music on track 15 by Antony; music on track 19 by David Tibet. All cello arrangements by John Contreras. All other musics by David Tibet and Steven Stapleton with Colin Potter, except for the versions of "Idumæa" which are all arranged and played by the specific singer, with the exception of track 1, arranged by Michael Cashmore/Marc Almond and track 21, arranged by Shirley Collins/Iris Bishop. Hallucinatory icons and paintings by Seth and Anna Cox-Dorée. Hallucinatory Scrawl by geoff Cox-Dorée. Cover design by David Tibet with the assistance of Paul Jackson, to whom great thanks. Coptic text and translations by Lance Eccles.
Black Ships Ate The Sky: all tracks (p) and © 2006 as follows: track 1 Marc Almond/Michael Cashmore/Charles Wesley/David Tibet; tracks 2, 4, 9, 17, David Tibet/Ben Chasny and track 18 David Tibet/Ben Chasny/William Basinski/Charles Wesley; tracks 3, 6, 7, 11, 14 (part one), 20 David Tibet/Michael Cashmore and track 12 David Tibet/Michael Cashmore/William Basinski; track 5 Bonnie 'Prince' Billy/Charles Wesley; track 8 Baby Dee/Charles Wesley; track 10 Antony Hegarty/Charles Wesley; tracks 14 (part two) Cosey Fanni Tutti/Chris Carter/Charles Wesley; track 15 David Tibet/Antony Hegarty; track 16 Andria Degens/Charles Wesley; track 19 David Tibet/Charles Wesley; track 21 Shirley Collins/Charles Wesley.

Thank you, again, to all those who created and worked on this album.
And to those who contributed with their friendship and support: above all, Mark Logan of Durtro Jnana Records, whose friendship and endless generosity and love kept me from capsizing under the approach of Black Ships.
I wish to acknowledge, too, the kindness of Lance Eccles who answered my endless questions about Coptic with great patience and generosity of spirit. Black Ships were launched at the same time I became obsessed with this language. Any small progress I have made in Coptic would be immeasurably less without his help.
Also my love and thanks to: Olivia Bunting, Stefanie Thiel, Stephanie Volkmar, Lynn Jackson, Carolyn Cox-Dorée, Ayse Tuzlak, Chris Hakius, Stephen O'Malley, Rob Fisk, Maja Elliott, Nick Church, Jhonn Balance, Henry Boxer, Lauren Winton, Michael Lawrence, Gary Held, Tony Sylvester, Matt Sweeney, Cam Archer, Howard Wuelf, Fabrizio Modenese Palumbo, Giulio Di Mauro, Enrico Croci, Greg Peters, Paul Cheshire, Jeremy Cantwell, Denis Blackham, Stephanie Meixner, Ossian Brown, Stephen Thrower, Tim Renner, Joolie Wood, Simon Finn, Allison Schnackenberg, José Pacheco, Hymenæus Beta, Nikki Howes, Nidge Ince, Celia Brigstocke of the John Bradburne Society, Kat Cormie, Timothy d'Arch Smith, Paul Deighton, Bill Fay, Gary Smith, Thomas Ligotti, Little Annie, Richard Moult, Mark Coyle, Michael Kolson, KatieJane Garside, Julia Kent, Johan Kugelberg, Nick Blinko, Joe Budenholzer, Devendra Banhart, David and Sara Surkamp.

And thanks to all those who supported the recording of this album by subscribing to it 93 years in advance. Without you all, Nihil.

David Tibet


released January 14, 2014


all rights reserved



Current 93 Hastings, UK

David Michael Tibet is the founder of the Hallucinatory Patripassianist rock group Current 93 as well as the new sphere, MYRNINEREST.

Born in Malaysia in 1960, David has created a unique, highly influential and extraordinarily powerful body of work – spanning music, painting, poetry and translation.
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