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Swans - The Glowing Man CD (album) cover

THE GLOWING MAN

Swans

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.87 | 80 ratings

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TCat
Special Collaborator
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars This album by Swans sounds nothing like Swans of many years ago. That's no surprise to those that have followed their albums through the years. However, "The Glowing Man" does have a lot in common to those early, muddy and plodding albums. That common thread is the study of repetition. It's just not as thick as it used to be, however, it can be just as unrelenting and unnerving at times. No doubt that this album is much better than those early albums as the music is so much more varied and exploratory, expansive and epic now. This is the path they continue to follow, however "The Glowing Man" is probably one of the most apparent in showing Michael Gira's obsession with repetition and the development of repeating passages.

There are only 8 tracks on this monster of an album, and on the surface, it may seem like it could be chore to get through some of these tracks that push the half an hour mark, especially if it is based around repetition. However, the one thing that seems to stand out on this album which was less apparent on the previous album "To Be Kind" is that there are sudden shifts scattered throughout the album, especially on the longest tracks. This brings in a variable element that makes this album not stagnate so much. There are many times when you hear a repetition that seems to push the limit of you insanity, and just when you think the repetition of an idea has reached your limit, the song can suddenly go off into a completely different direction. That is what makes Swans stand out above the many post rock artists out there. While many of them follow formulas that sometimes get boring, this band continues to break new ground, and many of those other bands end up following in their footsteps. Swans is an innovative band and always has been, whether you like them or not. This is the case with this album, and the sudden shifts are what makes this album stand out in their repertoire. Other than that, with tracks as expansive as the ones on this album, it is very difficult to try to take each track apart and analyze it.

This is not one of my favorite Swans albums, but it is still one that I play through from time to time. I don't recommend it as one to start your Swans exploration with, but it still is an excellent album and sits just above the previous album, but not quite as good as "The Seer". Anyway, it is an excellent album for "experienced" Swans and/or progressive music fans.

TCat | 4/5 |

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