Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

SWANS

Post Rock/Math rock • United States


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Swans picture
Swans biography
Part of the original No Wave scene in the early 1980's, the New York City rock band SWANS has since become one of the most respected experimental rock outfits to the present. Led by the visionary vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Michael GIRA, SWANS operated for nearly two decades from their inception in 1983, he is also well known producer. His daunting and impressive songwriting abilities created some of the strangest and revolutionary music to date. Influences of post-rock are seen in numerous records, notable in Soundtracks for the Blind, which predates a lot of the crescendo-core stuff, and the band has influenced numerous post-rock bands with their ever expanding sound and advanced technical approach to rock music. Although they broke up in 1997, SWANS reunited in 2010 to record two more albums, My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky and The Seer.

Bio written by The Truth (Tanner) and updated by zravkapt (Darryl)

Swans official website

SWANS MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

SWANS forum topics / tours, shows & news


SWANS forum topics Create a topic now
SWANS tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "swans"
Post an entries now

SWANS Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to SWANS

Buy SWANS Music


The Glowing ManThe Glowing Man
YOUNG GOD RECORDS 2016
Audio CD$11.94
$10.88 (used)
To Be KindTo Be Kind
YOUNG GOD 2016
Audio CD$11.76
$6.95 (used)
The SeerThe Seer
Special Edition
YOUNG GOD 2016
Audio CD$12.30
$5.70 (used)
My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The SkyMy Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky
YOUNG GOD 2016
Audio CD$7.99
$7.98 (used)
Filth * DeluxeFilth * Deluxe
YOUNG GOD RECORDS 2016
Audio CD$15.51
$14.50 (used)
Soundtracks for the BlindSoundtracks for the Blind
YOUNG GOD 2016
Audio CD$17.57
$49.94 (used)
White Light/ Love Of LifeWhite Light/ Love Of Life
YOUNG GOD RECORDS 2016
Audio CD$16.66
$16.65 (used)
Various FailuresVarious Failures
YOUNG GOD 2016
Audio CD$13.63
$7.65 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
The Wild Swans - Incandescent (NEW 2 x 12" VINYL LP) USD $34.51 Buy It Now
SWANS - To Be Kind CD JAPAN NEW 2014 CD + DVD +Bonus USD $51.47 Buy It Now
Implodes Black Earth Vinyl LP Sealed 1st Pressing Godspeed You Swans Grouper USD $17.00 Buy It Now
JONATHAN KANE SWANS 2005 "February" NEW/SEALED NYC NOISE LP USD $19.95 Buy It Now
Wild Swans - Space Flower (CD) USD $10.04 Buy It Now
Michael Murphy Swans Against the Sun LP 33851 USD $12.99 Buy It Now
swans 2cd to be kind PROMO yg46 m-/m- USD $9.99 [0 bids]
Black Swans & Wormhole Wizards, New Music USD $18.61 Buy It Now
SWANS Filth LP NEW vinyl + Poster [Michael Gira Jonathan Kane] USD $21.95 Buy It Now
GORE Mean Mans Dream 2LP RED/BLACK dutch hypnosludge REISSUE swans godflesh loop USD $21.00 Buy It Now
Michael Murphy Swans Against the Sun LP FREE USA SHIPPING USD $8.09 Buy It Now
Swans JONATHAN KANE jet Ear Party w/ POSTER Colored ETCHED 2 LP vinyl SEALED mp3 USD $28.49 Buy It Now
To Be Kind [3lp] [VINYL] Swans Vinyl USD $45.53 Buy It Now
Joy and the Loveless Ballet of Black Swans 12" EP Goth Hard-to-find 1990 UK USD $1.28 [1 bids]
SWANS ~ I Love You So*M-45*RARE RED WAX ! USD $29.29 [0 bids]
Swans / Children Of God - World Of Skin - 2CD USD $5.44 [4 bids]
SWANS**SEER**2 CD SET USD $17.50 Buy It Now
SWANS In The Morning/ Believe In Me 7" 45 SOUL R&B VINYL 70's reissue USD $9.99 Buy It Now
Prong CASSETTE TAPE Beg To Differ 1989 Ted Parsons SWANS USD $2.99 [0 bids]
USD $4.99 Buy It Now
The Wild Swans ?- Incandescent - 2003 UK 2xCD - Renascent RENCD7 - VERY RARE NEW USD $89.99 Buy It Now
SWANS.THE BURNING WORLD.1989 UNI.FIRST ISSUE. USD $16.95 Buy It Now 13s
TERRY LEE PRESENTS - LOST NITE - V.A. LP - JIVE FIVE, CAPRIS, JESTERS, SWANS USD $14.95 Buy It Now 2h 58m
RARE ADV PROMO Foetus CASSETTE TAPE Gash JG Thirlwell MARC RIBOT Firewater SWANS USD $9.99 Buy It Now 3h
Elephants Into Swans by The Sun Sawed in 1/2 (CD, Jan-2013, CD Baby... USD $17.82 Buy It Now 4h 14m
Swans - Burning World LP Record Vinyl - BRAND NEW - Re-Issue USD $23.98 Buy It Now 5h 30m
The Wild Swans - Bringing Home the Ashes, PROMO Sire ?- 1-25697 LP USD $9.95 [1 bids]
5h 48m
Skin (Swans, Jarboe, Michael Gira) - Blood Women Roses (LP 1986 33PROD-4A) NM- USD $39.99 Buy It Now 6h 18m
Dance Of The Swans Readers Digest Cassette Tape Album USD $9.99 Buy It Now 7h
9/10/93PGN22 SWANS : SONIC MIND JUNCTION ADVERT 7X5" USD $6.48 Buy It Now 8h 58m
Swans - My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky - Vinyl LP NEW USD $24.64 Buy It Now 9h 25m
PRONG - Cleansing CD. New.Industrial Metal,Hardcore,Punk.Swans,Ministry,Danzig USD $7.76 Buy It Now 12h 19m
Coil LOT Astral Disaster Ape Of Naples Scatology CURRENT 93 LP CD NWW SWANS LP USD $160.00 Buy It Now 15h 21m
SWANS Can't Find My Way Home 12" VINYL 3 Track In Numbered Gatefold Pic Sleeve USD $23.77 Buy It Now 15h 38m
My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky [Digipak] by Swans (CD,... USD $17.82 Buy It Now 15h 59m
Swans - Glowing Man [CD New] USD $15.87 Buy It Now 16h 52m
White Light from the Mouth of Infinity - Swans LP USD $31.82 Buy It Now 16h 54m
Glowing Man - Swans 658457005835 (CD Used Very Good) USD $13.89 Buy It Now 17h 24m
Swans Can't find my way home 12" vinyl USD $11.02 [0 bids]
17h 27m
Swans Time is money (bastard) 12" vinyl USD $16.84 [0 bids]
17h 27m
Swans Love will tear us apart Gira version 12" Red vinyl (Joy Division) USD $19.43 [0 bids]
17h 27m
Michael Murphey - Blue Sky - Night Thunder/Swans Against the Sun (2011) CD NEW USD $7.74 Buy It Now 17h 36m
The Glowing Man * by Swans (CD, Jun-2016, 2 Discs, Young God) USD $11.73 Buy It Now 17h 40m
Yellow Swans & Moth Drakula- They Do Not Always Remember CD New (Lightning Bolt) USD $9.99 [0 bids]
19h 45m
SWANS -THE BURNING WORLD 1st PRESS UK VINYL LP EX+ USD $50.00 Buy It Now 20h 2m
ANATOMY OF HABIT Ciphers + Axioms CD Digipak Neurosis Swans Jesu USD $6.00 [0 bids]
20h 52m
Navigated Like The Swans Young Moon Audio CD USD $17.20 Buy It Now 21h 47m
SWANS, Greed STERLING USA 1st pressing EXCELLENT- LP USD $35.99 [0 bids]
21h 55m
MICHAEL MURPHEY, Swans Against the Sun NEW OLD STOCK SEALED USA LP USD $4.99 [0 bids]
21h 55m
Michael Martin Murphey - Swans Against the Sun (Epic 33851) ('75) USD $14.99 Buy It Now 22h 10m
Bluemair- Swans in July- new/sealed cassette tape USD $1.00 Buy It Now 22h 23m
NAT KENDRICK & SWANS Dish Rag - pts 1+2 45 EX+ US 45 James Brown 1960 orig Dade USD $12.98 Buy It Now 22h 24m
SWANS - We Rose From Your Bed 2 x CD Young God Digipak SEALED NEW COPY USD $24.99 Buy It Now 22h 44m
PETER BRODERICK & GABRIEL SALOMAN s/t LP NEW VINYL Beacon Yellow Swans Efterklan USD $21.99 Buy It Now 22h 50m
The Black Swans "Occasion For Song" Double LP, Sealed, RSD Vinyl 12" 33rpm USD $29.99 Buy It Now 23h 51m
TOP- Emotion Lotion LP & 7" Single (1991 Indie Rock Vinyl EX) Wild Swans/Smaller USD $12.34 Buy It Now 1 day
Swans - the Burning World US orig' Uni HX Pro cassette 1989 USD $34.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Swans - My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky [CD New] USD $14.46 Buy It Now 1 day
My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky - Swans (CD Used Very Good) USD $12.46 Buy It Now 1 day
SWANS FILTH Signed M Gira Hand-painted Ltd Art Edition 1/500 First Pressing RARE USD $1,340.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Low SECRET NAME LP SEALED Swans Red House Painters My Bloody Valentine Mogwai USD $16.99 Buy It Now 1 day
All My Favorite Singers Are Willie Nelson [Analog] Astral Swans LP Record USD $30.47 Buy It Now 1 day
Young Gods L'AMOURIR 12" Ministry Killing Joke Swans Foetus Skinny Puppy KMFDM USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Low THE INVISIBLE WAY LP War On Drugs Neutral Milk Hotel Shellac Mogwai Swans USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Sonic Youth Jim O'Rourke INVITO AL CIELO EP SEALED Swans Boards of Canada Slint USD $12.99 Buy It Now 1 day
BODYCHOKE Cold River Songs CD UK post-punk/dirge rock Sutcliffe Jugend Swans NEW USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Swans - To Be Kind - Sealed 3x LP Record USD $30.99 Buy It Now 1 day
New Music Record Dead Swans "Sleepwalkers" CD USD $13.73 Buy It Now 1 day
New Music Record Dead Swans "Sleepwalkers" LP USD $19.83 Buy It Now 1 day
New Music Record Dead Swans "Anxiety And Everything Else" CDEP USD $13.73 Buy It Now 1 day
New Music Record Tyre Swans "Self Titled" CD USD $13.73 Buy It Now 1 day
New Music Record Dead Swans "Anxiety And Everything Else" 12"EP USD $19.83 Buy It Now 1 day
SWANS WAY 7" VINYL P/S SOUL TRAIN / GLOOMY SUNDAY EXT 3 1984 EX USD $3.82 Buy It Now 1 day
The Great Annihilator by Swans CD (Young God, US, 2002) BRAND NEW SEALED USD $44.00 Buy It Now 1 day
The Glowing Man SWANS (Format: Audio CD) USD $20.37 Buy It Now 1 day
^ Charlie Chan - Wild Swans CD excellent condition USD $3.57 Buy It Now 1 day
Michael Martin Murphey- Swans Against The Sun LP (1975 Country Rock) EX UK USD $2.16 Buy It Now 1 day
Swans - My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky (NEW CD) USD $13.92 Buy It Now 1 day
NORMAN WESTBERG 13 CD SWANS Stars Of The Lid Aidan Baker William Basinski USD $18.53 Buy It Now 1 day
TIN TIN Is That The Way / Swans On The Canal 45 - Bee Gees USD $7.59 Buy It Now 1 day
SEKTOR 304 Soul Cleansing CD Portugese tribal/industrial godflesh swans TestDept USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
MY DYING BRIDE TURN LOOSE THE SWANS + 3 BONUS TRACKS BRAND NEW SEALED CD 2014 USD $10.30 Buy It Now 1 day
MY DYING BRIDE-TURN LOOSE THE SWANS-SEVEN TRACK CD-GERMAN IMPORT-1993 USD $9.15 Buy It Now 1 day
Swans Way 7" vinyl single record Soul Train UK EXT3 EXIT 1983 USD $12.88 Buy It Now 1 day
Bennett College Black Swans -Show Us The Way LP Kricket Records 1972 Shrink Wrap USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
SWANS My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky (LP) USD $25.00 Buy It Now 1 day
~COVER ART MISSING~ Yellow Swans CD At All Ends USD $7.49 Buy It Now 1 day
SWANS To Be Kind (3xLP) USD $37.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Dead Swans - Sleep Walkers NEW CD USD $10.70 Buy It Now 1 day
SWANS "The Glowing Man" (2xCD) USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1 day
PHTV (PIG HEART TRANSPLANT) Vacuum Redux 7" EP industrial noise punk swans NEW USD $8.98 Buy It Now 1 day
Dead Swans - Anxiety & Everything Else NEW CD EP USD $2.23 Buy It Now 1 day
ORIGINAL ADVERT SWANS PICTURE ARTICLE 7 X 6" 10 JUNE 1989 USD $9.06 Buy It Now 1 day
Wild Swans : Space Flower CD (1990) USD $4.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Dead Swans-Sleep Walkers CD NEW USD $14.41 Buy It Now 1 day
MUTANT VIDEO Shirt Medium WALLS TOTAL CONTROL SWANS DIAT PIG HEART IRON LUNG RRR USD $6.29 Buy It Now 1 day
~DAMAGED ARTWORK CD Yellow Swans: Psychic Secession USD $7.49 Buy It Now 1 day
NAT KENDRICK AND THE SWANS DISH RAG PARTS 1 & 2 DADE 1808 M- USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Jairus - Need to Change the Mapmaker CD eden maine converge swans skipworth ska USD $1.00 [0 bids]
1 day
CD The Black Swans 'Sex Brain' EP NY progressive indie rock 2006 USD $2.50 Buy It Now 2 days
Swans White Light From the Mouth of Infinity Love of Life 3 CD Deluxe Edition USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2 days

More places to buy SWANS music online Buy SWANS & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for SWANS DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)
SWANS has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

SWANS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SWANS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.01 | 29 ratings
Filth
1983
3.37 | 24 ratings
Cop
1984
3.35 | 21 ratings
Greed
1986
3.69 | 20 ratings
Holy Money
1986
4.33 | 56 ratings
Children Of God
1987
3.13 | 20 ratings
The Burning World
1989
4.07 | 38 ratings
White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity
1991
3.73 | 21 ratings
Love Of Life
1992
3.81 | 34 ratings
The Great Annihilator
1995
4.14 | 48 ratings
Soundtracks For The Blind
1996
3.93 | 35 ratings
My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky
2010
4.15 | 128 ratings
The Seer
2012
3.93 | 163 ratings
To Be Kind
2014
4.23 | 15 ratings
The Glowing Man
2016

SWANS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 10 ratings
Public Castration is a Good Idea
1986
4.67 | 3 ratings
Feel Good Now
1987
4.50 | 4 ratings
Anonymous Bodies in an Empty Room
1990
5.00 | 2 ratings
Real Love
1992
4.50 | 2 ratings
Omniscience
1992
5.00 | 1 ratings
Kill the Child: 1985/1986/1987 Live
1995
4.15 | 8 ratings
Swans Are Dead
1998
4.14 | 7 ratings
We Rose From Your Bed with the Sun in Our Head
2012
4.25 | 8 ratings
Not Here / Not Now
2013
3.33 | 3 ratings
The Gate
2015

SWANS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

SWANS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.32 | 3 ratings
Body to Body, Job to Job
1991
4.00 | 4 ratings
Various Failures 1988-1992
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Forever Burned
2003

SWANS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.71 | 7 ratings
Swans
1982
2.96 | 7 ratings
Young God
1984
3.09 | 3 ratings
A Screw
1986
3.00 | 2 ratings
Time Is Money (Bastard)
1986
4.00 | 7 ratings
Die Tr ist zu
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Oxygen
2014

SWANS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Glowing Man by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.23 | 15 ratings

BUY
The Glowing Man
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'The Glowing Man - Swans (82/100)

I'm not completely sure why I prefer The Glowing Man over To Be Kind, to be honest. Comparisons between the two are practically inevitable; Swans have created an experience closely similar to their last record, not simply in terms of the music's uneasy atmosphere, lavish arrangement and unwieldy length, but with regards to the way it's been discussed with others as well.

Getting into the work of Swans has been an uphill battle for me in more ways than one. No compromises can be made when listening to one of their works, especially when you consider that some of the magic would be lost in breaking these two hour beasts into smaller sessions. The Glowing Man may be hailed (and rightly so!) as a gentler take by Swans' standards, but that might be the reason why it's ultimately resulted in the emotional reaction To Be Kind only ever hinted at.

As with the last album, I'm amazed that a rock album could challenge so and spark discussion like this in 2016. Where To Be Kind got that reaction across by pushing each aspect of music to its extremes -- be that in terms of length, heaviness, repetition, density or whatever else -- The Glowing Man rides gracefully on those coattails, creating music that still embraces those extremes without so much of their inherent edge. Swans' drone-rock sounds almost comforting in many sections of The Glowing Man, and even the most excessive segments here (like the ceaseless offbeat repetition in the half-hour title track) sound like they've been tightly reined in.

For some fans, I could see why this would make The Glowing Man seem like the lesser option. In some ways at least, it probably is. By this trilogy's standards, I don't find myself nearly as challenged listening to this one. Where The Seer and To Be Kind practically had to strangle appreciation out of me following the first couple of listens, The Glowing Man appears as a gentler return to familiar territory. The compositions are long, drawn out and eerily hypnotic. While it's not necessarily any more melodic, and certainly no more compact than its predecessors, the welling up of sound is consistently prettier here. If The Glowing Man is a journey, it's not trying to take you to every emotional extreme, as Swans were wont to do in the past. There's an undertone of uneasiness throughout the album, but it really does sound like the kind of meditative droning journey that could be interpreted as a greater parts reflection over action.

The inclusion of shorter tracks was a brilliant move, and one that I think really plays into The Glowing Man' role as the "gentle giant" of their 2010s trilogy. Where the longer sprawls conjure feeling in the slow build of dense textures and harmonies, shorter pieces give the band a chance to accentuate emotion with greater control. I think "Finally, Peace" does a near-perfect job of capping off the record, especially after such an exhausting climax in the title track. While it may seem like a repeat of the experience of To Be Kind at times, this album does a wonderful job of seeing off this chapter of the band's career together. The Glowing Man isn't a repeat so much as it is a reflection of the material they've put out in recent years. It's probably time for Swans to start moving their sound on again now that the trilogy is over. Although I've always held back from calling myself a true fan of theirs, I'm really excited to see where the band will go next.

Originally written for Heathen Harvest Periodical.

 The Glowing Man by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.23 | 15 ratings

BUY
The Glowing Man
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

5 stars A newcomer discovering the music of Swans through any of the band's recent albums might feel like Vasco Nuez de Balboa seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time, confronted suddenly by an awareness of something almost unfathomably vast, immeasurably deep, and more than a little intimidating. Their latest in a series of epic two-disc releases is also possibly the best of the bunch: a potential masterpiece waiting to be acknowledged as such, although the effort may require some patience.

This is a group able to elevate Post Rock monotony to a very loud, very intense dramatic art. Few other acts have the same knack for transforming a single note - minor key, of course - into an ungentle 30-minute dirge: ebbing, flowing, slowly collapsing, even more slowly reforming...all of it overlaid by Michael Gira's droning poetry, likewise stretching every labored syllable into a dark and secret mantra. I wouldn't dare quote a sample: his lyrics read like the lucid dreams of a manic-depressive shaman, and every stanza acts like a vortex sucking the unwary visitor into a bottomless abyss.

The band behind Gira, including new KING CRIMSON drummer Bill Rieflin (listed as 'Hit Man and 7th Swan'), aren't really musicians: these are fire-and-brimstone ascetics with amplifiers and guitars...lots of guitars. Together they create an almighty racket, dense and powerful but rimmed with a mysterious fluorescent light. Rieflin's guest appearance is appropriate: the music shares a loose kinship with Robert Fripp's more esoteric soundscapes, as heard in the waves of choral voices opening "Frankie M" (two of the backing singers are credited simply with 'atmospheric voices').

But the album isn't all ambient rock. Sometimes it actually rocks, especially over Disc Two, where the music comes into sharp focus. Check out the 29-minute title track, which really lets out all the stops. After a long, heavy, hypnotic prologue the song shifts gears suddenly upward into a relentless, atypically urgent groove, recalling the stronger motorik rhythms of early CAN or classic NEU! It's an incredibly tense performance, resolved at (long) last by the surprisingly handsome melody of "Finally, Peace": an upbeat, album-ending anthem currently lodged in my head like a spike of pure radiance

The total experience is no less inscrutable or demanding than other Swans albums I've been exposed to. And yet somehow it seems more accessible, or maybe I'm just growing more accustomed to the band's monolithic style. On principle I would never award five stars to a new album until it's withstood the test of time. But the entire two-disc package is almost long enough to pass that trial in a single sitting, so why wait? Like death, like taxes, like the apotheosis of Gira's unique musical vision, some things are inevitable.

 Children Of God by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 1987
4.33 | 56 ratings

BUY
Children Of God
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The culmination of Swans' early post-punk no wave era offers up what is, for the most part, a unique sonic experience. Not entirely - album opener New Mind sounds like The Fall so much I swear that Michael Gira is doing some sort of Mark E. Smith impersonation on the vocals. Dark post-punk nearly-gothic music running down religion isn't exactly rare, but music which sounds like it's full on dead and rotting on the inside like some sort of sonic zombie is a whole other deal. It's no surprise that from here they went down the full-on gothic neofolk route they took from The Burning World onwards, because this takes their early sound about as far as it can go without descending into absurd self-parody.
 To Be Kind by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.93 | 163 ratings

BUY
To Be Kind
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Eh, I'm not sure about this one. It isn't bad - of course it isn't, this is late-period Swans here - but much of it seems to lack a certain Swans something. The band seem to draw on the influence of Godspeed You Black Emperor here and there - see in particular the climax of Nathalie Neal - and whilst for the most part that is a good thing, it does make this a disorienting listen. And two hours is probably too long by far, the band showing little willingness to actually edit down their material to tease out the successful parts and rework the limp bits.
 Love Of Life by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.73 | 21 ratings

BUY
Love Of Life
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This one is something of a sequel to White Light From the Mouth of Infinity, and its packaging and reissue history is a big clue to that; the two albums went out of print for a long while until they got reissued on a compilation with each other and a bunch of bonus tracks from the same era recently, and the cover art shows the bunny from the cover of White Light coming to a bad end.

Musically, the group continue their bid to combine commercially viable gothic rock with their particular brand of post- punk miserablism, but they get a little more experimental with it, with results which are a bit mixed but end up being interesting to listen to (even if the bid for commercial viability seems to have collapsed). Even when they start threatening to get into, say, something resembling the more conventional Melvins songs or perhaps something the Pixies might have picked up on, they end up falling back into their old weirder ways, with some tracks resurrecting the stark industrial noisy doom sound of their early releases at disconcerting moments. Worth a dabble, but kind of falls between two stools.

 White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 1991
4.07 | 38 ratings

BUY
White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars On this release Swans go full, 100%, "tracks from this album were recommended as background music in a Vampire: the Masquerade book" goth, to the point where Michael Gira's vocal delivery adopts that particular stentorian tone reminiscent of goth vocalists trying really hard to imitate Andrew Eldritch.

This would be seen as a risible and mercifully brief phase in their existence between their shockingly raw early post- punk material that preceded this and their exceptional post-rock material that came after, were it not for one thing: they're amazingly good at this stuff. Perhaps Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds could have stood toe to toe with Swans in the post-punk/goth stakes at this point in time, but precious few others could.

 The Seer by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.15 | 128 ratings

BUY
The Seer
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars A sustained and carefully optimised sonic attack, The Seer runs the full gamut from ugly doomy drones to gorgeous post-rock passages and beyond. Definitely an album to lose yourself in over a wide space of time - with tracks extending for as long as half an hour this isn't something which you can really dip in and out of quickly - it offers some of the most subtle and startling soundscapes in recent music. Recent Swans releases have been divided between major releases and more fannish releases intended to provide means of funding the truly important projects; this is one of those important projects, and it truly merits being considered as such.
 Soundtracks For The Blind by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.14 | 48 ratings

BUY
Soundtracks For The Blind
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars With snatches of found audio and occasional moments of punkish intensity emerging from the depths of a sinister ambient post-rock landscape, Swans' Soundtracks For the Blind is a daunting musical prospect which cries out for multiple listens to unpack its many mysteries. The final statement's of the band's original incarnation before they entered a period of hiatus, it sees the group's sound building on the comprehensive sonic recalibration of The Great Annihilator and moving it in a more experimental direction, with the band's post-punk and noise rock roots by now visible mostly in the form of attitude rather than actual sonic features.
 Young God by SWANS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1984
2.96 | 7 ratings

BUY
Young God
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars There's a flicker of tension and pensiveness about the slow doomy dirges on Swans' Young God. Whereas Cop came across as outraged, furious, but ultimately dead and rotting, somewhere deep within Young God something sinister is gradually coming to life. Complementing its parent album nicely - the two releases are usually conjoined on CD reissues - Young God is another important signpost in the early evolution of Swans and sounds even less like traditional doom metal than Cop. Fans of Burning Witch in particular might find this work an intriguing precedent for Witch's own particular brand of "how sickly can I make this riff sound?" doom.
 Cop by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.37 | 24 ratings

BUY
Cop
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Swans take doom metal riffs, post-punk production and disturbing lyrics and sort of mash them up into an unbelievably ugly gumbo on Cop, their second album. Howling about police brutality, heartache, jobs and violence, frontman Michael Gira is backed by riffs that sound like the world's roof falling in. Pegged by some as noise rock (and good golly is it noisy), I personally see it as a precedent for Black Flag's latter-day experiments in slowing their riffs down and getting weird (see, for instance, The Process of Weeding Out). Just about saved from doom metal territory by virtue of a complete lack of 1970s nostalgia or stoner pipe dreams, Cop is a cold, hard look at an ugly reality.
Thanks to angelmk for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives