Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Swans - Die Tür ist zu CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

4.00 | 9 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars This album is considered an E.P. even though it runs for almost an hour. I think the reason for the E.P. label is because it is actually a collection of outtakes, new German versions and live versions of previous songs. It was released only in Germany between the albums "The Great Annihilator" and "Soundtracks for the Blind" This is a very post rock sounding album which incorporates droning at times, starkness and minimalism at time and harshness and extreme loud passages at others. This creates a very versatile album with hardly a dull moment. This will be a track by track review of the album.

1) Ligeti's Breath/Hiflos Kind is a very extended german-language version of "The Helpless Child" from the album "Soundtracks for the Blind" which was to be released later. This track is over 20 minutes long and was the longest track thus far by Swans. The first 8 1/2 minutes is mostly a drone which alternates between noisiness and quietness in long doses. The sound is always moving, at one point the drone is played underneath a calliope sounding music and at another point the drone is more to the foreground and competing with sounds like a crowd or mob-like noise. The music stays quite interesting and then suddenly gets quiet as the vocals stars, in German. This is a beautiful song and a very surprisingly great performance by Gira, the language not being an issue as the melody is very nice. The music stays quiet for a while and then builds to where some strong guitar chords are stuck around the 15 1/2 minute mark. It stays instrumental and almost mid-tempo as it plays out the rest of the song. A great track full of a lot of sound, beauty, dissonance and dynamic changes. For twenty minutes, this goes by quite quickly.

2) A track from Gira's solo "Drainland" album called "I See Them All Lined Up" gets the German language treatment next in a track called "Ich sehe die Alle in einer Reihe" . This one alternates from a spoken word sounding vocal track with minimalistic dirge-like background to a very loud guitar driven instrumental, almost reminiscent of Swans early work. Stark and very heavy at times. No level of beauty is evident here.

3) Surrogate Drones is a short drone piece.

4) YRP is a new version of the old Swans tune called "Your Property". Originally, this was typical Swans loudness and brutality when it was originally released. Now, it is given a stark, sad sounding feeling with a drone going on behind the vocalization this time by Jarboe. This is a live performance in Astoria London. It's very nice to hear her take on the old Swans tune done before her time with the band. It's like, the flip side, or the story from the other person's point of view. At times her voice is almost mid-eastern sounding as she laments with the music. The ending starts to pound along with the drone and crashing cymbals before it stops and shimmers along for a while. Very nice track.

5) This one is called "You Know Everything" and is a very altered version of "You Know Nothing" from the White Light album. The vocals are done as spoken word by a taped child's recording. Suddenly half way through the softness of the track is crushed by a very loud passage with a full band at full volume, but the softness returns and finishes the track. Very nice except for the part as it approaches the middle when the child's voice becomes repetitive.

6) An acoustic rendition of the track "M/F" done by Jarboe at the radio station VPRO on December 14,1994. Her vocals are very harsh against the simple guitar accompaniment as she tries to push the harshness of the original.

7) "Soundsection" is another live track from London. Gira has vocal duty on this one. It has a typical post rock sound following the same format as many "Godspeed You! Black Emperor" songs with a variating drone, mid-tempo percussive sounds with a slow crescendo, except it has Gira's trademark vocalization, deep and harsh. It could easily be mistaken for a live GY!BE track if it weren't for the vocals.

So, this is a good album for those who love the harshness and imperfections of the first albums but don't mind a lot of variety added in. Sure, it is not cohesive because of the variety of tracks and sources, but that works to it's advantage. For brand new Swans listeners, this is a great introduction to their music, especially the music that was being made during the middle of their career and as the first incarnation of the band was splitting up to work on other projects. But you also get a taste of some of their earlier works in the loud passages, it's just not as repetitive. Again, this is an E.P. but it packs the punch of a full album and lasts just as long. Not their best, but it is one of their better ones because of the variety here. 4 stars.

TCat | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this SWANS review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

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

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives