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Swans: The Seer

Young God Records

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Swans' second post-reactivation album, The Seer, is an unequivocal masterpiece that encapsulates all of the crushing assaults and swelling beauty that Michael Gira has honed over the last 30 years. The album's opening mantra, "Lunacy," starts things off on a run-of-the-mill goth note, but it soon transforms into a completely immersive two-hour journey where droning, single-chord dirges burn with power and majesty. Jarboe's angelic vocal textures give depth to "The Seer Returns" and "A Piece of the Sky" while peaks and valleys swarm in the album's 30-minute title track. Closing number, "Apostate," dives headlong into the wildest recesses of the unrestrained male psyche, keeping the tone heavy but never bleak by channeling an odyssey of all that Gira has witnessed. (5 out of 5 stars)

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