Reunions are normally lame exercises in commerce. Swans, though,
Having started as a brutal industrial noise ensemble, they mutated through variants of dark pop music, bleak neo-folk and rabid psychedelic drone rock. They eventually mutated out of existence until frontman and creator Michael Gira unleashed this most demonic of bands once more.
This album stands apart from Gira’s Angels Of Light as well as the final Swans (era one) albums. It’s an occasionally weightless song cycle, that raises you up on the numinous No Words/No Thoughts before dashing you back to the dirt with Satanic hymns like Reeling The Liars In.
The best song is You Fucking People Make Me Sick, featuring associate Devendra Banhart, maintaining Swans’ reputation for sheer abrasiveness. A geography-teacher style mark out of 10 or an Argos catalogue-length assessment are both insufficient to convey the complexity and brooding majesty of this work.