Published May 12, 2014Three albums into their reunion, it's clear Swans have discovered a creative cycle that really works. Starting with My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky, Michael Gira and co. developed a process in which they demo their new songs live, release those demos as a limited edition (and often handmade) CD, use that money to partially fund their time in a studio, record an album, tour the album, write new songs on the road, rinse and repeat. It's a hypnotic process that has left an indelible mark on the songs themselves: each starts with an idea, then repeats it until either that idea becomes stronger over time or collapses into a mighty wormhole of sound.
This time around, the band seem a bit more comfortable with using production to serve the songs on the record, treating Gira's voice occasionally with a number of effects or incorporating elements like horns or synths in places to increase the level of devastation they can achieve. The effect is wholly satisfying, confusing and obliterating — everything a Swans record should be. (Young God)