Album Review

Swans – “The Seer” – [Young God Records]

Roland Blunt   5/7/2013   A Library, CD

The twelfth studio album, in a thirty-year skein, by american experimental band Swans…fronted by writer, arranger, producer Michael Gira. An epically vehement and cinematic coalescing of neo-folk, post punk, noise rock, drone, and other traces of avant-garde techniques…which Gira considers the apotheosis of all his previous musical endeavors (Swans, Angels of Light, The Body Lovers, Skin). Intrinsically nihilistic strains formed by traditional rock instrumentation (guitars, bass, percussion, piano, voice) fraternized with a diversity of sonic prospects (harmonica, chimes, vibraphone, synthesizers, mandolin, accordion, hammered dulcimer, bagpipes, reeds, strings, as well as acoustic and synthetic fire sounds) that provoke a feral, shamanistic state of awareness.

***Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker of Low provide background vocals on “Lunacy”…Seth Olinsky, Miles Seaton, and Dana Janssen of Akron/Family contribute background vocals to “A Piece Of The Sky”…Jarboe bestows background vocals upon “A Piece Of The Sky” and “The Seer Returns”….and Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s imparts lead vocals to “Song Of A Warrior”***

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