Swans - To Be Kind 3xLP || Young God Records 2014
I genuinely thought that I would never own or put on another Swans record in this lifetime.
Years ago I listened to many of the original Swans releases intensely. I liked them, but they became too emotionally taxing and overwhelming in a very negative way for me. If you have ever delved into a Swans release, you should have an idea of how it can strike you that way. Thus I got rid of these Swans releases, all in the CD format, instead of having them just collecting dust.
When Michael Gira reactivated the band and started putting out new albums in 2010 and onward, I kept hearing about how amazing it all was, but no matter how much praise it got from trusted friends and like minded acquaintances, it took me until recently to pick up the third new album, To Be Kind.
After having approached it with caution I am very pleased to have taken a fresh leap into the massive experimental and ritualistic rock sound scapes of Swans again. There is a certain edge to this album that makes it much easier for me to enjoy and digest than any previous attempt, this to such a degree that not even the more than two hours total playing time feels discouraging.
The Seer and My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky are next in line. I am looking forward to hearing them - and I might even dig further back into the discography again. We will see how it goes…