Friday, November 12, 2010

Swans - White Light from the Mouth of Infinity (1991)

"There is no birth of consciousness without pain." - Carl Jung.

The cardinal rule with the Swans is that if you're in a good mood, they'll put you in bad mood, and if you're in a bad mood they'll put you in a good mood. In celebration of their first new material in almost 15 years, I'd like to share with you my favorite Swans album, White Light From the Mouth of Infinity. I'd forgotten how good this album was until it started raining today and I decided to bust it out. It's filled to the brim with ornate, obsidian gems that sound like black angels heralding songs from some banished, forsaken land after having just been exiled from heaven. The level of intensity, especially early on in the album is just through the fucking roof. Throughout their lengthy and caliginous career, Michael Gira and Jarboe made a name for themselves by hammering out dark and noisy post punk and later on more acoustic and experimental material with varying instrumentation. This record is unlike their harsher more abrasive early recordings, - its dramatic, dense, intense, and pluvious - definitely not an easy listening record. There are crescendos galore that will make you feel your blood pumping through your veins. It's fatalistic, epochal and almost comforting and cathartic in a nebulous way, despite its melancholy and violent nature. You can definitely tell that this was a transitional phase for the band's sound, as much of the album is polarized between this loudness and lushness and fantastic combinations of the two. I don't have enough good things to say about this album, besides that you should download it if you don't already have a copy.

Rating: 10/10


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