Swans: The Glowing Man (Young God) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Swans

The Glowing Man

Young God

Jun 21, 2016 Swans Bookmark and Share


Michael Gira’s post-2010 version of Swans chokes the air like a storm in a southern gothic nightmare, the slow-motion onslaught unrelenting as it chases restless dreamers around dark corners and long hallways. But there is ecstasy as well, just as there is terror in a puritan’s pulpit. On The Glowing Man, Gira revives the role of dark preacher from his 2012 and 2014 masterpieces The Seer and To Be Kind, repeating incantations, stretching syllables to hypnotize a flock that can’t help but walk towards the grinding machinery of death.

Unfortunately, the séance has begun to feel tired, or at least recast. There are musical elements from To Be Kind reconstituted here in new forms; but perhaps the most obvious sign of a lack of fresh ideas is the third track, “The World Looks Red.” Gira wrote the lyrics in 1982; they were borrowed by Thurston Moore for a Sonic Youth track the next year, and went unused by Swans until now, because, as Gira says, he was stumped for words. Whereas The Seer and To Be Kind defied boredom and logic with two-hour runtimes, The Glowing Man wears its 118 minutes less gracefully.

Gira says this will be the final album from Swans’ current incarnation. He killed the first version of the band after it exhausted its potential in 1997; he likely had that feeling again before completing The Glowing Man. (www.younggodrecords.com)

Author rating: 6.5/10

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Average reader rating: 2/10



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