As the current incarnation of Swans draws to a close, here’s the second studio album by that version of the band, from 2012. Michael Gira assembled a lineup of veterans like Norman Westberg and new blood including Thor Harris, guest spots from the likes of Karen O and Ben Frost, with even Jarboe making an appearance. They managed to combine the monolithic heaviness of the past with a new sensibility that saw the lengthy tracks evolve over the course of touring. Massive epics like The Apostate and the 32-minute title track are balanced by gentle miniatures such as The Daughter Brings the Water and Song for a Warrior. This is a huge, sprawling album, and only the first of three such two-hour, 2CD or 3LP monsters. Some of the most ambitious and visionary rock music of recent years.
- Vinyl Triple LP (STUMM363)