ALBUM REVIEW: Swans - The Glowing Man

Since returning in 2010, Michael Gira and Swans have flouted practically every trend of a band reunion.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 20th June 2016, 3:34 pm
Updated Monday, 20th June 2016, 6:08 pm
Swans - The Glowing Man (Young God/Mute)
Swans - The Glowing Man (Young God/Mute)

Rather than pander to fans with old favourites, their notorious live shows have been comprised almost entirely of new material - and not without reason.

Indeed, the three records they've since delivered have been perhaps the greatest and most ambitious of their entire career, enticing new generations of fans and garnering unprecedented acclaim from critics.

Billed as the final act in the group's current incarnation, The Glowing Man completes a trilogy of monolithic double albums, following the stunning heights of 2012's The Seer and 2014's To Be Kind.

That it's the shortest of the three isn't saying much - three tracks still smash the 20-minute barrier, with the record as a whole clocking in just short of two hours.

It's a mammoth undertaking, and one which requires utmost commitment, but once again the results are engrossing and frequently stunning.

Spread over eight tracks is a journey of beauty, brutality and hypnotic repetition, swooning at its own impulsive pace without so much as a thought of compromise.

Everything comes to a head on the title track; an almost half-hour romp of awe-inspiring noise, battery and rhythmic thrust which - much like the LP as whole - leaves you thrilled, exhausted and utterly overwhelmed.

In a sense, The Glowing Man is a difficult record to evaluate, not because of its quality, but because this has all become almost commonplace in Swans' colossal canon.

I'll go with my gut instinct and hand it a big fat 9/10.

You can hear it for yourself when Swans play Northumbria University in Newcastle on Wednesday, October 12. Tickets are £22 from HERE.