swans-seer-artwork

By Edgar Smith

When Michael Gira’s monolithic industrial-cum-electric/acoustic-psychedelic avant-gardists reformed for 2010’s ‘My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope to the Sky’ we laid back to receive a depraved, sublime gift from the universe. If that LP was Shock and Awe, here’s Hearts and Minds; the only worry for ‘The Seer’, eying up its 2hr running time, was that in response to the previous work’s success, Gira’s music might escape its own bounds, bloating into farce like some musical Christopher Nolan. We needn’t have worried. This gargantuan, cancerous, post-human musical supernova is one gruesome two-disc mother-fucker that requires some long, hard listening before it slaps you with its ecstatic, tantric pay-off.

The extended techniques and engineering experiments of ‘My Father…’ are delved into deeper and whirled into several 20min+ swathes of insides-turning chiaroscuro discord and harmony, a symphonic netherworld that subsumes guest spots from Low, Akron/Family and Jarboe. Karen ‘O’ crops up on the devastating ‘Song for a Warrior’, perhaps the one song that doesn’t feel like being dragged across a desert by your ear lobes but instead eulogizes a pain that’s more factual, topical even. To say that it’s possible to contain ‘The Seer’ in print would be to do it a disservice. Just go buy it.

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