The new Swans album is one of the best of the year, the 1 hour and 33-minute length is perfect. The lyrical themes here are all familiar by now: Lovers claw at each other, seeking self-annihilation. Players from throughout his various projects’ histories have rejoined him here, including several of Angels of Light’s core members (Christoph Hahn, Dana Schechter, Cassis Staudt, Larry Mullins) and pretty much the entire recent Swans lineup.
Leaving Meaning is shorter and simpler.
In spite of my own misgivings towards Leaving Meaning., it is an admirable effort that doesn't tell us much about what the future has in store, but to make people aware that Swans aren't quite dead...yet. Wall of Sound: Up Against the Wall Podcast series Out Now – Click Here for Latest Episodes.
Various references are made to both the Buddha and John of the Cross (similar to the references in, Gira slowly alternates between contradictions: “I can touch it but not hold it / I can be it but not know it / I can reach it but won’t touch it” and. Como es habitual un disco de la hostia. Fans will likely bicker about where the influences on Leaving Meaning came from. Leaving Meaning marks the 15th studio album of SWANS’ long and incredibly diverse discography, the first album since frontman Michael Gira formally dissolved the most recent lineup of the band in favour of a revolving door of handpicked musicians. The former feels like a ‘To Be Kind’ B-side (like a deflated ‘Bring the Sun’) that anxiously builds up with no real release. In their earnest and chilling spirit, Swans have closed 2019 proving they are still a seismic force to be reckoned with – something few bands are capable of (let alone after nearly 4 decades).
It wasn’t the first time that Gira had started over. But as it drifts and droops, and Baby Dee sings of krill, bleached fluid, and putrefying flesh, the song comes to resemble an audio portrait of a whale fall. See: Although, as mentioned prior, various comparisons can be made to the previous sounds of. Posted on October 29, 2019 by walladmin in Album Reviews, Reviews // 1 Comment, SWANS – Leaving Meaning In typical SWANS style, Leaving Meaning is a departure from the orgasmic climax-oriented post-rock of their recent trilogy of albums (The Seer, To Be Kind, and The Glowing Man). In its bone-chilling, earnest spirit, we witness Swans maintaining a power they never lost – we see them exceeding expectations, branding themselves as a seismic force in experimental rock, and here, they continue to touch on that greatness. Leaving Meaning continues to incorporate the freak-folk influence and increased melodicism of Swans’s post-reunion efforts, but it’s also another example of the band’s central problem: They’re much easier to respect than like. Sonically, the album backs away from the dirge-rock rave-ups that defined the group’s last four albums.
Vocally, Leaving Meaning is especially strong, with an atypical abundance of words appearing to have pushed Gira to experiment with their delivery. Swans died so that new life may flourish. Now, on his first Swans album since 2016’s The Glowing Man, Gira has reshuffled the deck once again. [Dec 2019, p.32]. Then there's the track "Sunf*cker" where Gira is wailing, the tension is building only to be released into this hypnotizing groove. Surrender!”, repeating the phrase “Believer, believer, believer, believe or not Believer…” for several minutes and asking “Why am I on this earth?”. (Rape allegations against Gira—denied by him, but never retracted by his accuser—will forever draw an uncomfortable shadow beneath Gira’s portraits of repentant sinners.). The latter is a track that is beautiful in its own right but slightly stifles the flow of the album; a minimalistic 8 minute follow up to ‘Leaving Meaning’ (both featuring The Necks) that feels like it could have been cut (sadly, the vinyl version of the album will not include the superior track ‘Some New Things’ instead). Some will compare its gothic folk elements to the highly underrated Burning World, others will say that it takes the religious themes of Children of God and splices them with the spiritual and post-rock elements of White Light From the Mouth of Infinity, while some will claim that this is merely a SWANS flavoured Angels of Light record (alongside an infinitude of other combinations and comparisons). What's this? There's a moment on "The Nub," the 12-plus minute eighth track on leaving meaning, the 15th official studio album by Swans and the first with this line-up — The Necks are doing a stellar job backing one-true-Swan Michael Gira with their orchestral, atmospheric hesitations and runs — tension's building across the violin and keys and then slowly but suddenly the spectral horrors of the lyric "I'm naked, I'm … Musically, there is little to say about this album besides sheer praise. ) The template remains intact, with monotony fundamental: The Necks lend the title track's repetitions a shimmering, slowly evolving transcendence, Anna Von Hauswolff and sister maria provide bloodcurdling shrieks on the devastating, pummelling "Sunfucker," and Baby Dee adds voodoo magic to "The Nub."
“The Hanging Man” and “Some New Things” both reprise the pounding rave-ups of the band’s recent records and live shows, while the overdubbed chants and chain-gang rhythm of the closing “My Phantom Limb” recall the agonies of the Greed/Holy Money years. The former feels like a ‘To Be Kind’ B-side (like a deflated ‘Bring the Sun’) that anxiously builds up with no real release. The title track is a relaxing drone, almost preparing you for what's coming next. Leaving Meaning is a beautifully haunting, atmospheric triumph both in content and execution. [Dec 2019, p.85].
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