Tribune India Glowing Man Review

Swans — The Glowing Man (Young God)    
A colossal album for sure 

The Glowing Man is to be the concluding release from Swans in their current line-up. Since restructuring the band in 2010, Michael Gira has led them through a series of brilliant musical explorations, each of which has evolved their sound. Clocking in at nearly two hours, the album is packed with impressions, textures, and thoughts. The heavier grooves of the previous albums seem to have gone, leaving almost ambient washes of sound that wash over you. Opening pair Cloud of Forgetting and Cloud of Unknowing are both brilliant reminders of Swans’ unmatched splendour. The former showcases a luxurious display of sounds and Michael Gira’s tormented screams, whereas the latter takes flight after a nerve-breaking assemble of screeching guitars. The penultimate title track is the final version of a song that Swans have been amending and refining since 2011, a song that originally manifested itself as the title track of The Seer and later as Bring the Sun / Toussaint L’Ouverture on To Be Kind. The World Looks Red/The World Looks Black opens with a quiet piano and finally hurdles full-throttle into an absolute roller-coaster of Thor Harris’s drums and Gira’s catchy chant of ‘Hello, sleeper man/hello, maker man/hello, keeper man/ hello, leaver man,’ as piano breaks into rhythm. People Like Us, the album’s shortest song, is practically an acoustic ballad structured with guitars and repetitive drums in the background. Perhaps, the most remarkable element of Swans’ songwriting character on this record is the intricate balance of mesmerising beauty and pompous intensity.
Best track: People Like Us
Worst track: Frankie M.

Rating: ***