ANGELS OF LIGHT | Everything Is Good Here

Jersey Beat | Greg Matherly

methodical and intense, even at its most subtle

Everything Is Good Here/Please Come Home

What's to be said about Michael Gira? It's difficult not to hear his influence over countless bands today that describe themselves as dark, industrial, or brooding. Even in the heavy metal scene, the Swans influence rears its head.

Thing is, by the time a lot of these bands incorporate their prayers to Gira, it's second or third-hand influence. They know not the god they wish to be. This is the ubiquitous influence of Gira. For the third release of Angels of Light, Michael assembled a host of amazing musicians. He claims it's the best release yet under that moniker, and I am very much inclined to believe him. This record is methodical and intense, even at its most subtle.

Gira merely opens his mouth and the carnivalesque is envoked-add to this a biting urgency, clearly expressed from the scream to the whisper, and an interplay of acoustic guitar, "treated" guitar, violin, mandolin, trombone, banjo, and a children's choir, and what you get is a small masterpiece from a veteran of pain, loss, and condensed anger. There's a tour coming up, kids. Do your local band a favor and buy them some tickets. -