But the Old Testament-fervor of Children of God can never be oversold. These are two of my top ten favorite albums of all time, and it's hard to compare them on overall quality. Children of God is one of their worst releases to me. The Great Annihilator is one of their best. Children of God. The Great Annihilator to me is actually a little boring compared to most other Swans albums. Children of God explodes with the shattering New Mind , and does not let up once during its seventy minute running time.
His voice erupts like a volcano spewing passion that instantaneously turns to poison; the unbridled screams that tear apart the stunning Beautiful Child are some of the most terrifying sounds ever to emanate from a humanity that could never come to terms with its own existence.
Echoing with a quiet beauty, they resonate loudly from somnolent streams, caressed agonizingly by the weeping willows of piano that bow down in mourning from the overgrown banks. Dying away at a bend in the river, they ultimately cascade in fury over waterfalls of sound as Gira returns to the microphone.
Meanwhile, the title track sounds like a fanatical church ceremony gone off the rails, and it sums up the album perfectly; the fervour running through this music is genuine, crushing and absolutely astonishing. Swans were undoubtedly one of the most singular and astounding bands ever to arise from the dark recesses of sound, and Children of God was the first great mountain of sound they conquered. Whilst the following decade would see them evolve and mutate beyond belief, this remains their first flawless and perhaps most perfectly emotive work.
At their loudest, at their strangest, or at their most gentle, they are Swans, and you know it when you hear it.
Michael Gira formed Swans in , choosing the name for its evocation of something beautiful with a nasty temperament. But in time that harsh, noisy beginning gave way to primal noise rock on Filth , punishing industrial on Holy Money , transcendent gothic rock on Children of God , dark Americana on The Burning World , shoegazing post-punk on The Great Annihilator and eventually a little bit of everything on Soundtracks for the Blind — only to be resurrected in with a greater sense of purpose and some of their best material to date.
Albums and EPs are collected in different compilations, some with missing material, some with extras. They have an unusually large collection of live albums, some of which are poorly recorded and some of which come packaged with extremely misanthropic titles. So where does one begin with Swans? Glad you asked. If you haven't heard Gira's voice, imagine a voice as deep and dark as the lead singer from Bauhaus and then go down about 5 notches.
We're talking "John Wayne" deep. So his singing is really without much of a melody. But it works here. Jarboe however, is more dynamic and has quite an impressive range, though she typically on this album stays within the same range within a song. I was actually surprised at how low her register can go as in the song "Blood and Honey".
In the past, the instruments were quite repetitive, churning out heavy riffs at extreme volume. I find in this release, the instruments are still repetitive, but now that the wall of noise is broken down, you can hear the band experimenting with new sounds and new timbres. On this album, you get surprise appearances of a flute, an oboe, a harmonica, strings and you also get background vocals.
Even though this all makes the album sound more accessible than their earlier albums, believe me, it's not. This is dark music and it is still extreme, just not as loud as before.
To appreciate the music here, you have to make a commitment to listen. This album is all about contrast, the contrast of good and evil, or maybe, there isn't really a contrast at all. Seraphin A Room Forever. Interested in our staff or writing for us? Or maybe you want to contact us in general? Hosting by DigitalOcean. The album was already reissued once by Atavistic Records in , on CD, having been remastered.
The track listing of the reissue was different from the original and counted less tracks. Your Name:. Your Email:. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly.Children of God is the fifth studio album by American experimental rock band Swans. It was released on October 19, , through record label Caroline. 1. "New Mind" Algis Kizys, Michael Gira.