The creative potential that the Swans have shown since they were founded four years ago is and remains unparalleled. On their album "The Seer" from 2012 they celebrated in extreme song lengths a unique orchestral symbiosis of rock riffs, folk particles, noise collages and a lot of noise. They thought they heard the primeval being of the world. Whoever experienced the band around singer/guitarist Michael Gira at one of their rare gigs in Europe since then became part of an evocative fair for absolute sound demands that surround themselves with the beautiful glow of contemplation. On their third album since reunification, the New Yorkers have continued these virtues. Nevertheless, "To Be Kind" takes a different direction than the previous album. While "The Seer" was a single excess of sound contrasts with clear signs of megalomania despite all its precision, "To Be Kind" is a bit more grounded. The fact that this doesn't detract from the disturbing intensity of the compositions underlines the special class of this band, which was started in the early eighties as a no wave act. If in some places even country approaches show up, it becomes almost cuddly. But even then the abysmal side of the Swans, who compete without Jarboe but can present St. Vincent as a guest singer, remains present. Just like the whole album is one abyss. For an overall impression, novices are recommended to use the 34-minute number "Bring The Sun/Toussaint L'Ouverture Part One". However, just the opening track "Screenshot" is enough: Like a lonely caller in the desert, the guitar gnets down until more and more voices join the endless chord and the whole thing trots away as a hypnotic ride. On "To Be Kind" the Swans build many a bridge for their listeners. Whoever crosses it is lost.
Top track: Bring The Sun/Toussaint L'Ouverture Part One