A Swans performance is an exercise in stamina, for the six men on stage and everyone watching and listening to them. It is also a relentless spectacle in sound unlike most, if any, other live shows. Michael Gira is the band’s director and its primary personae. He directs and conducts his band through its compositions with a passion and intensity that feeds the ferocity with which each song is rendered. But Swans don’t compose “songs” in the traditional sense. Rather they arrange waves and barrages of noise and sounds into aural sculptures that are all at once punishing, hypnotic, cosmic,...
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