Two years, one month and the release of 2012’s epic "The Seer" have elapsed between Swans’ first ever visit to Athens in April 2011 and their return this past Friday. Essentially the only difference between now and then was the venue that hosted the gig. Everything else regarding the intense, unforgettable experience of witnessing firsthand the sonic rituals of Michael Gira and his band remains unchanged.
The material chosen for their two-hour set at Fuzz Club may be completely different from that of the Gagarin 205 gig but the way they approach and present their music is essentially the same: an open ended noise experiment that creates a unique universe of sound regardless of the point of origin. The compositions themselves and the way they have been recorded (or will be recorded) is not what matters. The essence of the Swans live experience lies in the onstage exploration of the limits of each composition and the search for new ways to go beyond them, driving the sound at its extremes.
Swans' performance, exactly like the first time, included moments from their past, present and future. "Coward" from "Holy Money" reminded us of the band’s violent, repetitive proto-industrial sound of the mid '80s, "The Seer" represented their latest epic sonic quests, while we also got to listen to a couple of unreleased compositions to prepare us for what it is yet to come.
At the moment that we needed it the most, the beast called Swans has awaken from its sleep and every time it opens its wings and roars, the terrible and awesome sound crushes bones. You really need to stand in front of it and let its sound devour you to truly understand the infinite dimensions and limitless possibilities of its pure, (un)holy Noise!
Swans, live @ Fuzz Club, Athens (May 17, 2013)