When its rep as one of the world's loudest, most demanding bands finally grew too much to bear, Swans leader Michael Gira dissolved his cultish avant-rock group in the late 1990s to begin a kinder, gentler second career with Angels of Light. But playing nice has never been the tyrannical Gira's strong suit (he still feels “the urge to annihilate through sound,” according to one recent interview), so he's reignited Swans for a second sortie. This is not a jaunty Pixies/Pavement/Primus-style reunion cruise to air out mothballed old classics, however. It's a new band and a new crusade entirely, one that's equally comfortable with pastoral acoustic passages as it is with dissonant No Wave dirges and two-chord death crescendos — at least for a little while.
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