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avpr212
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:43 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:43 pm 
 

The title pretty much says it all. Anything like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-P7fBUDkb90

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MalignantThrone
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:11 pm 
 

You could start by telling us exactly what about The Seer it is that you're looking for, as well as any bands you already know and enjoy so we know not to recommend them.
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karnonou48
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Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:51 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:55 pm 
 

Are you looking for bands that are not Swans that have material like The Seer? Because if not, there's a lot of other Swans and Michael Gira material that provides the DNA strands of The Seer.

As far as non-Swans stuff, I'm sure it's out there, but all I know is that a lot of people compare the instrumental sections to Glenn Branca and that there is a discernable Krautrock influence.

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karnonou48
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:02 pm 
 

The track "Lunacy" that you posted is very similar Gira's Angels of Light material if you haven't checked that out yet. Hell, the previous Swans album, their "reunion" album My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky is essentially a noisy/heavy Angels of Light album. If it's that gloomy gothic gospel folk sound you're looking for the first AoL album New Mother is excellent. Their other albums are good too, but IMO that is the best one.

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themicrulah
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:00 am
Posts: 1163
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:25 am 
 

My girlfriend says that whenever someone asks her what bands she would compare Swans to, she just says Swans. They're really in their own breed of weird, and it's hard to just toss them in a group. I can hear Swans influence in many bands. Old Swans stuff makes me think of bands like Eyehategod in their more noisey and atmospheric moments. The new Swans stuff, like the Seer, seems to have some post-black metal influence on it. So, a lot of these USBM bands that sound like they listen to too much post-rock, shoegaze, and Transilvanian Hunger album may be a good choice too. Sooooo, that would mean bands like Altar of Plagues, Deafheaven, and the like. Skagos, Wolves in the Throne Room, etc.
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Helvede
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:12 pm 
 

Silver Mt. Zion are in that area as far as I recall.

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karnonou48
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:16 pm 
 

THEMICRULAH wrote:
My girlfriend says that whenever someone asks her what bands she would compare Swans to, she just says Swans. They're really in their own breed of weird, and it's hard to just toss them in a group.


This /\

Quote:
I can hear Swans influence in many bands. Old Swans stuff makes me think of bands like Eyehategod in their more noisey and atmospheric moments.


The era from Filth, Cop, Young God, to Greed and Holy Money definitely influenced a lot of noisier sludge metal bands, however the even more obvious comparison would be Godflesh circa Streetcleaner (which also has a pretty prominent Killing Joke influence). Early Swans' contemporaries from the No Wave scene as well as early Sonic Youth (whose members had a close relationship with Swans' members at the time) are somewhat close, but still not quite as brutal and bleak as old Swans.

Quote:
The new Swans stuff, like the Seer, seems to have some post-black metal influence on it. So, a lot of these USBM bands that sound like they listen to too much post-rock, shoegaze, and Transilvanian Hunger album may be a good choice too. Sooooo, that would mean bands like Altar of Plagues, Deafheaven, and the like. Skagos, Wolves in the Throne Room, etc.


I think this is coincidental. Michael Gira, who is the primary songwriter, has mostly indicated he doesn't care about/usually doesn't like metal (although he used to rep Liturgy, mostly because they are from his hometown and they were noisy). That's not to say that none of the other members are fans of black metal, but I find it unlikely. Bear in mind, they've had stuff that sounded like post-rock and post-metal dating back to The Great Annihilator (1995) and Soundtracks for the Blind (1996). Norman Westberg who is the second guitarist right now, was still involved in the band back then too. More than likely, what you're hearing is their influence from Glenn Branca and other avant-garde musicians who have used distorted electric guitars in that fashion. All of those musical roots form the same milieu that a lot of the current post-black metal draws in part from.

I'm going to type up a list of other Swans albums that are more or less similar to The Seer once I get home.

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themicrulah
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:32 pm 
 

That's pretty interesting my friend, I've never heard Godflesh, but now I'm more curious. Also very interesting about those pesky black metal riffs! They throw me for a loop whenever I hear them.
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karnonou48
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Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:51 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:49 pm 
 

THEMICRULAH wrote:
That's pretty interesting my friend, I've never heard Godflesh, but now I'm more curious. Also very interesting about those pesky black metal riffs! They throw me for a loop whenever I hear them.


Streetcleaner is a fucking classic!



compare to:


and


(It's not a coincidence that Godflesh was first called Fall of Because before they changed their name)


The black metal thing your hearing might just be a general use of tremolo picking in an epic fashion? I'm not sure. What songs are you speaking of? I personally am not reminded that much of black metal when I listen to The Seer, but I can acknowledge it has some sonic similarities to really epic black metal.

Swans recommendations next....


Last edited by karnonou48 on Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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themicrulah
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:59 pm 
 

It's been a couple months since I went through my obsessive Swans phase after first being introduced to them by my woman, so I'm not clear my friend. I remember it was on one of the newer albums, and interspersed between the regular Swans weirdness were little riffs that sounded like mini little Dissection riff babies, if that makes sense hahaha. I will check out those songs though, I'm curious about Godflesh.

EDIT: Holy JESUS, Godflesh are ripping my butt off at the moment. I love this!!
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karnonou48
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Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:51 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:20 pm 
 

So to those of you looking for stuff similar to The Seer, here are some starting points:

studio albums:
My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky (2010) - This is probably the most obvious, but maybe underwhelming choice. Stylistically it's the most similar to The Seer, but, well that's because it came out right before it. There's a stronger blues-rock and folk influence on this (this did come after 5 Angels of Light albums) and the epic, transcendental, and noisy sections aren't quite as expansive, but they are definitely there. The vibe isn't quite as dark and hallucinatory. However the live versions (I'll get to that below) were made much more overtly Swans-y, and some of the longer songs on The Seer were developed live alongside them. Overall, this was a pretty good come-back album for Swans, but they were still getting warmed up IMO.


Soundtracks for the Blind (1996) - Most people will probably point to this, the final Swans album during their original run, as The Seer's precursor. Indeed, it's definitely where their post-rock tendencies really took off, and it's also a double album. There are two 12-15 minute songs on here that start off as gothic ballads and then enter into lengthy instrumental sections with crescendo guitars that sound very very similar to Godspeed You! Black Emperor. There's also a lot of weird trippy instrumental material with bizarre vocal samples and field recordings. If the trippy instrumental vibe of The Seer is what you're looking for, this might be the one for you. The reason I feel differently about it is that, the "epic" songwriting is nowhere near as complex as it got on The Seer, but also it feels more like a kaleidoscopic compilation rather than the extremely focused musical journey I hear on The Seer. This is basically because Soundtracks was made up of various "leftovers", live songs, and a couple new songs the band compiled before embarking on their farewell tour the following year.


Children of God (1987) - This would actually be my first choice for albums that give me a similar vibe to The Seer, although it's not the most obvious choice. Hell, Swans on this album and the new Swans might as well be a different band, not only in members, but in style. Still, whether or not you agree with me, this is still one of THE essential albums in the Swans discog and everyone getting into this band ought to check it out anyway. Basically this was the crossroads between the bleak, industrial noise rock they made throughout the 80s and the more melodic, otherwordly, exotic 4AD goth rock/post-punk sort of stuff they started playing in the early 90s. Thus there's a lot of shifting moods, like on The Seer, but in a more "narrative" flowing arrangement than Soundtracks for the Blind. Much like The Seer alternates between ethereal and grim, harshly noisy and beautifully acoustic, so does this album. It's also where Swans really started incorporating more freaky religious imagery and lyrics, where Gira started putting on his "mad preacher" voice on a lot of songs. You can take my comparisons with a grain of salt, however, because the other reason I find these two to be kind of linked is that the first time I heard The Seer I was in the middle of an intense mushroom trip and I was listening to this album right before it. Needless to say, it was quite the experience.
(I can't ever just post one song from this album)




I'd also recommend checking out The Great Annihilator, White Light from the Mouth of Infnity, and the aforementioned Filth, Cop/Young God, and Greed/Holy Money. There's strands of all of those albums on Swans new material. The stuff before Children of God is especially of interest to metal fans, being some of the heaviest music ever made. I don't think I've ever heard a metal band top how horrifying the Young God EP sounds.

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karnonou48
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:37 pm 
 

pt. 2
Since Swans live are kind of a different beast than in the studio (they tend to at least tweak, if not extensively re-work the studio versions), there are at least 2 live albums worth mentioning for this thread:

live albums:
We Rose From Your Bed With the Sun in Our Head (2011) - Until the next live and studio albums come out, this is probably the closest thing you're going to hear to The Seer, obviously because it includes the live material where Swans started developing some of the stuff that would end up on there. The songs from My Father are longer, heavier, and more "Seer-like" than on the album and the new takes on really old songs are also sort of foreshadowing what was to come. For some reason the live version of "Avatar" isn't on here, though they definitely played it during this tour. Hopefully it will be on the next live album. Otherwise, there are early versions of "The Apostate," "93 Ave. B Blues" and of course "The Seer", the latter of which bleeds into a slightly updated version of "I Crawled" from the 1984 Young God EP rather than the end section that appears on the album. It's really cool.

(fun fact, the bassline and drum beat during the "I Crawled section first appeared on Gira's post-Swans project The Body Lovers in 1998):

(starts at about 2:30 in)

Swans Are Dead (1997): This is the document of Swans final two tours from their original run. One disc is the '95 tour and the other is their '97 tour. You'd think it would be mostly made up of material from The Great Annihilator and Soundtracks for the Blind, but the bulk of it is a mixture of some unrecorded stuff (one song would eventually become an Angels of Light song), radical re-workings of much older songs, and material from Gira and Jarboe's solo albums. It's mega epic, dark, and harrowing, and quite possibly what someone vibing off The Seer might be looking for.

(I always wonder what a studio version of this song would have sounded like)

Ok, that's all the obsessive Swans nerdery I have time for tonight.


Last edited by karnonou48 on Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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themicrulah
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:00 am
Posts: 1163
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:42 pm 
 

karnonou48, you are the man!!! (or woman)
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karnonou48
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:51 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:53 pm 
 

man! Thanks! I'm just an unhealthily obsessed Swans fan boy equivalent of a deadhead haha.

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karnonou48
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Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:51 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:13 pm 
 

Oh yeah, since the guy above posted "Lunacy" from The Seer, I just wanted to post this ultra-creepy Angels of Light song that reminds me of it. It needs more appreciation:



Another fun fact: this song was played by Swans on the same '97 farewell tour, but wasn't included on Swans Are Dead.

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themicrulah
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:33 pm 
 

The Angels of Light are great. I think Gira is some kind of Genius. It's like Swans but not heavy, which is still brilliant.
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693
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Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:55 am
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:55 am 
 

Not exactly like the seer, but you might enjoy the newest Ulver album called "Messe I.X - VI.X" and The Newest Godspeed You! Black Emperor album called "'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!".

Godspeed's Allelujah:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEsdiiYkhT8

Ulver' Messe:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EtSWs9729s

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karnonou48
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:22 am 
 

Just as I suspected, there's some Glenn Branca that sounds an awful lot like the post- and avant-garde black metal that's coming out these days:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_-SXsdG_TU

I'd say this is probably the common ancestor of all the stuff we're driving at in this thread. I'm woefully unfamiliar with Branca, but he's an artist I've been meaning to check out.


Last edited by karnonou48 on Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:03 am, edited 2 times in total.
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balbulus
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 3:01 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:24 am 
 

I've been a huge Swans fan for many years, though my interest (and attention span) has flagged in recent times. Inspired by this thread, I have finally got round to listening to The Seer. I'm still digesting it, but I have a few suggestions to float. I agree with everything else that has been written above; Swans have always been one of those bands that have bits that sound like other bands, but no-one else sounds like the whole thing.

Some of the rhythmic krautrock-esque sections remind me a little of Aluk Todolo:
http://aluktodolo.bandcamp.com/

A band I always like to recommend in general comparison to Swans is the Swiss band Nàda - their 1st album "Celmètra" is roughly comparable to the early Swans era ("Filth" to "Children of God"), whilst their 2nd album "Ùr" is roughly comparable to mid to late-era Swans ("Children of God" to "Great Annihilator"):
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL805E9AD737F408CB
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6550FEEEF1A5E0BA

And another band vaguely comparable to the noisier side of Swans is UK noise/post-rock band Splintered:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2njla_HIY4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AawpctBcoxo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufWD2YwdZ70
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H59iNUhUgWo
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themicrulah
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:00 am
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:54 am 
 

karnonou48 wrote:
Just as I suspected, there's some Glenn Branca that sounds an awful lot like the post- and avant-garde black metal that's coming out these days:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_-SXsdG_TU

I'd say this is probably the common ancestor of all the stuff we're driving at in this thread. I'm woefully unfamiliar with Branca, but he's an artist I've been meaning to check out.


This is the first music I'm listenign to today, and it's very interesting. Noisy!!
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