Interview: Swans crafts “total experience” on double album The Seer

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Swans: The SeerSwans: The Seer (Young God, 8/28/12)

“The Apostate” (edit)

Swans: “The Apostate” (edit)

The Seer, the new double album that follows Swans’ productive 2010 reunion and studio return, is a space in which to wander in furious mediation — as songwriter Michael Gira puts it, a “total experience.” Dense without losing immediacy, the album stretches over two hours of constantly shifting aural landscapes. This is a work to be enjoyed second by second, losing your mind to its deceptive repetitions.

Six Organs of Admittance

Review: Six Organs of Admittance’s Ascent

Six Organs of Admittance: AscentSix Organs of Admittance: Ascent (Drag City, 8/21/12)


Six Organs of Admittance: “Waswasa”

An undulating, tripped-out space opera, Ascent is the latest from guitarist Ben Chasny’s psych-folk project Six Organs of Admittance — here joined for an electric, full-band lineup by his Comets on Fire bandmates Ethan Miller, Noel Von Harmonson, Ben Flashman, and Utrillo Kushner.

From the start, Chasny’s guitar comes alive with candescent color, invoking the avant psych-geist without pastiche. Rolling lines of finger play provide atmospheric breaks, and reflective pieces like “Your Ghost” prove that, despite the special guests, his softer sensibilities are undamaged. But make no mistake: the main focus here is the roar and reason of electric guitar.

Maynard James Keenan

Interview: Maynard James Keenan’s desert adventures — in winemaking

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Puscifer: Conditions of My ParolePuscifer: Conditions of My Parole (10/18/11)

“Man Overboard”

Puscifer: “Man Overboard”

While the world’s been caught up with his musical prowess, Maynard James Keenan — the essential vocalist for Tool and A Perfect Circle and the creative lead for Puscifer — has spent the past decade teasing secrets from the soil of Verde Valley, Arizona, bottling stories squeezed from the vine.


Review: Lungfish’s ACR 1999

Lungfish: ACR 1999

Lungfish: ACR 1999 (Dischord)

“Occult Vibrations” (ACR version)

[audio:|titles=Lungfish: “Occult Vibrations” (ACR version)]

The website for independent record label Thrill Jockey jokes and/or asserts that post-hardcore progenitor Lungfish is “enshrined as one of America’s last true folk bands.” Digging into the vaults, Dischord Records’ latest release shows that the group’s hidden relics still have potency, folk or otherwise.

Killing Joke

Killing Joke: Honoring the Fire

Reunited with its original lineup for the first time since 1982, Killing Joke is back with more than just muscular riffs and soaring melodies — instead offering a homeopathic cure for the decline of Western society.