The first Swans album in 13 years opens with church bells. They’re the kind of bells you don’t hear too much in suburban America anymore — the kind that don’t ring, but toll. Maybe the bells are gone because all the churches are in strip malls or on giant campuses too far from anywhere to be heard. Or maybe, as Michael Gira seems convinced, they’re gone because if we listened to those bells, and to all the other parts of the past we’ve conveniently forgotten, we wouldn’t like what they remind us of. My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope To the Sky, from the title’s evocation of righteous death on down to its suffusion with keening strings and other touches of sonic Americana, is an attempt to come to terms with the dark heart of history, with that ultimate question: if we are born into crime and monstrous darkness, how do we become more than that past? – Tiny Mix Tapes
“Father” is the first studio recording from Swans in 14 years – a long-awaited follow-up to their 1996 album “Soundtracks For The Blind”. Listed below is a collection of reviews for the album.