As opposed to the last, The Seer really earns its double album status. This one’s a behemoth. It clocks in at two hours and truly feels like one piece of work.
The opening track Lunacy has the uniqueness and build of what could work as an intro track, but also the depth and sustainability that makes it a completely fleshed out song. And the album covers plenty of ground. There’s a much bigger dynamic than was shown on My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky between the more classic Swans epic loud noisy tracks and the more Angels of Light sounding quieter tracks.
The album as a whole really moves up and down a lot. The song placement is brilliant. The early tracks seem to all build to the half hour title track which segues into some more ambient (although sometimes still very loud) songs that lead to the album’s juggernaut if a closer The Apostate.
A few of the songs on this album were released on the live We Rose From Your Bed With the Sun on Our Head earlier this year, which I didn’t get a chance to formally review, but is totally amazing. Anyway the studio versions are pretty similar to the live presentations. The live versions can be a little louder, but the studio versions are a little more nuanced with more instrumentation.
Overall this is the best piece of music as long-form art that I’ve heard in a long time and possibly the best studio double album to come out since CD technology was introduced.