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Seer Special Edition

48 customer reviews

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The Seer
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Audio CD, Special Edition, August 28, 2012
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$13.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 14 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

The Seer took 30 years to make. It s the culmination of every previous Swans album as well as any other music I ve ever made, been involved in, or imagined. But it s unfinished, like the songs themselves. It s one frame in a reel. The frames blur, blend and will eventually fade. The songs began on an acoustic guitar, then were fleshed out with (invaluable) help from my friends, then were further tortured and seduced in rehearsals, live, and in the studio, and now they await further cannibalism and force-feeding as we prepare to perform some of them live, at which point they ll mutate further, endlessly, or perhaps be discarded for a while. Despite what you might have heard or presumed, my quest is to spread light and joy through the world. My friends in Swans are all stellar men. Without them I m a kitten, an infant. Our goal is the same: ecstasy! Michael Gira

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 28, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Special Edition
  • Label: YOUNG GOD
  • ASIN: B008K7WCJM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,946 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Jack Tripper VINE VOICE on August 28, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I'm going to start this right off by saying that I now fully believe Swans mastermind Michael Gira's statement that 'The Seer' took 30 years to make and is "the culmination of every previous Swans album and any other music I've made." At first I thought he was being hyperbolic, but after two straight listens and four hours gone by, I'm pretty much exhausted and drained--physically and emotionally--like I'd just run the gamut of every conceivable emotion, including two or three that I never knew existed. Try "scared" yet "blissful." Or "sad" yet "euphoric," which seems like it makes no sense, but I can almost guarantee that if you listen with an open mind (for those of you who may be new to Swans) and just let the music take over, it will.

And, like Gira, I'm not exaggerating. While I'm definitely a fan of a lot of his past work, I'm not a hardcore Swans fan who's predisposed to think everything he puts out is genius. In truth, I have to be in just the right mood for his music, and even then there's only so much I can take before I feel like lying down in the middle of a busy expressway, due to suddenly feeling yet another unique-to-Swans-emotion that goes a little something like this: "I'm an insignificant speck in this vast universe, so what's the point," mixed with "horrified" and something a little like vertigo. Of course, even creating music that induces nihilism and dizziness takes tremendous talent, but still, it can wear on you.

'The Seer,' though, is much more sprawling in its scope than even 1996's epic 'Soundtracks for the Blind,' both in its emotional content and its virtual myriad of musical styles. Sure, you'll find "depressing" here. Quite a bit, in fact. But then there are moments of nearly overwhelming beauty to counteract it, making the highs that much higher.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By crescendoyear on September 3, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Good grief. I mean, holy shit. I'm a little drunk, and in the middle of my third listen through this devastating work of art that is The Seer. This is a brilliant, filthy, terrifying and ecstasy-inducing experience. I wasn't even a huge fan of Swans, my first listen being ....Rope to the Sky in 2010, which I thought was pretty interesting. What we have here is a soul-crushing, hypnotic journey into madness. Think of the earth crashing into the sun, or a black hole swallowing an entire solar system, and you'll begin to understand how massive the emotions belonging to this work truly are. 30 years in the making sounds just about right. Are you new to Swans? Well, I suggest some very patient listening. If you're at all willing and interested, you will receive 10-fold your effort in return.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 28, 2012
Format: Audio CD
All Swans' previous styles find a home on this opus magnum constructed around the three long pieces A Piece of the Sky, The Apostate and The Seer. The addition of accordion, bells, clarinet, hammer dulcimer, orchestral bells, vibraphone and "hand-made violin thing" bring nuance and depth to the music.

As early as the late 1980s/early 1990s albums like Children of God and White Light from the Mouth of Infinity, Michael Gira's talent as a modern classical composer was evident. Later works like Soundtracks For The Blind and Die Tür ist Zu with tracks like Ligeti's Breath/Hilflos Kind, confirmed it.

The Seer's centrepiece, the title track, recalls the Swans-related Body Lovers project of 1998 titled Number One of Three, a 73-minute journey through alternately spooky, soothing, soulful, depressing, uplifting, disturbing and inspiring soundscapes. Symphonic swirls alternate with industrial beats and certain movements encompass disparate elements like drones that are followed by typical rock instruments that in turn make way for solos.

The Seer has much, much more in the form of bagpipes, chants, chimes, chorales, churncore, harmonica, horns, glockenspiel, gongs, fractured vocals, industrial drones and thuds, a wealth of percussion, ragas and searing guitar riffs. "I see it all" Gira intones throughout most of the shifting textures.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By David T. on August 30, 2012
Format: Audio CD
In 1997 when the Swans originally broke up, I thought they finished at a peak with powerful Soundtracks for the Blind and live album The Swans are Dead (two of my all time favorite Swans albums). In the years since then I've occasionally listened to Gira's new project Angels of Light, and while I liked it, it never matched the magnificence of the Swans album. So in 2010 when I learned that Gira was making music under his Swans band name again, I was excited but also worried, so many reunion albums are disappointing. My Father was an okay album, but it also felt much like a hybrid Angels of Light / Swans album, which was okay but it was too short and didn't match up to the better Swans albums.

With the Seer everything has changed. This one seems to be a move forward to something new yet reminiscent of the beautiful Soundtracks. There is no concern with this album being commercial (not that any Swans album was), but instead it has long sections of dronish buildup and long intros before something happens. Its challenging yet amazing, if one loves the Soundtracks for the Blind era this album is a must buy (its also more cohesive than Soundtracks). In my opinion this is the movement forward that I was hoping for when I saw the Swans were being reformed, a beautiful work.
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EIGHTEEN Dollars to Download?
It's a double album, which tends to bump the pricing up on Amazon and iTunes alike.

I'd recommend ordering the actual album through Young God, as for a few bucks beyond the standard 2XCD edition you get a professionally-assembled live DVD. Oh, and Gira signs everything he releases, which gives a... Read More
Sep 3, 2012 by J. Boles |  See all 5 posts
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