Saturday, August 1, 2009

Angels Of Light - everything is good here / please come home (2003)

Having exorcised himself from the tension of the Swans, Michael Gira reinvented himself as a folk-shaman that turned to mysticism and religion for inspiration, as evidenced by "Palisades", a mystical folk/gospel that went back to Buffy Sainte Marie's Illuminations as a point of reference. The obsessive, almost delirious boogie/ hymn "All Souls' Rising", viewed the other side of the same shape, whereupon Gira recaptured some of the Swans' frenzy, but the gentle psychedelic raga serenade "Kosinski" retreated back to a delicate emotional balance.

The solemn folk lullaby "The Family God" grew more vibrant, eventually radiating a spiritual choral grandeur, but "Rose Of Los Angeles" freaked out, in what was essentially a devilish folk-dance ceremony. Clearly Gira was not freed from all his demons yet. His mystical folk acquired it's most spiritual guise yet in "Sunset Park", a folk chant which rotated like a nebulae until it ascended to a heaven-like trance. "Wedding" was the dizzy aftermath of this vision, but still acknowledging the existence of the mystical forces that exist around us. "What Will Come" was a much more somber aftermath, a mournful stream of metaphysical ambience that had no other way to go but to keep recycling itself in cul-de-sac tension. Get it here.


ido said...

A stellar album by Gira. However, I personally feel that the ANGEL's album "How I Loved You" is even stronger and deeper, possible one of greatest things he's ever recorded.

Jim Slip said...

I quite like this new direction he's taking as a folk shaman, and I think "Sing Other People" is an even better album.

"How I Loved You" is a bit uneventful for me, but still OK. Of course, nothing beats the primal rage of early Swans.