»I’m so glad I’m better than you«, is Michael Gira’s decleration of war that marks the beginning of »White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity«, Swan’s seventh record, first released in 1991. After having taken a disappointing trip to a major label with the previous »The Burning World«, the band still seemed to know where their strengths lay. So instead of turning back to the brute industrial sound of the 1980s after the disappointment, Swans still kept their course. That is why »White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity« is commonly said to be the starting point of their second, more approachable career phase. Brutal drums with noisy guitar layers meets almost fragile, even tender melodies. Micheal Gira’s fatalistic lyrics, wrapped in his sepulchral voice, are being surrounded by synthesizer-drones and samples, before a mandolin enters the song (»We Will Survive«) or choral singings carries the track all the way to apotheosis, sounding like their very own orchestra. While being quite playful at times, this version of psychedelic rock still has a dark and heavy core, transporting the atmosphere of a film noir. Even harmonies evoke the image of something dangerous boiling directly under the surface, so that beauty and happiness could turn into horror and death at any moment. It’s this balancing act, which is still distinguishing current musicians such as The Seer from the greater mass, that Swans perfected on this record. And it’s one of the reasons why »White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity« is one of their best records.
White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity