The Angels of Light
We Are Him


4.0
excellent

Review

by G.M.B. USER (18 Reviews)
March 6th, 2013 | 20 replies | 1,847 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: We Are Him is still decidedly Michael Gira, but without a lot of the abrasiveness that typically comes with him.

8 of 9 thought this review was well written

Anybody that's ever listened to Swans knows that there's something deeply and seriously wrong with Michael Gira. That's okay, because he creates some of the most unique, challenging, and sometimes just downright uncomfortable music around (see Swans' Filth and Cop for examples.) After 15 years, 10 albums, and a lot of evolution in sound and direction, Michael Gira disbanded Swans in 1997. Shortly thereafter, he began a new musical project by the name of Angels of Light. Angels of Light marked a drastic shift in sound from Michael Gira.

We Are Him is the final album by Angels of Light before Gira's revival of Swans. If you're familiar with Swans' work, listening to this may be quite the surprise. A lot of the harsh and abrasive qualities usually present in Gira's compositions are absent here, and instead a more tame and traditional sounding approach is taken. In fact, most of the songs here kind of give off an art rock-y vibe. "Black River Song" goes through the entire duration based mainly around one riff and drum pattern (some of you probably know that this is something Gira likes to do a lot) and focuses on Gira's and some accompanying female vocals in a slow but steady buildup. "Promise of Water" follows with a soft acoustic opening. After about 30 seconds Gira's vocals come in, and a soft pounding drum joins in as well. Here, Gira's vocals are haunting and almost chant-like, and his lyrics chilling: "When you open your mouth, you're too stupid to scream/Your eyes are the holes when you suck in your name./They're stealing the air and there's blood on the wheels," a lyrical selection that will definitely sound familiar to fans of his previous work. The song steadily builds in noise as more instruments gradually join the swell, until towards the end when everything but that sole pounding drum cuts out, and Gira and some female voices that joined the fray chant "And just how it was is just how it will be."

"My Brother's Man" follows a similar vibe to "Black River Song" in its structure, where the riff and drum rhythm serve as backing to Gira's vocals as he croons that "[He] is the god of this fucking land." The title track has an almost southern country vibe to it, and "Goodbye Mary Lou" is a quick paced take on that southern country sound that first presents itself on "We Are Him." "Sometimes I dream I'm Hurting You" is the longest track on the album, opting for a soft and extended intro complete with piano. Throughout the first four minutes, Gira repeatedly sings "We pray for your love, we pray for your love/We pray for your sons, we pray for your sons." The song goes quiet for the briefest of moments until it almost explodes into a crescendo backed by a southern riff and builds in speed and noise until the track's conclusion.

We Are Him would be the last album Angels of Light would release before the revival of Swans. If you listen closely, you will probably notice some ideas that presented themselves on Swans' newer albums, even if the ideas are a bit more twisted and abrasive in Swans' rendition of them. The album is a much more user friendly and accessible version of Michael Gira's genius and madness, but it's still a decidedly Michael Gira slab of music. If you've been a fan of Swans' folkier and more acoustic tunes, there's a great chance you'll find something to enjoy here, and if you're looking for something with a Swans feel sans a lot of the abrasiveness, well, you'll probably like this too. In the end, it's at least worth a listen if nothing else.



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user ratings (35)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
ILJ
March 6th 2013



6615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fantastic album. If anybody notices glaring errors or awkward sentences, let me know.

3rd review this week after almost 5 months of not reviewing at all.

Digging: Mastodon - Once More 'Round the Sun

ILJ
March 6th 2013



6615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool negged already

ILJ
March 6th 2013



6615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Too much to ask who negged and why?



MichaelSnoxall
March 6th 2013



12163 Comments


It's no doubt skele, bro. He has a grudge against you now since you talked shit about him in a thread the other day.

Vakarian12
March 6th 2013



3639 Comments


review was good. pos'd

That album art is terrifying

ILJ
March 6th 2013



6615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I kinda suspected since one of his alts posted the review before mine.

ILJ
March 6th 2013



6615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I just realized I say "Gira" a lot in this review

SAPoodle
March 6th 2013



454 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've really been wanting to check out Angels of Light - keen to hear more of Gira's folky side. Really been digging the White Light-era Swans stuff and Gira's Drainland. Great review, pos'd.

MichaelSnoxall
March 6th 2013



12163 Comments


I just read this, I was too busy finishing my Immo review to read properly before. Good review, I still need to check this one out. I only have the first two Angels of Light albums.

SAPoodle
March 6th 2013



454 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So where should I start with Angels of Light? It seems like How I Loved You is their best

ILJ
March 6th 2013



6615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I dunno actually, this is the only one I've listened to so far. Otherwise I would have mentioned previous albums. I'm probably going to get the others and review those too if they aren't already reviewed.

Adash
March 6th 2013



1356 Comments


Nice work. Angels is great insight into the mechanics of Gira's fucked up mind

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
March 6th 2013



3336 Comments


Sweet review man, have a pos. My one beef is that I typically don't like starting a paragraph with a sentence describing a specific song instead of the album as a whole, but fantastic job anyways.

ILJ
March 6th 2013



6615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I see what you mean. It's an awkward transition. I just didn't want a behemoth of a paragraph. I'll keep that in mind for the future though, definitely.

Funeralopolis
March 6th 2013



11000 Comments


this sounds pretty interesting

Digging: Sweet Smoke - Just A Poke

ILJ
March 6th 2013



6615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's pree coo fo sho

plane
Staff Reviewer
March 6th 2013



6085 Comments


I see this used at the store all the time, cover always makes me pick it up, but I figured it was some sappy indie pop. Review has enlightened me to otherwise. Might pick it up now. gg

CaptainDooRight
March 6th 2013



28306 Comments


sweet review, pos'd

Digging: IQ - The Road of Bones

YankeeDudel
March 6th 2013



9305 Comments


GIRA

Digging: Croatian Amor - Genitalia Garden

zakalwe
April 16th 2014



6495 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Groovy



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