Early Swans is quite scary territory to put it lightly. If you're looking for relentless, hopeless, noisy music; look no further beyond Cop or Filth. But, we all should be able to agree that relentless noise is only interesting for so long before it becomes cartoonish and boring. Gira knew this, and as a result recruited Jarboe. Even in the songs without her on those early records, Swans went for a more dynamic and hopeless atmosphere by using repetition and dissonant progressions more than walls of noise. But, they got off to a bit of a faulty start with Greed, but Holy Money was where they started to discover the true power of repetition. Sure enough, the next Swans record Children of God, is where they master their powers for the first time. The walls of noise are mostly gone, instead replaced by choirs, acoustics, percussion, and soaring vocals that will often mimic that of a preacher. It all blends together perfectly to create an almost otherworldly atmosphere that truly resembles that of biblical stories. The lyrics aren't about murder or power anymore as well, the title should also imply the religious themes. This isn't a christian record though, quite the opposite most likely. Simply put, if you're looking for the best starting point for Swans, look no further beyond Children of God. It is Swans' first true masterpiece.