Review Summary: As to be expected with early Swans, Young God proves to be one of the cruelest, heaviest, and most brutal releases in their catalog.Cop
was probably one of the heaviest, noisiest, and cruelest albums to ever be released. As Allmusic said, early Swans really did sound like nothing before or since, and their evolution would continually prove this. With the brutal, unforgiving beginnings of Filth
, the melodic nature of White Light From the Mouth of Infinity
, or the just plain indescribable Soundtracks for the Blind
, Swans are a band that seems to have done it all. While their later days are arguably more interesting, their brutal days shouldn’t be ignored. Young God
is perhaps the epitome of this early sound, with the loudest, noisiest, and cruelest songs in their catalog.
For those who followed Swans from the beginning, up to this release, it shouldn’t quite come as a surprise the way it sounds. It’s dominated by pounding drums and bass, guitar feedback, and Michael Gira’s bloodcurdling vocals. Although, there is some evolution to be found within. While Filth
generally had the feel of a punk rock album, with slightly slower tempos and noise spread all around, Young God
is more focused on using drones to create a densely layered atmosphere that reeks of disgust and vileness. All four songs are based around one riff that is often being played at a frighteningly crawling pace. This is best exemplified by the title track and “Raping a Slave” in particular, with the latter arguably being one of the heaviest songs ever made.
While being somewhat interesting, Young God
is more or less the companion piece to Cop
. The volume might’ve been raised, the tempos slowed down a slight bit, and Gira might’ve adopted a bit of a different approach to singing, but that’s really it in terms of evolution. While it does seem like just another aggressive Swans album, the influence level is of course tremendous, but musically it is very well put together and enjoyable, if you can tolerate their use of noise. So overall, Young God
is more or less a continuation of Cop
, but by adding in more drones and a slightly different approach to Gira’s singing, it shows small signs of evolution.