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Boomkat Product Review:
*Deluxe 2CD and DVD Edition, includes a Swans live in 2013 DVD* Michael Gira's musical vehicle pulls up to its thirteenth and possibly most outstanding album yet. Featuring guest spots from Little Annie (vocals), St. Vincent (vocals), Cold Specks (vocals), Bill Rieflin, and Julia Kent (strings) among others, Swans two hour-long 'To Be Kind' is nothing short of an American epic, fittingly recorded by the venerable John Congleton at Sonic Ranch, outside El Paso Texas, with further recordings and mixing accomplished in Dallas, Texas. It's also the group's first album for Mute, and as such sounds like they've really gone to town on it, with ten songs ranging from 5 minutes to 34 minutes in length allowing the hoary posse and their pals to really spill their guts with typical snarl and gusto. The first disc swerves cocksure from the taut swagger of 'Screen Shot' to the aforementioned 34 minute motorik ascension of 'Bring The Sun / Toussaint L'Ouverture' weaving storm system guitars with whinnying horses, ghoulish cries, and subtly plush synth embellishments- surely marking up one of their most captivating arrangements to date - whilst a 2nd disc sprawls outward from the relentless drums and raindance vibes of the seventeen minute 'She Loves Us!' to poignantly sweet and spacious ambient scenery like 'Kirsten Supine', the worldly avant-garde experimentalism of 'Nathalie Neal' and the breathtaking, panoramic closer, 'To Be Kind'. Like pretty much every Swans album - it will leave you dumbfounded, breathless and reaching for the play button to experience it all over again as soon as its done.