The Seer - Swans
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 87 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 76 out of 87
  2. Negative: 8 out of 87

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  1. Aug 30, 2012
    10
    As young Swans they used to be regarded as provocative, multitalented and special in a way that made them a choice for minority. Although critics seemed to always acclaim their work, people not really and one of the most important bands of the late 80-ties and 90-ties disbanded. Now they are back. They strike with such power, strength and reflection that it is hard to pass by. Once You start You may easily lost 2 hours digging in dark meditations and strong, "wall of noise" music. Yummy. Probably the best album this year. Probably their best work to date. Highly recommended. An instant classic. Expand
  2. Sep 12, 2012
    9
    Dark and frequently terrifying. One of the few albums I've listened to that manages to be consistently creepy while remaining enjoyably musical even through its most dissonant moments. Experiencing this album is the audio equivalent of wandering through Tulgey Woods in Disney's version of Alice in Wonderland. Bleak and confusing, but populated with colorful twisted creatures that provide a strange sense of relief just as you are about to give into despair. Expand
  3. Feb 11, 2013
    10
    While some people may criticize it for invoking uncomfortable emotions inside them, or for being unmusical throughout, they haven't even listened through the whole album. Though before getting into my review, I must explain to those what music is ment for, as music is an expression, people don't make music so you can have fun and dance, no they make it to express themselves, or to tell a narrative. Music is an art form, and as art has shown us, not all art is cutesy and pretty, some art is made to invoke feelings of dread, sorrow, and fear, this album is just like that. While songs like Lunacy, The Apostate, and The Seer (Returns) are ment to invoke fear, disgust, and dread through their instrumentation, and lyrical content, A Song For A Warrior (vocals by Karen O) has beauty, but also feels sorrowful, like as if it were a funeral song. The best thing about this album as a whole are the instrumentations, which rely on repetition to catch you off guard when the song suddenly changes, or when a new layer of instrumentation is added, while Gira wouldn't be great for singing on this album, he's great for the mood of this album, he's utterly evil sounding and it's great. Though I want to back to some reviews of this album before this review is done, especially Rockman1976's (gave this album a 3 out of 10): I don't know, maybe it's just me, but music supposed to be fun to listen to. This album is depressing" Music is art, and in art we don't dislike stuff because it's depressing, or not happy and colourful, that's just Though on the other note, this album isn't for everyone, especially those who dislike repetition, highly cryptic lyrics, and some of the scariest songs you'll find, but if you are really open minded, give it a look! 10/10. Expand
  4. Aug 29, 2012
    9
    Engrossing collection. Dark , grant and thought provoking. The album tells us a long story whose plot contains all factors that one drama needs to fulfil our dreams.
  5. Aug 31, 2012
    10
    Undoubtedly my favorite album of the year thus far, The Seer is a fantastic work of art. The album oozes atmosphere from every aural pore; it's beautiful, introspective and yet soul-crushingly heavy all at once. Once The Seer gets you in its grip, it will not let you go. The payoff is more than worth the time and effort you have to put in to get into it. Incredible.
  6. Sep 19, 2012
    10
    Swans' newest album The Seer is a epic record full of dark and ambient tunes that best represent the tone and feel, it makes the listener feel the dynamic sound on the tracks from the haunting acoustics of 'Song for a Warrior" with Karen O to it's dark and epic title track.
  7. Oct 14, 2012
    10
    This is a masterpiece. I ve listened to the album 2 times and i cant wait to play it again and again. Noise is mixed with meditation turning into weird sounds. This is provocative material but suits so much for our times. Cant wait to clean my house listening to this album as the background.
  8. May 28, 2013
    10
    For an album about two hours long, the attention span for maybe an average music listener would not be that long. For The Seer, Swans have the power to make powerful music so long you can't get your mind off it. Especially their 30 minute title track, that was the torture of great music. And 93 Ave. Blues, the noise, the abuse, the ugliness, and the pain, all smashing down on your eardrums.

    All I can say, this is not for the fainted hearts. It is also not something you will get to appreciate in just a short while...but it will be epic in years to come...an epic album waiting to be heard...or if you are brave enough...it is something you must hear...if you are for the abuse and ugly...get it!
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  9. Dec 31, 2012
    10
    The Seer is, in my opinion, one of Swans' weirdest works to date. In that quality, it ranks among Cop or Filth. But the band as managed to make an album as good as those while using a completely different approach to the original idea of making music so "ugly" it's beautiful. In the mid 80s, they made dark, distorted, sludgy music that defined the new york "no wave" sound. Today, they make weird, psychedelic, repetitive music that makes good use of drones, dissonance and distortion, but at the same time takes a ton of influence from folk and americana. The feats (Karen O, Jarboe, Low) are amazing. If you like drone music you'll probably like this. It reminds me of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, "Soundtracks for the Blind" era Swans, maybe Earth. The obvious centerpiece is the 32 minute long title track, which starts as a drone played by a hurdy-gurdy, or maybe bagpipes, that develops in an amazing post-punk track, with Michael Gira chanting "I see it all" over and over. The track becomes just hits of noise played by all the instruments available: guitar, drums, percussion, lap steel, bass etc.... amazing. Avatar is also simply amazing, as is Song for a Warrior and the last two tracks. But it is in 93 Ave. B Blues that i see the weird peak of this album. If you like this track there is something really wrong with you. There is something really wrong with me. Expand
  10. Nov 8, 2013
    9
    This is my first Swans album, and I'm thoroughly blown away. The endless shifts of texture, mood, and soundscapes paint a dark, grim tapestry to just get lost in. There are just enough clearer spots that can be considered mildly accessible, yet nowhere does Swans vision falter on this flawless journey. This album completely altered my perception on what experimental music can achieve, and will undoubtedly be heralded as a classic in the near future. Expand
  11. Mar 12, 2014
    10
    I see it all I see it all I see it all I see it all I see it all I see it all I see it all I see it all I see it all I see it all I see it all I see it all
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Nov 28, 2012
    90
    The Seer might not be the album you spend most time with this year--it's too emotionally demanding for heavy rotation – but it's one you'll be listening to for years to come.
  2. Oct 11, 2012
    100
    Swans has never traveled a straightforward, clean, or uninterrupted path. But with The Seer, one thing is certain: Even during its quietest lulls, Gira has never sounded louder.
  3. 60
    The final impression The Seer left me with is that of a sprawling, lacking in cohesion and over indulgent album that fails as often as it succeeds.