Swans at Outland Live

From the 09/29/2010 edition

Upon the announcement of a new Swans album and tour, ringleader Michael Gira issued an adamant statement that "THIS IS NOT A REUNION. It's not some dumb-ass nostalgia act. It is not repeating the past."

Rather, Gira is reactivating the legendarily dark and violent project because after 13 years and five albums under the Angels of Light alias, "I needed a way to move FORWARD, in a new direction, and it just so happens that revivifying the idea of Swans is allowing me to do that."

Thus, Gira doesn't directly reprise the definitive Swans abrasion nor the band's subsequent evolutions on "My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky," though that legacy echoes through this compelling collection, which can shift from Gira's creepy, quiet crooning to pulverizing hell sounds and back in an instant. And if you're wondering whether Gira is still a misanthrope, a song titled "You F---ing People Make Me Sick" should clear up any misconceptions.

Transgender cabaret performer extraordinaire Baby Dee will open the show.