Swans at the Paramount Theatre for All Tomorrow's Parties.

Gisel Florez for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Gisel Florez for NPR

Swans at the Paramount Theatre for All Tomorrow's Parties.

Gisel Florez for NPR

All Tomorrow's Parties

Swans In Concert: ATP Festival 2011

Language Advisory: This is a live concert recording, and may contain language not suitable for all audiences.

Swans never broke up. The blistering and artful noise-rock band just went away for a while — 13 years, to be exact. From all accounts, every time Swans hit the stage during its harrowing existence, it was like a premonition of End Times.

After several years and other projects, frontman Michael Gira reconvened the band in 2010. It wasn't a reunion, because the resulting new album, My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky, was more like the next step. Live, Gira is not unlike his kindred spirit in Woven Hand, shepherding a swirl of foot-stomping chaos, but in five songs smeared over two hours, Swans was absolutely Wagner-ian in scope. The result was masculine and relentless, yet alluring in every respect.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Rock

A young man walks through a sunny wood in a scene from LVL UP's new video for "The Closing Door." Courtesy of the artist. hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist.

All Songs TV

Take An Existential Journey With LVL UP

The New York band's new video for "The Closing Door" tells a sunny coming-of-age story.

Blind Pilot performs live for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. Brian Feinzimer/KCRW hide caption

toggle caption Brian Feinzimer/KCRW

Favorite Sessions

Blind Pilot, 'Packed Powder' (Live)

KCRW

The Portland, Ore., folk-rock band performs an anthem from And Then Like Lions live for KCRW.

Jess Abbott flirts with evil, personified by Sadie Dupuis, in a still from Tancred's "Pens" video. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Songs We Love

Tancred, 'Pens'

Jess Abbott flirts with evil, personified by Speedy Ortiz's Sadie Dupuis, in a dark power-pop gem.

Ages and Ages perform live in The Old Church in Portland, Ore. Jarratt Taylor/opbmusic hide caption

toggle caption Jarratt Taylor/opbmusic

Favorite Sessions

Ages And Ages, 'Something To Ruin' (Live)

opbmusic.org

Known for handclaps and group harmonies, the band takes on a darker tone in "Something To Ruin."

Back To Top