*note that above reference to “Child of God” should read “Children of God” — the former is the title of a Cormac McCarthy album, and I keep accidentally conflating the two, which actually kinda makes sense!
I would actually suggest doing the opposite — their catalog will make a lot more sense if you start from the beginning, and you’ll get to their seminal work (i.e. mostly their ’80s material) a lot more quickly. If you do go that route, be warned that the first few albums are totally barbaric noise rock that’s as bleak and intense as any extreme metal out there, so it’s gonna be a bumpy ride either way.
If you can’t stand To Be Kind, chances are very slim that you’ll be able to tolerate The Seer, which IMO is arguably the most punishing and unlistenable album in their catalog. Not because it’s so rhythmically brutal or anything; there are just long, long expanses of formless noise jamming, which is not most people’s cup of tea. I was actually pretty surprised by how favorably it was received by the critical establishment for that reason. My personal favorite of the post-breakup Swans material is My Father Will Guide Me… since it’s the most focused and least indulgent, but that makes me something of an outlier.
If you just wanna check out the best of the more accessible material they’ve done, I’d recommend some of the late-’80s and ’90s albums: The Great Annihilator, Soundtracks for the Blind, Child of God, and maybe My Father… to cap’em off. It’s really all great though.
I would add that for Neurosis, you should start with Souls At Zero and work forward. Their most recent album is far and away their weakest since they were a hardcore band in the early days. For more deets, I wrote a Worst To Best of my own about’em:
Well then, this has been productive!
Sure, but that doesn’t answer the question. What would it mean to ‘address it at all’ in terms of specific action? How might one ‘lead the charge to change that’? If you play in a band that’s influenced by an old BM band whose members have said or done sketchy things, should you issue a disclaimer stating that you disagree with what the members in question said or did before you play your songs? Should you write lyrics about how Varg Vikernes and Rob Darken are assholes, which nobody will be able to make out because, hey, you’re in a black metal band?
I’ve seen a lot of comments to this effect around Daniel’s conversation piece — that BM’s historical ties to bigotry etc. “need to be addressed” — but it’s still unclear to me what musicians are supposed to do to comply with this request.
Out of curiosity, what would a band with a noticeable Emperor influence (just for example) have to do to “really address” the fact that Faust committed a hate crime 22 years ago?
I actually wrote a long thing on this subject not too long ago!
You know I love Metallica too, but it’s a pretty bad sign if the best song they’ve recorded since Bush I was in office was written by someone else.
That would be me — I’m responsible for the barn animal noises. Thanks for checking the album out; glad to hear that you dug it!
What can I say? I’m a Calculating/Irony guy. I respect the pop/mathgrind fusion thing they’re doing now more than I like it.
Also, ironically, I was responsible for a Gorguts anticipation post back in 2012: