Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
'The door is shut...'
Metastasis | 01/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'Die Tür ist zu' is composed of recordings made prior to the last studio album of the band, 'Soundtracks for the blind'. Initially given to a German label as an exclusive offer to the German fanbase, the lenghty E.P. -almost an hour long- includes the earliest released versions of several future classics of the band such as 'The Sound', 'I See Them All Lined Up', and a notoriously extended version of 'Helpless Child', sung in German and attached to an introductory piece called 'Ligeti's breath'.
As known by many, Swans was seldom at their best with studio recordings. Most of the times, the versions of their songs released in official bootlegs were superior by far. However, in the case of 'Die Tür ist Zu', Michael Gira proved himself able to produce a mesmerizing piece of work in the studio, easily ranking amongst the best material of the band. A must for any fan of Swans, sadly, now only offered at kidnapper's prices."
Sombre and oppressive and stirring
Pieter | Johannesburg | 03/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
This CD (the Door Is Closed) was released before their swansong Soundtracks For The Blind and contains the German versions of some of the songs on SFTB. The music is like a vast orchestral piece built around the eerie sound of the drone, interspersed with beautiful melodies and Gira and Jarboe's voices, held together by cinematic fragments and interludes.
The sound moves from the Wagnerian symphonic to the most overwhelming heavy rock, as on the live track YRP, with many interweaving textures inbetween. Most chilling of all, this spooky German version of All Lined Up (Ich sehe die alle in einer Reihe) is much grimmer than the one on Gira's Drainland album.
The highlight is the 23 minute opener, Ligeti's Breath/Hilfloss Kind, which is the perfect showcase for the final phase that this great band's music had evolved into by the middle 1990s. Of course, this music can be emotionally overpowering in its relentless despair, but it also contains beautiful moments of resignation and transcendence.
On the rare Body Lovers album called Number One Of Three, Gira went even deeper into uncharted territory. The flipside to this morbid but moving music is the beautiful sound of his post Swans project, Angels Of Light, whose music is much more accessible although not necessarily lighter in mood.
For those few who want more, I recommend the aforementioned 2-CD set Soundtracks For The Blind, a multifaceted masterpiece with greater variety that in its vast sprawl sounds less oppressive than Die Tür Ist Zu.