5. White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity (1991)
A baby cries, or laughs (it's hard to tell) and a wall of layered guitar and chiming keys falls like a curtain, kicking off Swans' seventh album with a bang. After The Burning World sank like a stone, Swans found themselves without a major label contract. While it likely stung financially, this was a very good thing. White Light carries over the same essential sound of Burning World, psychedelic rock equally lush and dark, but fills in the heaviness that was painfully absent from that record. I get the impression Gira doesn't think much of White Light or Love Of Life (which came immediately afterward) since he reissued them both in compilation form under the name Various Failures. Love Of Life kills, and sounds similar, but there's something pure and perfect about White Light that carries it to greater heights. To think how far Swans had come in less than a decade: from urban noise to the glistening, glimmering sounds of the pensive countryside. The atmosphere feels like something out of an early Cormac McCarthy novel, gothic-noir under the guise of Americana -- horror and beauty, love and death. It's a shame these records never found a larger audience.