The Glowing Man (studio album) by Swans

The Glowing Man by Swans
Year: 2016
Release date: 2016-06-16
Overall rank: 1,956th   Overall chart historyOverall chart history
Average Rating: 
81/100 (from 239 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution   Average rating historyAverage rating history
Award Top albums of 2016 (29th)
Award Top albums of the 2010s (316th)
Award Best albums of all time (1,956th)
Product Details

Swans, Signed by Michael Gira, The Glowing Man, Double CD, Young God Records
Condition: Very Good

Swans - The Glowing Man [CD]
Condition: New

Swans - The Glowing Man (2 X CD)
Condition: Like New

  My favourite store:  

Swans bestography

The Glowing Man is ranked 6th best out of 36 albums by Swans on

The best album by Swans is To Be Kind which is ranked number 258 in the list of all-time albums with a total rank score of 7,384.

Swans album bestography « Higher ranked (1,557th) This album (1,956th) Lower ranked (2,114th) »
White Light From The Mouth Of InfinityThe Glowing ManFilth

Upcoming concerts

The Fab Four - 55th Anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's
The Pacific Amphitheatre, Costa Mesa, United States. United States
Tickets from Ticketmaster Get tickets
Roger Waters: This Is Not a Drill
Madison Square Garden, New York, United States. United States
Tickets from Ticketmaster Get tickets
Banda World - Live Banda x Perreo Party
House of Blues Las Vegas , Las Vegas, United States. United States
Tickets from Ticketmaster Get tickets
Discover more upcoming concerts

Listen to The Glowing Man on YouTube

Loading content from YouTube...

The Glowing Man track list

  Track ratingsTrack ratings The tracks on this album have an average rating of 85 out of 100 (all tracks have been rated).

Sort by

Track pick Top-rated track as rated by members.

The Glowing Man rankings

The Glowing Man collection

The Glowing Man ratings

Average Rating: 
81/100 (from 239 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution Average Rating = (n ÷ (n + m)) × av + (m ÷ (n + m)) × AV
av = trimmed mean average rating an item has currently received.
n = number of ratings an item has currently received.
m = minimum number of ratings required for an item to appear in a 'top-rated' chart (currently 10).
AV = the site mean average rating.

Showing latest 5 ratings for this album. | Show all 239 ratings for this album.

Sort ratings
RatingDate updatedMemberAlbum ratingsAvg. album rating
 Report rating
4 days ago Sforge  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 1,33077/100
 Report rating
07/22/2022 17:37 phantom1305  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 1,49877/100
 Report rating
07/14/2022 05:27 yinei007  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 69178/100
 Report rating
06/24/2022 14:14 TonySayers61  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 9,78566/100
 Report rating
05/27/2022 23:17 conkrueg  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 27576/100

Rating metrics: Outliers can be removed when calculating a mean average to dampen the effects of ratings outside the normal distribution. This figure is provided as the trimmed mean. A high standard deviation can be legitimate, but can sometimes indicate 'gaming' is occurring. Consider a simplified example* of an item receiving ratings of 100, 50, & 0. The mean average rating would be 50. However, ratings of 55, 50 & 45 could also result in the same average. The second average might be more trusted because there is more consensus around a particular rating (a lower deviation).
(*In practice, some albums can have several thousand ratings)

This album is rated in the top 1% of all albums on This album has a Bayesian average rating of 80.7/100, a mean average of 79.8/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 81.1/100. The standard deviation for this album is 14.8.

Please log in or register if you want to be able to leave a rating

The Glowing Man comments

Showing all 7 comments |
Most Helpful First | Newest First | Maximum Rated First | Longest Comments First
(Only showing comments with -2 votes or higher. You can alter this threshold from your profile page. Manage Profile)

From 08/31/2020 10:58
Fav. Tracks:

-Cloud Of Forgetting
-Cloud Of Unknowing
-The World Looks Red / The World Looks Black
-The Glowing Man
-Finally, Peace
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 05/29/2020 07:26
2016's The Glowing Man was intended to be the final stop for post-rock icons Swans. Even though it was not their final record, in many ways it feels like an ending, musically embodying a purifying crescendo. It's no secret that the band played their hand in a few false finishes in the past. 1996's Soundtracks for the Blind was a haunting, alluring attempt to combine Swans' music with a score to a film that did not exist. This also was planned to be the band's final musical epitaph. 2010 brought a new sound and a new Swans lineup and The Glowing Man was seen to be the concluding artistic flourish and what a flourish it turned out to be.

While the previous record, 2014's To Be Kind conveyed a seething, scathing critique of human indecency, The Glowing Man is a far more reflective and anguished experience, almost communicating that the emotional toll of the journey that this era of the band went through was a soul-altering odyssey. Take second track Cloud of Unknowing for instance, a 25 minute, bone-rattling lead up to a midpoint climax that I have yet to see duplicated. After the storm passes, the track slinks back into the bowels of darkness from which it was conceived, hissing chants of "Monster eater" and "Jesus feeler". The second half of the record commences with the towering Frankie M, a 20 minute pulse-pounding journey dedicated to a battle lost to drug addiction. An abridged version was featured in Swans' live sets as early as 2014 but the final form of the song serves as a moment of tempestuous strength and intense catharsis on the album. When Will I Return? details a horrifying rape-attempt that befell Michael Gira's wife Jennifer. Possibly the album's most gentile track, Jennifer claims to "Still kill him in her sleep". The penultimate track here is the title track, The Glowing Man. The most extensive cut on the album, clocking in at nearly 30 minutes, is the most chameleonic, beginning as an avalanche of bruising guitar hits. The track then simmers before swelling again into a furiously paced proclamation of bodily manifestation. Vocalist Michael Gira cries, "Joseph is moving his tongue in my neck, Joseph is riding a vein in my head, Joseph is cutting my arm on his bed, Joseph is making my body fly". After having listened to it, you'd be liable to admit to an out-of-body experience.

The Glowing Man only consists of eight tracks, eight tracks spanning nearly two hours with enough vexation, desperation and despair to rival a lifetime of alcoholic's anonymous meetings. I've stated in earlier write-ups that the band incorporates their music with a staunch focus on the dichotomy of sound decibles. The Glowing Man seems to consummate this idea with the concept of emotional contrast. Moments of exhilaration lap on the shores of severe hysteria and dejection. Additionally, It shines through in practice as well as from the listeners point of view. At times the album ceases to be organized sound, but instead formulates as a raw force of nature. Put simply, it sounds like a human soul crying out for liberation.

"I beat him on his face
And I stab with all my strength
And I scream until he goes
I scream until he's gone
Then I crawl across the road"

-When Will I Return?

Standout Tracks:

1. The Glowing Man
2. Cloud of Unknowing
3. Frankie M

Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 09/23/2016 00:09
It is the best record of the year.

It serves as a great conclusion to the trilogy, particularly in the last two songs. This record is sadder and more contemplative than the other two, seemingly settling the tension and anger found in the previous two records (respectively) with a sense of acceptance and giving up (until the finale). In a sense of lyricism and even emotional resolution, it serves as a great conclusion, however, based off the colors and intensity there is a case to be made that it should have been between the Seer and To Be Kind.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +8 votes (8 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 06/27/2016 22:21
amazing ! best album of the year so far !
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (3 helpful | 3 unhelpful)
From 06/15/2016 22:19
Like Saddler said to Leon: "You entertain me", this is my reaction to the new Swans leaked album.
Which is like To Be A Seer part two, expected Frankie M to be longer and Finally Peace to be more Nick Drake-like (like in The Gate).
But after all, this wasn't that bad.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 06/15/2016 05:56
This comment is beneath your viewing threshold.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | -12 votes (3 helpful | 15 unhelpful)
From 06/09/2016 17:18
Although the artwork/album colors suggest that this is a sequel to 'to be kind', it actually falls between the seer's long organic instrumentals and to be kind's abrasive guitars. This album is sadly the least in the series of these three albums. Best tracks: Frankie M., The Glowing Man.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +5 votes (5 helpful | 0 unhelpful)

Please log in or register if you want to be able to add a comment

Your feedback for The Glowing Man

Let us know what you think of this album by adding a comment or assigning a rating below!
Log in or register to assign a rating or leave a comment for this album.
Best Albums of 2016
1. A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead
2. Blonde by Frank Ocean
3. ★ (Blackstar) by David Bowie
4. Teens Of Denial by Car Seat Headrest
5. Atrocity Exhibition by Danny Brown
6. 22, A Million by Bon Iver
7. Skeleton Tree by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
8. The Life Of Pablo by Kanye West
9. Lemonade by Beyoncé
10. We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service by A Tribe Called Quest
11. Nonagon Infinity by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
12. Untitled Unmastered. by Kendrick Lamar
13. "Awaken, My Love!" by Childish Gambino
14. My Woman by Angel Olsen
15. Malibu by Anderson .Paak
16. Weezer (The White Album) by Weezer
17. A Seat At The Table by Solange
18. Wildflower by The Avalanches
19. Bottomless Pit by Death Grips
20. Run The Jewels 3 by Run The Jewels
Back to Top