I really like some of their earlier work... Children of God, Great Annihilator... I never thought of them as a Christian band though. For some reason Michael Gira marching around the stage in bondage did not evoke "Christian band" to me.
ah, that may have been before he converted. His new band, Angels of Light is great, especially the album "my father will guide me up a rope to the sky"
I've not heard of this conversion. Are you sure of that?
For anyone who's wondering why the Swans are so great... here you go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hI5Eg6Ias4
Well, its not certain. In an interview this year Gira said he'd been frequenting a Catholic church recently. Also he's said that he has religious aspirations. His lyrics are full of Christian imagery, but when asked about it he gives vague answers. Personally I believe he is Christian, albeit a Flannery O'Connor/southern gothic type, but wants to keep it on the dl because people will automatically reject his message if they identify him as such. A lot of fans already complain about all the Christian references.
On the other hand he has said that he finds the idea of anthropomorphizing God absurd and he has spoken harshly of dogmatic religion.
So...not sure, but really his lyrics only seem to make sense in a Christian context.