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Great Annihilator
Great Annihilator
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1

Their 12th album, 'The Great Annihilator, is a majestic symphony of haunting melodies and shifting moods. Spirituality - or rather the absence of it - provides the linking motif. Taken on its own, this album is a vivid ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Swans
Title: Great Annihilator
Members Wishing: 6
Total Copies: 0
Label: Invisible Records
Original Release Date: 1/23/1995
Release Date: 1/23/1995
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Ambient, Indie & Lo-Fi, American Alternative, Progressive, Progressive Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Other Editions: Great Annihilator
UPC: 036172983520


Album Description
Their 12th album, 'The Great Annihilator, is a majestic symphony of haunting melodies and shifting moods. Spirituality - or rather the absence of it - provides the linking motif. Taken on its own, this album is a vivid example of how to combine the dissonant with the dulcet while retaining a dangerous edge. Viewed in the context of the Swans' 12-year journey from audio pornography to majestic romanticism, The Great Annihilator serves as an epic apotheosis. Packaged in a Digipak. Young God Records.

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CD Reviews

A 90's masterpiece
Pablo Cordero | Mexico | 07/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As celebrated (and admirable) as 1987's 'Children of God' was, this may be the only studio album the Swans ever produced that can truly be labelled as a masterpiece. Eclectic yet consistently marvelous, this long album demands attentive listening of every of its 16 tracks. This album synthetises all the musical experiments Swans came across during their long career, yet presents them in an accesible manner that any intelligent fan of modern rock would love. The two lead singers are brilliant and unique, and M.Gira's lyrics are so consistently dark and gloomy they reach a whole new level of tragic beauty. As for the music, I could try to describe individual tracks (the brilliantly produced, catchy industrial rock of 'I am the sun', the perfect alt-rock of 'Celebrity lifestyle' and 'MotherFather', the dreamlike atmosphere created in 'My buried child' by Martin Atkins' tribal drumming and Jarboe's walkyrian war chants, the witty acid-jazz groove of 'Telepathy', the unbearable sadness of 'Blood promise' and 'killing for company'...) but even that is pointless. Every song is perfect in its own way. And the performances, particularly Bill Rieflin's drumming, are fantastic. All in all, a perfect album recommended for anyone. It is a tragedy this masterpiece is out of print while so many crap bands flourish..."
timmaster | San Francisco | 12/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I do not understand.I own over 1000 CD's, not to mention hundreds of tapes and records -- plenty of it from dark musical genres -- and for some reason, I had never heard this album, this band, nor did I have any idea what incredible music I was missing. This album is unbelievable. The mix of deep, brooding male vocals and biting female vocals over minimalistic drums and bass guitar, topped off with a wash of atmospheric guitar -- this is where Joy Division left off, and in fact was never able to achieve. Sisters of Mercy and Christian Death can only retrospectively wish that their music was this intelligent, creative, and heart-piercing.Besides being musical euphoria, the songs on this album are simplistically genius! I wonder if the Swans have another album this good."
Beautiful Music
Internal Abbatoir | Albuquerque, NM | 07/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Swans changed and the rest is history.

This CD came out in 1995 at the height of the alternative rock craze. However, this does not sound like any alternative band. You cannot even call this Goth. This is just something of its own. The Swans are one of the most unique musical entities of all time. They created "dark" music, yes, but it was not dark for dark's sake. The music of The Swans is ethereal - it enwraps you in an atmosphere. The band is never self-indulgent. The lyrics are never self-serving and they do not appeal to an angsty teenage fanbase. In reality, the music is quite sophisticated and intellectual.

I have never heard of any band that sounded like The Swans. They are definitely one of the most overlooked bands of all time, which is a pity. They continued to evolve after this record until their death in 1997. They always kept things fresh and interesting, which is what every great band does. They never played it safe for commercial success, even during this era when they were just a step away from it. And while their contemporaries made it huge, The Swans stayed in obscurity and continued to make amazing experimental music with no regard whatsoever to the demands of their audience.

In that case, The Great Annihilator is just a snapshot of The Swans during one single era in their existence. This is one of the last records the band put out and it is also one of their best. This music is beautiful and melancholic without sounding too melodramatic and cheesy. It is dark and somber without sounding self-indulgent and pretentious. It is transcendental.

It takes you on a journey, like all great music does, to a different place.