Swans - The Great Annihilator album review
Confrontational noise pioneers’ ninth album as monolithic as ever
Swans live in the early 1980s was unlike experiencing any other band at that time. While Michael Gira screamed and harangued, bent double on his knees when not beating up any audience members who dared headbang, the band drove the volume on their monolithic sonic slabs past the pain threshold until the whole building seemed to shudder. They managed to capture some of this brutal granite blues onslaught on 1983’s Filth and the following year’s Cop, but their level of slow motion heavy metal thunder as performance art was impossible to maintain and subtleties crept in after singer-keyboardist Jarboe joined for 1986’s Greed.