Rolling Stone - No. 967, p.813.5 stars out of 5
- "[Low] are uncommonly loud, at times even lethal, on THE GREAT DESTROYER....impressively visceral darkness..."
Spin - p.91
"Years of gradually opening up their minimalism have imbued Low with the wisdom to make every new layer count." - Grade: A-
Entertainment Weekly - pp.88-9
"Aging takes on a mythic air on this latest incarnation of Low's slow transition from sleepy minimalists to complex composers." - Grade: A-
Uncut - p.854 stars out of 5
- "[The album] draws on the best traditions of The Byrds, The Replacements and Neil Young while adding into the mix a bilious anger that's peculiar to our times, Low are building up a headful of steam, not running out."
Alternative Press - p.883 stars out of 5
- "It's ambitious, edgy, and sonically unlike their last half-dozen records..."
The Wire - p.41
Included in The Wire's "2005 Rewind: 50 Records Of The Year."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.944 stars out of 5
- "THE GREAT DESTROYER is the latest high from a band that routinely rewards the virtue of patience."
Low: Zak Sally, Alan Sparhawk, Mimi Parker.
Personnel: Hollis Mae (vocals); Gerry Beckley (background vocals).
Additional personnel: Dave Fridmann (keyboards); Gerry Beckley.
Audio Mixers: Dave Fridmann; Low.
Low's seventh full-length album, THE GREAT DESTROYER, marks a literal departure for the Duluth, Minnesota trio, with the band leaving its longtime label, Kranky, in favor of uber-indie taste-makers, Sub Pop. The overall sound of the record reflects the transition, as Low hits new heights in both volume and aggression, particularly on the fuzzed-out "Monkey" and the swelling "Everybody's Song." During "On the Edge Of" and "When I Go Deaf," guitarist Alan Sparhawk unleashes gloriously distorted Neil Young-worthy leads, while "Broadway (So Many People)" balances amped-up rock with the group's trademark hushed melodies.
Those looking for Low's renowned hypnotic "slowcore" sound will find it carefully mixed into different forms, with only "Silver Rider" clearly recalling the band's formative mid-1990s era. Like past Low releases, THE GREAT DESTROYER still uses Sparhawk's gorgeous vocal harmonies with drummer Mimi Parker as its centerpiece, but this is the only true constant here, making for a refreshingly dynamic album. For listeners who might have written Low off as a one-note band, this is the record that proves them wrong.