• Record Label: Sub Pop
  • Release Date: Jan 25, 2005

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. They still retain a unique identity even as they plunder and explore more generic alt-rock themes, and their particular skill is in making this transformation seem logical and welcome.
  2. Entertainment Weekly
    Indie rock's maturing avatars of tense lethargy paint life as an epic fade. [21 Jan 2005, p.88]
  3. Spin
    Years of gradually opening up their minimalism have imbued Low with the wisdom to make every new layer count. [Feb 2005, p.91]
  4. Simply another shimmering LP from a truly original band.
  5. The Great Destroyer is a marvel of layered beauty -- the sort of album that makes you call in sick to work so you can spend a day with headphones clamped to your head, charting its every elegant nuance.
  6. Songs like “California” and “Walk Into the Sea,” by far the sunniest, poppiest material Low has ever produced, shatter the mopey mold the band has so carefully cultivated, and to thrilling results.
  7. A work so consistently stirring, stately, and pop-aware it makes most recent guitar-based art-rock albums look tawdry.
  8. What makes The Great Destroyer surprising is how seamlessly they balance all these moods and sounds. Not to mention courageously. This is an album, not a collection of Low songs.
  9. The Great Destroyer is a masterpiece of emotional tumult.
  10. Even the lesser tracks here endear themselves upon multiple listens, and the best stuff is uniquely exciting given their context of departure from a well-loved sound.
  11. Filter
    The true surprise, then, is not the feedback and guitar solos... it's the more pop-oriented structure and melodies. [#14, p.104]
  12. Under The Radar
    A gamble that paid off in spades for a band that... is still sounding fresher, tighter and more relevant with each record. [#8, p.107]
  13. In making like a post-rock Crazy Horse, Low has found new ways to eke dynamic moments out of lingering notes.
  14. Low goes overboard at points, and detrimentally so... [but] the dissonance and harmonies mostly gel.
  15. The album is harsher, darker, and just plain louder than Low have ever been in their 10-year career.
  16. When The Great Destroyer rocks, it rocks with passion, rigour and an unmistakable but enormously dignified rage.
  17. New Musical Express (NME)
    Anger has always been at the root of Low's modus operandi; the difference, ultimately, is that where once it lurked behind marble pillars, it now stomps and snorts like a pig on a griddle. [29 Jan 2005, p.59]
  18. Blender
    The boldest album of their career. [Mar 2005, p.141]
  19. Mojo
    Though not an unqualified triumph... The Great Destroyer is the latest high from a band that routinely rewards the virtue of patience. [Feb 2005, p.94]
  20. Destroyer simmers with life in all of its noisy, tuneful excess.
  21. Low sounds fearless in its experimentation. Such personal intimacy juxtaposed with extremely haughty pretension could easily turn off listeners, but it’s all woven together so well that it’s hard to dismiss even the wrong turns.
  22. Fridmann's detailed sound is a far cry from either Kramer or Albini's minimalist tendencies, but his work here shows that Low can sound as good in elaborate settings as they do in simple ones.
  23. The thing that lifts The Great Destroyer just above an album like Trust is that it is more spirited: there’s a hint of revival here.
  24. “Everybody’s Song” features the melodic discipline, barely contained anguish and cryptic lyrical finger-wagging that marked the last few Posies records. “Just Stand Back” (“I’m gonna turn on you so fast”) is a hateful little bon-bon that could stand tall on a Sugar record. And yet, The Great Destroyer remains too rickety and pristine to be anyone’s baby but Low’s.
  25. Uncut
    Generally, the album has a frantic, acidic, raggedly glorious feel. [Feb 2005, p.85]
  26. Almost Cool
    With the new directions in sound, there are a couple places where the group stumbles just a bit.
  27. Rolling Stone
    The result is impressively visceral darkness. [10 Feb 2005, p.81]
  28. Q Magazine
    While a generic indie rock sound is flirted with, an amicable relationship deelops between that and their trademark hush. [Mar 2005, p.100]
  29. Alternative Press
    A whole that's less than the sum of its parts, a bittersweet pill that's best taken in small doses. [Feb 2005, p.88]
  30. Whether this is an album that actually suits them is another matter, but it actually makes them feel entirely relevant and, for as prolific a decade-old band, that’s high praise indeed.
  31. If this album is indeed the beginning of a long, arduous journey of rediscovery and rebirth and other fun ponderous stuff, here's hoping the rest of the trip is more enjoyable than this initial misstep.
  32. Half a good album, half disastrously wrong.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 38 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 38
  2. Negative: 3 out of 38
  1. Jul 23, 2012
    Here Low make more noise than usual, delivering a gloomy but classy rock record. Opener "Monkey" has a bass line that reminds me of SmashingHere Low make more noise than usual, delivering a gloomy but classy rock record. Opener "Monkey" has a bass line that reminds me of Smashing Pumpkins "Bullet With Butterfly Wings". The upbeat "California" follows and we're wondering is this really a Low record. The rock continues as the album progresses but we do get some more of the traditional Low sound. The final 3 tracks do a great job in closing off the album - "Pissing" being one of the records highlight. At times the tempo dies a bit and it could have been trimmed by 2 songs, but overall it's really good stuff here. Full Review »
  2. Sep 14, 2010
    Recently got my hands on this album and can safely say it is one of the best things I've heard in years, it's saddening but uplifting in a wayRecently got my hands on this album and can safely say it is one of the best things I've heard in years, it's saddening but uplifting in a way The Arcade Fire could only do, but with two guitars and an upright drum kit. I know I'm five years too late to try look hip by enjoying Low, but hell, when it's this good punctuality doesn't matter. Full Review »
  3. MoL
    Feb 22, 2006
    One of my favorite albums, and by far the best album of the year.