Reviewed by Pieter Uys
This live album of the 1992 world tour kicks off with the swirling vortex of Mother's Milk, a surging tour de
force with a driving beat and macabre lyrics in Jarboe's haunting voice at its most powerful. In its dark
cadences, this track sounds like the fierce conclusion of an occult ritual. On The Great Annihilator Mother's
Milk has been transformed into a soft but intense torch song.
Michael Gira’s dark wordless vocals fuse with the jangling guitar, bass and drums on Pow R Sac for a raging
sonic storm that exhausts itself in crackling, discordant chimes. The lilting, hypnotic Will Serve follows, one
of those tonally shifting instrumental masterpieces like Sound Section on Soundtracks for the Blind.
Some of these live recording flow more smoothly than the studio recordings, including the dystopian
Amnesia which is borne on an even tempo. The movement in three parts titled Her opens with a soothing
melody and Gira's uncharacteristically tender vocals, until they’re interrupted by a harsh instrumental
bridge. Rhythmic flow and atmospherics render this break less abrasive than on the studio track. It recedes
for the voice of the teenage girl that resumes the recital from the original on Love Of Life. She talks about
her friend Charlie against a rich sonosphere which encompasses radio commercials and Van Morrison's
1967 hit Brown Eyed Girl.
From brown eyed girls to black eyed dogs, as the band turns Nick Drake's melancholical masterpiece into a
malevolent rock anthem. The absence of the eerie breathing and electronic barking on Ten Songs for
Another World is compensated for by the frenzied pace and vocal ferocity.
A powerful, propulsive rock song, the original Love Of Life is characterized by a jangling wall of massed
acoustic, bass and electric guitars. Michael's voice accompanies the guitars whilst Jarboe's vocals weave in
and out like a siren. Different time signatures, denser rhythmic patterns an