How To Destroy Angels – Welcome Oblivion

‘Welcome Oblivion’ is the debut of Nine Inch Nails main man Trent Reznor’s L.A. collective ‘How To Destroy Angels’ along with his wife Mariqueen Maandig and long-time collaborator Atticus Ross. If you liked either of the soundtracks he did recently for David Fincher or NIN’s last few albums then you will find something here you will love. Feedback, electronic noises and beats make up the templates of the songs with mostly female vocals and the odd section of Reznor’s unmistakable voice. The songs themselves range in style from the instrumental opener ‘The Wake-up’ to the gospel pop of ‘How Long?’ Along the way we get the slightly off centre piece ‘Ice Age’ with its multitude of plucked strings and ‘Recursive self-improvement’ which wouldn’t sound out of place on an album by Future Sound of London. Familiar refrains haunt certain tracks ‘the more we change, everything stays the same’ and ‘the beginning is the end and its coming round again’ both recalling NIN’s ‘Every day is exactly the same’ from ‘With Teeth’.  Elsewhere Mariqueen’s singing is not unlike Ruby circa ‘Salt Peter’ and the only song I find it hard to like is the title track where she sings through a megaphone which just brings back unwanted memories of the 90s anthem ‘Ready To Go’ by Republica. But minor points aside this is an assured debut which broods with equal parts of menace and melody and is the perfect addition to Reznor’s ever growing body of work.

how to destroy angels

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