Review: How to Destroy Angels – How to Destroy Angels

Trent Reznor making noise of closing the door on Nine Inch Nails was horrifyingly depressing but if he can make music as interesting, challenging and oft-awesome as the debut from How to Destroy Angels we might weather the storm better than we anticipated.

The project is the result of a collaboration between Reznor, his wife Mariqueen and producer/tech guy/long time NIN collaborator Atticus Ross and it’s a dilly. The first product is a self-titled six song ep and it’s one of the most thought-provoking and fascinating releases of 2010.HTDA builds on a sound collage that is made up of industrial, rock and electronic elements that doesn’t always work perfectly but it does always captivate in its own way. “Parasite” is a noise pastiche that builds into an awesome duet between the Reznors and sounds an awful like classic NIN. “BBB” is a throbbing electro dirge that sounds more interesting with each listen, with a spoken word vocal that revolves around the refrain “listen to the sound/of my big black boots” (indeed we shall…). “Fur Lined” has dance elements among the harder influences. “The Space in Between” is one of Softsynth’s favourite songs of the year-to-date, with a synth drone over a lovely vocal from Mariqueen and lead “single” “A Drowning” draws the best of NIN’s sound into something so new, refreshing and exciting, it makes us feel positively itchy when we sit and listen to it.

It’s a glorious rebirth for Reznor and seems such a logical direction for him to take. Softsynth is most hopeful this isn’t a one-off or a short-lived detour because the potential here is limitless. We are excited to think about the possibilities for the band and hold out hope for much more to come.

Watch: The Space in Between


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