How To Destroy Angels

How To Destroy Angels

The Null Corporation, 2010

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


Trent Reznor’s latest project How To Destroy Angels (HDA) is as interesting as it is mysterious. A musical matrimony with his wife Mariqueen Maandig and longtime collaborator Atticus Ross, this project seems to be a work-in-progress, with a six-song EP available as a free-download on the band’s website as a starter (in addition to upgrades – including a retail CD release and merchandise combo packages – with a fee).my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

This is a damn serious project; the album doesn’t suggest anything less. The music is every bit Nine Inch Nails (NIN), but apart from faint backup vocals, Reznor hands over the microphone entirely to Maandig’s authority. The wispy and sensuous vocals of this former West Indian Girl member gives a trip-hop vibe to the natural industrial sound of this band, which makes its music all the more interesting. Anyone familiar with Maandig’s rather uplifting vocals on West Indian Girl, would find her persona on HDA strikingly contrasting. She is stark and morose, and as a matter of fact, provides a befitting voice to this outfit.

Similar to NIN, HDA is big on visuals (the dark and disturbing video for the first single “The Space Between” says it all) and treats the album as one musical piece with tracks that merge into one another. The music is fan-pleasing, and is most similar to the catchy beat-infused sound of the last NIN record The Slip; the tracks “Parasite” and “Fur Lined” are the most dancey. “BBB” comes very close, with its ample beats, but is more in the trip-hop vein, with its spooky whispering vocals and heavy tempo. “The Space Between,” “The Believers,” and “A Drowning,” on the other hand, are dense, moody, and intense.

Although not much effort seems to have been taken to make HDA musically divergent from NIN, Maandig’s helm at the microphone does indeed add another facet to NIN’s music, which is welcome. HDA isn’t as much a new band as it is NIN reinterpreted, and it is every infinitesimal bit as brilliant.

Rating: A

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© 2010 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of The Null Corporation, and is used for informational purposes only.