How To Destroy Angels – Welcome Oblivion

Here’s one last album I grabbed in the death throes of our shite little HMV. This will mark the end of my Death Throes series. At least for now. Who knows if I’ll find any more before they’re gone!


“How to Destroy Angels is a musical group featuring Atticus Ross, Rob Sheridan, Mariqueen Maandig and her husband Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails frontman). The group is named after a 1984 Coil song of the same name.” (Wiki)

This 2013 debut album is experimental, though the LA Times described it as “sensual electronic rock,” and I can’t argue with that either. It definitely has a muscular, sexy feel to it.

If you like Nine Inch Nails, there’s enough here to keep you happy. But this has another side, seperate from the angry pulsations of NIN. There’s an understated beauty to it where NIN can be quite jagged. Of course, I haven’t heard all of the later years NIN, so maybe there’s some of this in that work too, but this CD held my attention easily with it’s laidback tempos, an hesitation to be too forceful about anything. Different enough to be seperate, does that help?

The track Ice Age stands out as an oddity, those plucked strings (is it a banjo, maybe?), though there’s a humming whine in behind…

There was one single, How Long?, which is beautiful in its own way too.

In Sum:

I wouldn’t say there was one stand out track on this record, and I don’t know how often I would put it on as a focussed-listening album. But if this were on in the background as I did something else, I could see this album being pretty damn good accompaniment.


Posted on March 18, 2017, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Wow, a Trent side project I never heard of. Cool find!


  2. I like this album better than later NIN, but I think I’m in the minority. Most people I talk to brush this off because of the husband/wife thing.


    • I’d need to hear more of the later NIN stuff, but this was pleasant enough. Folks who would have that opinion just because his wife was involved are best ignored. I thought this album was strong enough to stand on its own.

      Also: Is that you in your profile pic? If so, I wanna give a big shout for reading Neal Stephenson. I love that guy’s books!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this album! NIN’s Ghosts has a similar understated, atmospheric feel, though HTDA is more experimental.


  4. Thanks for the reminder to check out HMV this weekend – the deals were only 10% off or so at first, but I gather the prices are dropping.
    This one’s new to me!


    • I might sneak in and check out ours one more time too… though it was pretty picked over last time I was in a couple of weeks ago. For all I know, ours is already gone!

      I scooped Geoff too! Man, you and Lebrain! Was this some sort of stealth release or something?


  5. Haven’t heard of this one, either. Though I had long stopped paying attention to Reznor and his musical shenanigans. Sounds to me that it’s kinda like listening to Bjork past the first three albums… to be applauded more than enjoyed.


  6. Mariqueen Maandig has such a soothing voice. I enjoy this album very much and do agree with your statement of it being great background music. Even if you aren’t intensely following Welcome Oblivion it puts your mind at ease behind whatever you’re doing. Trent Reznor is always up to something and everything he is involved with matches up with whatever mood you’re in. You just have to find that track.


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