How to Destroy Angels – Welcome oblivion (Columbia, 2013)
1. The Wake-Up
2. Keep It Together
3. And the Sky Began to Scream
4. Welcome Oblivion
5. Ice Age
6. On the Wing
7. Too Late, All Gone
8. How Long?
9. Strings and Attractors
10. We Fade Away
11. Recursive Self-Improvement
12. The Loop Closes
13. Hallowed Ground
After a really long wait How to Destroy Angels have finally released their debut full-length album. I'm pretty surprised that this album even saw the light of day what with Trent Reznor resurrecting Nine Inch Nails earlier this year; and I wouldn't be surprised if this is their lone full-length. Maybe it's a vanity project that he does for his wife Mariqueen Maandig, who sings for the band. She's so damn hot that if I was Trent I'd help her release whatever music she wanted.
I really enjoyed their self-titled EP (which came out almost three years ago) but wasn't too hot on the 'An Omen' EP that came out a few months ago. Unfortunately this album has more in common with An Omen than the first one. It's pretty laid back and only gets the blood running during the Wake-Up
(which is just an intro really) and the title track. Four of the six songs from An Omen return on this album, and even though I didn't care for that EP they're some of the better songs on here. The three instrumentals that close the album are pretty good but not a good ending for an album. They should have taken two of them and spread them out over the album somewhere else.
The main problem I have with the album is that on their own the songs are good but after an hour you notice that they're all pretty much the same. In short doses (EP's) their music is great because after twenty five minutes it's over and you want more (or at least you think you do). But after an hour I was ready for it to be over.
I have to touch on the song How Long?
. What the fuck is that? It's pretty much a pop song, complete with a catchy chorus, and it sucks the life out of the album. Pop isn’t a genre I listen to and I have nothing against it but it is not what I wanted on this album. After that I really stopped paying attention. It didn't help that the songs after it were more of the same. Had the album ended before it, it would have been a decent EP (which goes back to me saying that they should stick to EP's). But that song really, really sucks.
Another thing I want to get into is the artwork. At first it’s pretty cool, all the distorted security camera photos. But really it’s the same stuff as almost all of Trent Reznors albums going back to With Teeth. So at this point in time it’s kinda old. The only difference with this is the colors are a bit brighter than usual.
If you're a fan of anything Trent Reznor has done post-millennium you'll probably find something you'll like on here. If you've never heard How to Destroy Angels just imagine the Year Zero album without guitars and with female vocals. The first five songs are great but it just gets boring after that. I’m not crushed but I’m disappointed.
Best songs: And the Sky Began to Scream, Welcome Oblivion, Ice Age