Culture, Music

Review: How to Destroy Angels – An Omen EP

How to Destroy Angels An Omen EPVeteran of hard rock masters Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor side-steps from writing movie and game sound tracks to resume work with partner Mariqueen Maandig and long time collaborator Atticus Ross, with new member Rob Sheridan as How to Destroy Angels. After long hiatus, the angel destroyers have produced an atmospherically charged and highly individual EP, mixing rock, ambient, electronic, world music and folk. And it works.

The immaculately produced, stripped down sound does interesting things with rhythm and melody in unexpected combinations. You’ll find ‘Angels listed under Rock (it isn’t), ‘Post-Industrial’ (I still don’t know what ‘Industrial’ was apart from grungy guitars and clanging) and the delightfully vague ‘Experimental.’ I really don’t know how to categorise what they do and that gives me a huge lift; forget the 24/7 pop blanket, there is musical diversity out there if you know where to find it.

The EP – there are only six tracks, so not quite a full album – consists of track after track of pure atmosphere, reminiscent of Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, plus a raft of influences from later ambient pioneers, but it still adds up to a distinctive sound – almost a manifesto.

Keep it Together is a dark, dark ambient track that makes Portishead and Massive Attack sound like Millie Cyrus. Ice Age starts acoustic, with twangy, Appalachian folk guitar and Maandig’s light, melodic voice, but slowly winds up into a wave of industrial feedback.

On the Wing is more electro and percussive, but with a simple melody running through it.

The enigmatically titled The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters is pure ambient instrumental, invoking a dream state, spooky, without too many monsters. I expected it to get darker and more sinister, but it meanders around and feels under developed. Worth further listening, I think.

The Loop Closes,begins with electronica like Yello and finishes with guitar and chanting not unlike Primal Scream. Speaking in Tongues is one of the more intriguing tracks, we’ll call it ‘post-industrial clanging’ with a helping of Kabuki theatre.

You may not think all those comparisons are complimentary, but they are. An Omen is a musical breath of fresh air; it’s not an easy listen, but a rewarding one. RC

How to Destroy Angels An Omen EP
Written, Arranged, Produced, Performed and Art Directed by How to Destroy Angels:

  • Mariqueen Maandig
  • Trent Reznor
  • Atticus Ross
  • Rob Sheridan
  • Mixed byAlan Moulder
  • Engineering: Blumpy
  • Mastering: Tom Baker

Label: Columbia Records
Released: November 13, 2012

About Robin Catling

Writer; performer; project manager; sports coach; all-round eccentric.


7 thoughts on “Review: How to Destroy Angels – An Omen EP

  1. **ckin’ awesome here. I’m very satisfied to look at your article. Thank you a lot.

    Posted by Christian | November 17, 2012, 5:55 am
  2. I think it is usually help all of you. Thanks.

    Posted by Carou PP | November 17, 2012, 7:02 am
  3. I really really dig this EP from HTDA. Always been a fan of Reznor and can’t wait to see what they come out with next!!

    Posted by AylaSitzesCMR | November 26, 2012, 2:14 am
  4. Great EP. Listening now. “Keep it Together” is an awesome track!

    Posted by Brittany Brave (@RockabillyBrave) | November 26, 2012, 3:17 am
  5. I’m totally feeling all of the sounds on this EP too. Really like “The Loop Closes” and “Keep It Together”
    The Factory Floor remix of “Keep It Together” is also worth checking out. It pairs really well with the rest of the EP.

    Posted by Mike | November 26, 2012, 12:27 pm
  6. great info, thanks!

    Posted by R B Caracol | December 26, 2012, 6:49 pm


  1. Pingback: Review: Depeche Mode – Delta Machine | Everything Express - April 4, 2013

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