Feature: How To Destroy Angels Welcome the Future and "Welcome Oblivion"
Mon, 11 Mar 2013 13:26:45
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It'd be easy for Trent Reznor to rev up the distortion, start screaming, and start fucking the beats like an animal on Welcome Oblivion, the full-length debut from How To Destroy Angels. Then again, Reznor's never been content to take the easy way out, and that's why the world loves him—deservedly so. Also, you have to keep in mind; this is not a Nine Inch Nails record. That's a beautiful thing too, and it also can't be reiterated enough.
Reznor along with Mariqueen Maandig, Atticus Ross, and Rob Sheridan break ground once again here. Welcome Oblivion is its own wild, weird, and wonderful world and one of the year's best records.
"The more we change, everything stays the same," Reznor and Maandig both sing on "Too Late, All Gone". At the same time, nothing's the same.
The glitch-y production wraps around their voices tightly almost suffocating them before allowing the chorus to breathe. "Ice Age" gives birth to glacial folk with its amalgam of acoustic instruments and haunting production. "And the Sky Began to Scream" remains brutally and broodingly cinematic, while the six-minute plus "Recursive Self-Improvement" feels like Blade Runner-era paranoid poetry.
"Hallowed Ground" stretches past the seven-minute mark. At times, it's hypnotic. At other times, it's harrowingly blissful. Everything stands built on those dichotomies, and that's what makes Welcome Oblivion so fucking fascinating.
The bonus tracks also remain gems with "The Space In Between" and "Parasite" expanding the album's mythos perfectly. Welcome Oblivion and welcome the next phase of what's possible in truly "alternative" music.
Have you heard Welcome Oblivion?