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How To Destroy Angels EP

3.9 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The first post NIN project of Trent Reznor featuring vocals from wife and ex-West Indian Girl Mariqueen Maandig and his regular collaborator Atticus Ros
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 6, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: July 6, 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: EP
  • Label: THE NULL CORPORATION
  • ASIN: B003N7GATM
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,215 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Richard Shaheen on July 6, 2010
Format: Audio CD
If there is one thing I was hoping for with the release of the eponymous EP from How To Destroy Angels it was for something completely beyond the norm for Trent Reznor. I'm a HUGE Nine Inch Nails fan, so as far as I am concerned, anything the man touches is solid gold (and I haven't been let down yet). HTDA is no exception; it's a quality record from a quality group of musicians. My only complaint would be that it does sound a little too NIN-ish. Some of these tracks sound like they could have been b-sides or unreleased tracks from Year Zero, which wouldn't have been a bad thing if this was a Nails release. It sounds as though Trent is trying to get out of his comfort zone here but just can't seem to get all the way out. Some tracks are stellar standouts that offer a lot of hope that some amazing things are in the works; "Fur Lined" in particular has a very unique feel that sets it apart from Reznor's previous work. "The Space In Between" is a bit out there for him, but still manages to toe that line of comfortability. The addition of Mariqueen Maandig-Reznor certainly adds an interesting element to the equation, her vocals are haunting and breathy which does wonders for the music; Reznor singing would have not made quite the impact.

All in all, this is a good record; not a great one, but a good one. If Trent and company can find a way to get themselves out of their comfort zone, they could deliver a truly amazing album.
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Format: MP3 Music
This is the self-titled debut EP by How to Destroy Angels, a group formed by Trent Reznor, his wife Mariqueen Maandig, and producer Atticus Ross. It sort of sounds like Nine Inch Nails release The Slip if a woman was singing. It will be released physically early next month, but you can still download it online for free if you want. So yeah, it's pretty enjoyable electronic/industrial stuff, and it's hard to go wrong when you don't have to pay. My two favorite tracks happen to be the opener and closer, "The Space in Between" and "A Drowning". The former has a perfect, ominous sound countered by Mariqueen's pleasant voice that nicely introduces you to their style, and the latter has a nice build up and release for the record's climax. The other tracks are totally fine too, with my third favorite probably being "The Believers". I'm not sure how dedicated any of them really are to the future of this project, but their first effort is fairly strong and might be worth some further development.
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While Trent Reznor's wife, Mariqueen, won't likely be winning any awards for her vocal talents, I feel her voice and style fit well with this release.

Yes; it does feel/sound rather NIN on its own. But I don't see that as a bad thing. Trent has a decently broad sound with NIN. Some I really love... some not so much.

But I find myself listening to this at least as much as anything by NIN and I think that's a good sign. Some tracks in particular stand out for me and on the whole I prefer this release over the "Welcome Oblivion" CD from How to Destroy Angels, which I think is a little over done for my tastes.
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This album is sounds eerie and awesome on so many levels. The concepts portrayed are extremely important to our time and I think we can all learn a lot from what they have to say with the full release.
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OK, so supposedly this is an effort by Reznor to 'branch out' and try things different than he thought NIN fans would accept. But the same layered, nuanced, distorted, industrial, dark, nihilistic tones are there, just fronted by somewhat less fiercely screamed but nonetheless somewhat distorted female vocals (his wife)?

She must not have near the range or the passion he does, since much of her voice seems to be intentionally processed; that's alright - it seemed to fit the tone of each track, vs. just being 'autotuned' as so many wannabe young divas are. And she doesn't sing with the anger he has - more like a mix between a bit of lascivious "love me long time" stereotype pandering or perplexed why-am-I-the-victim tones.

None of the above is intended to mean I don't like it - I do. The 4 stars is mostly because it's so short, only 6 tracks. Would love to hear more.

But frankly, I tend to like virtually everything Herren Reznor and Ross have done...their particular audio landscape manages to hit my nerve endings with a set of impulses like no other.
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Let me start by saying that im a huge Nine Inch Nails/Trent fan. I own everything he/they've done and have seen them live more times than i can count. And that my be the/my problem. I'm comparing. This coul've/should've been a NIN album. The music is fantastic, the production incredible and lush, the lyrics amazing (especially 'A Drowning'), the vocal melodies are perfectly how Trent would sing, phrasing and all...its just that Mariqueen's vocals are...nice. Too nice. Sweet and perfect and...ultimately passionless. Almost spoken most of the time. No grit, no emotion no. I know this is unfair...this isn't supposed to be NIN. I know this. It just sounds like the Muzak version of Nine Inch Nails...the "Honey, here are some songs i wrote but you can sing them" version. Sonically and lyrically this would/should be one of the better NIN albums in the past few years. Instead it comes off as a less passionate/intense version of the band. There is NOTHING wrong with the CD and i love listening to it...it's just as dissapointing because of what it could've been with Trent singing. No impact...no emotional value. Again i know that is unfair. I wish that i had no idea Trent was involved because it's a ghost of things that could've been.
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