The second release by Trent Reznor’s other band departs somewhat from the first release, which was a self-titled EP released back in 2010. Considering the inactivity of Reznor’s main band Nine Inch Nails, (and the effort he’d been putting into the various soundtracks he’s worked on), it was a surprise to see a release by Reznor. How To Destroy Angels, when they first began, was an interesting band, featuring Reznor’s long-time collaborators Atticus Ross and Rob Sheridan, and Reznor’s wife Mariqueen Maandig. The music was somewhat different from what we’re used to from Reznor, straying away from what could be described as Industrial Metal, and instead opting for a more Dark Ambient style.
I find this EP to be much more preferable to the previous self-titled EP. There’s a much more developed sound to the music on this EP, and it’s improved greatly from their first effort. It’s interesting, cause the music on this EP feels slightly more sparse than that on their previous. There’s more ambience and drum loops that occupy the various tracks. It just feels more complete than the first EP, and thus highly preferable. Even the vocals sound better, with Maandig seeming to find her comfort in her own style. It’s a definite improvement from their previous EP, which I couldn’t help but feel gave me a mixed reaction. As much as I enjoy Reznor’s music, I found the EP to just not be as enjoyable as his efforts with Nine Inch Nails. It was certainly interesting, and it wasn’t that the music was bad. What I mean to say is that it didn’t hit me in the same way that his previous albums have done. Even Reznor’s soundtrack albums were met by a positive reaction from myself. But the first How To Destroy Angels’ EP just didn’t really work for me. It is more than likely that I just didn’t get it. And perhaps now I am starting to get what this whole project is all about.
Overall, I am quite impressed by this new EP. For me, it serves as a better introduction to the type of music we can expect from How To Destroy Angels, and it is also a much easier to listen to album. It certainly gives me anticipation as to what the full studio album release, (Welcome Oblivion, set for release in March this year). An Omen E.P. serves as a great taster of what is to come by this side-project, and considering the inventiveness and sheer talent that not only Reznor, but all those he works with possess, it is likely that the full album will be another masterpiece.
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
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