How to Destroy Angels is a name that conjures images of a divine struggle against eternal forces written in the pages of an epic horror novel by some imaginative dark writer, maybe Caitlin Kiernan. Those who have been around the music scene and witnessed the birth and lifespan of industrial music would recognize the name immediately.
Originally the name of a song and the EP by the band Coil, this group took an avant-garde approach to music, experimenting with new sounds and creative instrumental uses to create the 16:45 minute long track and debut single, How to Destroy Angels. Coil’s place in the beginnings of the industrial movement has to be noted.
With over 20 years of leading powerhouse industrial act Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor has made his next move in the music industry, forming the new group How to Destroy Angels with the likes of Mariqueen Maandig (West Indian Girl) and Atticus Ross (12 Rounds). This new phase in Reznor’s career is a step in a direction that follows suit in the trail he has been blazing since he left his record label in 2007. After years of dealing with the labels greed, Reznor is giving back to his fan base by giving away the How to Destroy Angels EP for any who desire it.
The debut EP provides fans with a sound that is both familiar and different to that which Nine Inch Nails provided. For those that remember Reznor’s tendency to play with new sounds and create long compositions with lyrics nearly vacant, this wouldn’t be too far off. Yet, where a track or two would exist only on each of his previous project’s albums, this seems to be the main course. The spirit of this new work definitely is in the sound of Coil’s How to Destroy Angels single. If you can sit through that broad track you’ll see the seed that helped give birth to a musical movement but also the heart of this new group.
The name can also be a hint as to something new as well as something that existed before. Reznor is free, his ties to the music giants over. He broke though the barrier and struggles that so many try to break into. With his wife, Manndig, providing angelic vocals to his gritty produced songs, signals a new direction in which the industry is moving. Online, free and for the public to decide how they feel, not some marketing team to bash over our heads.
Like any well planned out artistic expression, Reznor has brought long time accomplice Rob Sheridan into the fold as a member of the team as the art director, ensuring that the look and visual element to their presentation is consistent and properly portrayed. All design work has Sheridan’s hands involved. Their first video The Space Between directed by Rupert Sanders is just the beginning of what this powerhouse group has in store for audiences and fans.
All works to date by How to Destroy Angels is available on their website, howtodestroyangels.com.