Welcome Oblivion - How to Destroy Angels
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 35 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 35
  2. Negative: 2 out of 35

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  1. Mar 7, 2013
    3
    While I do appreciate that this album contains good and well made music, it is not something I can sit down and enjoy over and over again. I hate to say it, but it is boring. I get the gist of it after the first couple of songs; it's all so similar. Everyone in this band is so much more talented than what is shown here, and it's a bummer that this turned out so basic.
  2. Mar 5, 2013
    4
    Basically Trent's soundtrack work. Terrible head shaking lyrics with a disney cruise vocalist. Won't excite 99% of NIN fans, won't gain any new fans. We get it, it's "not" NIN, but sounds exactly like what you've been doing for the past 6 years with vapid NIN-lite lyrics from a very cold and boring vocalist. If if weren't for the vocals and lyrics it would could be a decent instrumental album.
  3. Mar 5, 2013
    4
    It's cool to say this is good... but it's not. Here's hoping Trent, with reuniting and reinventing NIN, will release something interesting this year... It's been a long time since 1994.
  4. Mar 6, 2013
    5
    While there are a few interesting tracks to be found here, few of them are really worth revisiting in the future. As many have pointed out, Maandig's vocals are consistently out of place throughout this album. The only track that seems to compliment her voice is Ice Age, where the ambient industrial noises of a majority of the album take a backseat to a haunting string riff. This also seems to be one of the only tracks where she seems to be putting effort and maybe even a bit of emotion into her vocals. The other two tracks that stand out are How Long? and The Loop Closes. How Long is interesting because it finally provides a resolution to those heated middle school debates over what it would sound like if Nine Inch Nails remixed a 90's era Phil Collins song. Clearly those of us who thought the end result would be mostly forgettable were right. The Loop Closes is a decent listen just because I found myself admitting that I probably wouldn't skip it had it been a transitional track on the fragile or the downward spiral, but even then it wouldn't have been an outstanding example of those either. Expand
  5. Mar 6, 2013
    0
    Terrible stuff. Funny how a few days before the album Trent comes out and says all the news about new NIN. This is not a collaboration. This is just Trent doing his usual soundtrack/ghosts type stuff, with boring female vocals added, and decided to name his art director a band member.
  6. Mar 6, 2013
    9
    I get people not being able to let go of preconceived notions of what Trent should be sounding like based on their usually pretty shallow knowledge of the Nine Inch Nails catalogue. That's understandable. It's dumb, but understandable. But don't let that stop y'all from seeing that this is a solid album by a band that themselves live in the shadow of NIN, probably quite consciously. They've put together an album that ranges from ethereal to jarring sometimes within the same track while maintaining a sense of cohesion. Expand
  7. Mar 5, 2013
    10
    How To Destroy Angels' first self titled release felt like the band was searching for their sound. This release not only defines what the band is striving to be, but fully and completely achieves their goal of defining this group as something other then "Trent Reznor's other band".
  8. Mar 6, 2013
    9
    The album echoes the soundtrack work done by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, but also shows it's own style. The songs on this album that were introduced on the last EP make much more sense in the context of the whole album. Different enough from NIN that it can be understood on it's own, but similar enough to draw in Trent's hardcore fans, a genuinely unique and engaging experience worth multiple listens. Expand
  9. Mar 17, 2013
    10
    The album is near perfection. If you're a NIN fan looking for NIN sounds, kindly smash your head with rocks. I don't walk into McDonald's expecting vegan food just because I know the fast food establishment has lettuce and tomato, so you shouldn't expect NIN music just because Trent Reznor and Atticus are present.

    Having said that, the music isn't so far from NIN. Don't expect the
    faster, guitar-leading stuff, but the energy is still here. And Mr. and Mrs. Reznor have perfected the melting of their make-up. Hearing both of them singing together is just heavenly.

    The electronics: they are just awe-inspiring. Trent Reznor just packs songs with unorthodox sounds and melodies that at some point turn into butterflies. It's quite wonderful to look at any single song and look at it from an analytical standpoint. Too Late, All Gone is a prime example. The song starts so abstract, but by the end of the song, it turns into pure (too pure) energy.

    In conclusion, this isn't NIN, SO STOP RATING IT AS A F**KING NIN ALBUM! Jesus, it's like Trent has collected as bunch of fake, one-dimensional fans over the years. If the music just doesn't fit with your taste, fine, but don't pin the fault on HDA for not slipping into a NIN sound. That's f**cking stupid. HDA would have no reason for existing if they were just going to sound like NIN anyways.

    I'm disappointed in NIN fans: you guys get a 1/10

    HDA, keep up the fantastic work! 10/10

    Favorite songs (not including bonus tracks from their first EP): The Wake-Up, Keep It Together, And the Sky Began to Scream, Welcome Oblivion, Ice Age, On the Wing, Too Late, All Gone, How Long?, Strings and Attractors, We Fade Away, Recursive Self-Improvement, The Loop Closes, Hallowed Ground.

    The included EP is unbelievable, as well. I welcome all future projects from this group of geniuses.
    Expand
  10. Jun 1, 2013
    10
    That's no NIN. You shouldn't expect this to be a Nine Inch Nails album. This is a pretty good album, Mariqueen is a good singer, and there is nothing about this that is not good.
  11. Jun 1, 2013
    7
    ‘Welcome Oblivion’ is the debut of Nine Inch Nails main man Trent Reznor’s L.A. collective ‘How To Destroy Angels’ along with his wife Mariqueen Maandig and long-time collaborator Atticus Ross. If you liked either of the soundtracks he did recently for David Fincher or NIN’s last few albums then you will find something here you will love. Feedback, electronic noises and beats make up the templates of the songs with mostly female vocals and the odd section of Reznor’s unmistakable voice. The songs themselves range in style from the instrumental opener ‘The Wake-up’ to the gospel pop of ‘How Long?’ Along the way we get the slightly off centre piece ‘Ice Age’ with its multitude of plucked strings and ‘Recursive self-improvement’ which wouldn’t sound out of place on an album by Future Sound of London. Familiar refrains haunt certain tracks ‘the more we change, everything stays the same’ and ‘the beginning is the end and its coming round again’ both recalling NIN’s ‘Every day is exactly the same’ from ‘With Teeth’. Elsewhere Mariqueen’s singing is not unlike Ruby circa ‘Salt Peter’ and the only song I find it hard to like is the title track where she sings through a megaphone which just brings back unwanted memories of the 90s anthem ‘Ready To Go’ by Republica. But minor points aside this is an assured debut which broods with equal parts of menace and melody and is the perfect addition to Reznor’s ever growing body of work. Expand
  12. Sep 7, 2013
    7
    A little too long, but take away those three unnecessary tracks and we are speaking of a solid record. It has zero to do with Nine Inch Nails, and Atticus Ross's contribution is particularly refreshing his penchant for drone and ambient gives the songs a dense atmosphere. Maandig's performance has few highlights (and at times she is insufferable in her humming), since she works best with very open melodies; but when she is provided suitable material, she fits in perfectly. Some glitch touch keeps the whole thing fresh. Expand
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Apr 5, 2013
    100
    Welcome Oblivion confirms that the music world needs a band like How To Destroy Angels, too. [2 Mar 2013, p.50]
  2. Apr 3, 2013
    80
    Even though it falls apart towards the end and could stand to cut a few songs, Welcome oblivion is a powerful record, both musically and thematically.
  3. Apr 2, 2013
    60
    Welcome Oblivion might have worked with some edits, but ultimately fails as an LP.