Welcome Oblivion

  • Record Label: Columbia
  • Release Date: Mar 5, 2013
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 40
  2. Negative: 2 out of 40
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  1. 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".
  2. 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
    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.
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  3. 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.
  4. 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.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. Collapse
  5. 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 worthThe 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
  6. 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‘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
  7. 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 withA 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
  8. Oct 1, 2014
    7
    An experimental electronic record that creates a unique sound, one that diversifies through the album's duration, yet retains flow and a sense of togetherness.

    Unfortunately, the record has enough baggage and unwanted repetitive clunk (Recursive Self Improvement and Hallowed Ground make the album far more drawn out and difficult than it would otherwise be) to make it a bit short of
    An experimental electronic record that creates a unique sound, one that diversifies through the album's duration, yet retains flow and a sense of togetherness.

    Unfortunately, the record has enough baggage and unwanted repetitive clunk (Recursive Self Improvement and Hallowed Ground make the album far more drawn out and difficult than it would otherwise be) to make it a bit short of being well executed. That said, there are enough variations and highlights to keep the album accelerating forward (And The Sky Began To Scream, Ice Age, How Long?, Strings And Attractors), and it is no coincidence that these are the moments when Maandig's vocals harmonize with the music rather than rub against it, since her voice isn't abrasive enough to cut into the fabric of the music by itself.

    Thus, the album is varied and impressive for the most part, but is cluttered to such a point where it gets tiresome. With those bits cut out (so that it presents itself as a eight to nine song album) it would gain immensely. As is often the case, it turns out that less is more.
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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. Kerrang!
    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.