November 13, 2012 - Columbia
This review originally ran in AP 293.
How To Destroy Angels’ new EP clocks in at a little over a half-hour, but the scope of the journey feels positively inifinite. The latest from Trent Reznor, Mariqueen Maandig and Atticus Ross comes off even more mechanized than their previous self-titled outing, delving in kosmische ambiance (“The Sleep Of Reason Produces Monsters”) and random freak-out electronics that sound libidinous (“The Loop Closes”) or destined to soundtrack cult rituals (the Coil-like “Speaking In Tongues”). Ironically enough, for a unit immersed in synthesizers, the high point of the disc—the seven-minute “Ice Age”—features Maandig bemoaning a dead lover while Reznor and Ross pluck various acoustic instruments to create some avant-folk chamber music. If you ever needed proof that great tension can be generated without screaming or dialing an amplifier volume knob all the way up, start here.