Video

Will How to Destroy Angels surpass Nine Inch Nails? (video)

How to Destroy Angels, the new Trent Reznor group has released the video for "How Long?," a song that could surpass Nine Inch Nails. Nine Inch Nails performing at Bonnaroo in 2009. Photo by Christopher Berkey.
How to Destroy Angels, the new Trent Reznor group has released the video for “How Long?,” a song that could surpass Nine Inch Nails. Nine Inch Nails performing at Bonnaroo in 2009. Photo by Christopher Berkey.

When Trent Reznor announced his latest passion project, How to Destroy Angels, a few years ago, it was hard to see past the end of Nine Inch Nails.

The seminal pop-industrial band was such an odd but important force in the rock landscape. Nobody else had succeeded in bringing industrial music to the FM-loving mainstream, but Reznor accomplished this feat without selling out, without losing too many fans.

And then he killed NIN, right before announcing the creation of How to Destroy Angels with his wife Mariqueen Maandig. The band’s EP, “Omen,” came out last year to little fanfare. The EP’s subtle musicality was quite pretty, but nothing stuck after multiple listens.

But with the announcement that How to Destroy Angels is releasing its full-length “Welcome Oblivion” on March 5 and playing Coachella in April, it was time to check back in with the band.

Sure enough, the group’s recently released video for the new track “How Long?” won us over immediately.

How to destroy angels: “How long?” (2013) from How To Destroy Angels on Vimeo.

The industrial influences are still there. The pop throughline is obvious. Maandig’s voice is the perfect antidote to her husband’s dark but listenable beats. But who expected a heavy, if soaring, chorus that would sound at home on both rock radio and A-list music placements?

OK, we’re ready for more. How to Destroy Angels is the real thing, and not only because Reznor’s name is attached to it. Will it surpass NIN as a force in pop culture? Maandig’s voice is certainly more digestible than Reznor’s, but we think the new band stands a chance at overshadowing Reznor’s checkered, “Hurt” past in Nine Inch Nails.

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Ricardo Baca is the founder and executive editor of Reverb, the co-founder of The UMS and an award-winning critic and editor at The Denver Post.