Friday, 14 May 2010

How to Destroy Angels

Now I haven't covered music here on TSS at all to date, and I certainly don't mean to make a habit of it - is there such a thing as speculative sound, I wonder? - but between a bit of idle chatter on the great Twitter and a now-defunct poll on the excellent Genre Reader blog, it seems there's substantially more crossover between fans of speculative fiction and metal (classic, nu and alt) music than I'd initially thought. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool metalhead, I'll admit it gladly - I'd have mentioned it sooner except that I harboured some suspicion I was the black sheep of the family - and so it came as something of a surprise to me that so many of my blogging colleagues have similar taste in music.

If you listen closely, our own Amanda Rutter of Floor to Ceiling Books can often be heard singing the praises of one Biffy Clyro, while James Long of Speculative Horizons is an old-school Deftones fan; Werthead, meanwhile, will express an affinity to Nerf Herder given half a chance, Mark Chitty (what is the Walker of Worlds) balances out his Ice T appreciation with some Dragonforce on his iPod, and Adam Christopher, who mantains Stephen's Lot, likes him a bit of And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead. Hope you guys and gal don't mind me outing you here!

All of which raises an interesting question... that I'll answer another time, perhaps. Because for the moment, now that my hands are untied, I simply have to share something I came across the other day entirely by chance:

That's right. It seems that reports of the death of Nine Inch Nails - one of my all-time favourite bands, without question - have been greatly exaggerated. Of course the powerhouse track embedded above isn't quite the NIN we all know and love, but make no mistake, that's Trent Reznor music right there, and Reznor has been the band's only mainstay in all the decades it's existed.

I'm pumped.

How to Destroy Angels are, apparently, a collaboration between Reznor himself, his wife - onetime West Indian Girl front-woman Mariqueen Maandig - and frequent team-mate Atticus Ross. "A Drowning" is their first song. An EP is on the books for release sometime this Summer, with a full-length album to follow in early 2011. Tentatively speaking of course.

I can hardly bloody wait.

Instrumentally, "A Drowning" sounds very similar to Reznor's efforts on The Fragile, a double-album that I love, despite most of the world despising, and though I've never had the pleasure of Maandig's vocals before, her lilting refrain makes for a perfect counterpoint to the swelling industrial underpinnings of this fantastic song. Currently, you can buy the song on Amazon or via iTunes; do so.

How in Hell this got by me, I don't know... but now that I know about it, so do you. Thus, my work here is done.


  1. Outing implies something I might be ashamed of *grin* - I want the whole world to know about how awesome Biffy Clyro are!

  2. That has just made my friggin' day. I love The Fragile, probably more than The Downward Spiral, and the fact that Trent Reznor is back makes me want to go all fangirly. But I will refrain.

    And Biffy Clyro rock. I walked past the singer in Ayr one day.

  3. I always assumed fantasy fans would be either into metal or folk. Not sure why. Myself, I like a bit of everything (including both metal and folk!).

  4. Nice find. Accurate description, twixt vocals and Trent's musical stylings. I'll be keeping an eye out.

  5. Many current SF writers seem to be into prog-rock and heavy metal: witness the "SFF Songs of the Week" series of posts at

    Through the power of Spotify I have made several SF-related playlists, based on blog posts and back-of-the-book lists of music:

    SFF Songs of the Week from

    Seeds of Earth - Michael Cobley

    Brasyl - Ian Mcdonald

    I especially like that last one there: Mcdonald's "Brasyl" playlist perfectly plays the soundtrack to the book.

  6. \m/ Metal \m/ is the perfect soundtrack to spec fiction. I distinctly remember listening to the Opeth catalogue while reading ASOIAF. Keep up the good work and the horns raised