How to Destroy Angels

"Welcome Oblivion"

Producer: How to Destroy Angels

Label: Columbia Records

Release Date: March 5

You spend a lot of time waiting for the explosion on How to Destroy Angels' full-length debut, "Welcome Oblivion." But the group doesn't destroy much on the album. Instead, it has more in common with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' Academy- and Grammy Award-winning soundtracks, redefining ambiance with subtle, delicate dynamic builds and hypnotic sonic washes that straddle the line between chilly mechanics and warm pulsations. The vocals--primarily by Reznor's wife, former West Indian Girl member Mariqueen Maandig--are part of the overall texture of the songs, complementing rather than driving. But the occasional melody-like "On the Wing," "Strings and Attractors" and the mostly acoustic change-up "Ice Age"--rises up through the mix. The disco swirl of "Recursive Self-Improvement" is about as lively as Welcome Oblivion gets, while "The Loop Closes" uses an array of keyboards and electronics to turn a basic power-rock construction on its head.