In the '90s, Trent Reznor and his band Nine Inch Nails' rule of the radio and sales charts was absolute. With the releases of their albums, including the classic The Downward Spiral (1994), Reznor was indisputably the spokesperson of the disenfranchised. But as many bands find, it's quite hard to follow up the success of an album that everyone holds in high regard. 1999's The Fragile, the long-awaited follow-up to Downward Spiral was generally well-received although not as much as its predecessor.
After The Fragile double-album release, one that carried a dangerous supply of haunting ghosts by and for Reznor, the band released With Teeth (2005), and the government-critical Year Zero (2007). A discontent with the established label that distributed NIN's works prompted Reznor to release their next two independently, with fans asked to pay what they decided they were worth. Ghost I-IV, and The Slip, while not making much in the way of money for Reznor, enjoyed heavy download traffic, a move, in retrospect, that kept Reznor in the mind of his fans.
Since 2008, Reznor has issued no new Nine Inch Nails releases.
Trent Reznor has partnered with Mariqueen Maandig (Reznor's vocalist wife), Atticus Ross (who has worked professionally with Reznor since With Teeth, and who co-scored The Social Network), and Rob Sheridan (Reznor's art director) to form a band, How To Destroy Angels.
Recently, Reznor announced this new music project with very little news other than to state simply that the collective would release a new six-track EP, which will predate the arrival of the band's full-length album expected some time in the spring of 2013. Some of the tracks found on this upcoming EP, The Omen, will also be found on the upcoming album.
As interesting as the formation of this non-NIN band by Trent Reznor is the almost equally interesting decision to retire his label angst by signing with the large Sony Music label, Columbia Records. His disdain for large established labels is almost legendary but he promises to discuss that newly chosen path in "an interview someplace." He does state that "complete independent releasing has its great points but also comes with shortcomings."
On November 13, Columbia Records will release The Omen digitally (although I suspect we will see some CD issues as well), and on vinyl LP. Details concerning the new EP and the planned full-length album, as well as that concerning the new band, will arrive later so keep your eyes (and ears) open.
Alert fans will know that "Is Your Love Strong Enough" (Bryan Ferry) was covered by How To Destroy Angels on the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo soundtrack. In addition, you can download the band's debut EP for free at their website (where you can also keep an eye out for further news).