Of Sad Demons and Cruel Angels

Comments: 64

In some ways, I can barely remember what life was like before I joined Mute Prophet. Such incredible things have happened in the last five years, it almost feels like a completely different existence.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in that time, it’s that sometimes angels can be cruel, and demons can have their hearts broken. What we think is bad can be good, and what we think is good can be bad.

There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding symphonic metal’s female singers. From Xandria and Sirenia’s revolving door of frontwomen, to Nightwish’s legendary firing of Tarja that even Finland’s Prime Minister expressed an opinion on.

But what you might not know is that we’ve experienced some controversy ourselves. Someone even went so far as to literally scream “misogyny” at us because of the tale I’m about to tell!

Have you ever heard the Epica song The Phantom Agony? It’s partially about being so emotionally numb, so unable to feel, that part of you doubts you’re real at all. You feel like a ghost. Your perception of yourself and the world around you is so dulled, you’d swear your day-to-day life is a dream that you won’t be able to remember upon waking. You aren’t you, you’re just a disembodied spirit observing someone who happens to look like you.

That describes something I struggle with on a daily basis, a very rare mental state where depression and PTSD intersect, called Depersonalization.

I’ve written so many songs about this feeling, but I think Pleasures of the Blade sums it up best: “Crying for but one, one moment when I’m truly living. All I need is one, one instant when I know the difference between pleasures of the bed and pleasures of the blade.” It’s so damn hard sometimes, to keep fighting when there’s nothing but numbness.

As you may know, I was beaten half to death, raped, and almost killed. And the guy who did it somehow convinced people that abused him. To this day I’m not sure how he explained away my being hospitalized from the injuries, but…oh well, I guess sociopaths can convince anyone of anything.

It left me in a really dark place. I drank heavily, I abused drugs, I cut myself, and I fantasized almost hourly about swallowing my entire medicine cabinet. In the end, singing for Mute Prophet was the only thing that gave me a reason to keep living.

Kevin and Chris stood by me. We all leaned on each other in our isolation, and after I had learned to sing, we threw ourselves into music.

I remember trying to rig up a booth to record vocals in my bedroom. We broke the doors off my closet, stood them up by taping an old microwave to the outside, filled the closet with clothes, and glued heavy blankets to the insides of the doors. Here’s a picture of it, featuring Kevin back when he had skinny arms and short hair!

None of us really had the money for a more professional setup, but I honestly cherish the memory of making due with what we had.

And speaking of making due: To be honest I’m still pretty damn anxious being on camera. Some days I can look in the mirror and Depersonalization convinces me that my face looks completely butchered with cuts and bruises and fractures. The “real me” looks the way I did right after I was nearly beaten to death.

It can actually distort the signals in your brain stem. So I can look at myself in the mirror, or look at a picture of myself, and physically see the wrong image, because my brain can’t process what I’m seeing. But who the hell can be in a band these days and not have a million pictures and videos of themselves floating around the internet?

There’s something that helps me a lot.

I wear makeup and busty corsets and weird-ass cage bras, anything to make me feel a bit more confident in my appearance – and I deal with the subsequent accusations that I’m using sex appeal to sell our music – and at the end of the day, it actually helps me SO MUCH.

To be clear, because well-meaning people have made this mistake many times, I’m not being “forced” to dress this way by the “men” in the band. There isn’t some misogynistic cabal pulling my strings and forcing me to “dress like a slut for male gratification” or something stupid like that.

I’m ALSO not doing it to somehow sell more music. Judging from the number of hate comments I get for “flaunting double-D tits,” I’m fairly sure it would actually be EASIER to sell music if I dressed a bit more conservatively.

But we’ve all talked it over, and…well, we’re no stranger to taking the hard road. Every time I put on a corset I feel like it’s another step toward healing my Depersonalization. It adds another layer of healing to a band that’s all about healing. So it’s well worth the price of the occasional bad first impression to be true to our art!

It’s an amazing thing, a sort of glue that binds Mute Prophet together despite our separate life experiences, this goal of turning tragedy and pain into something triumphant. Ultimately this band is something that literally saved my life, giving me an outlet to transmute things I would otherwise never have been able to overcome, into something amazing. Suddenly the horrible things that happened to me don’t hurt quite so much.

And now, we’ve even been able to find an audience – YOU. Musicians have no other way to judge their impact on the world, other than how listeners receive their music and their story. You show all of us that we aren’t alone, and after everything that’s happened, I don’t think words can convey how much it means to be able to connect with people like you now.

So please, leave a comment below and let me know how you feel about this post, or even just to say hi. It would mean a lot.

Also, I’d love to share a nice uplifting palette-cleanser after this post got kinda dark! It’s a collection of studio bloopers in which Kevin, Chris and myself share quite a few laughs. Having said how uncomfortable I am on camera, I hope you’ll give me the chance to be brave for a minute by checking out the video below 😊

Thank you again for reading, and please do leave a comment below if you feel like saying hi ❤️

And of course if you feel like checking out our latest album Stillborn Reflection, which is a collection of many of the songs that helped me through this, you can do so here.

64 Comments

  • Chris Miller says:

    There will always be those who hate because of the most pitiful reasons and they will always try to knock people down. The band, your friends, are strong and I hope those types of comment never get to you or make you feel low. Your struggles are very real and in all honesty PTSD is horrific to deal with but you’re doing a great job and recovering well given what happened.

    Keep going, wear what you want and do what makes you happy, you’re gorgeous, kind and got an incredible voice. You and the band do your own thing which is so important, never listen to those who try and say you should do something different or are too similar to another band. You guys are doing you and it’s awesome.

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      Thank you so much Chris! I’m so grateful for the encouragement. It really does make all the difference on those days when the PTSD gets overwhelming. I hope we’re able to encourage you as well in some way. ❤️

  • Herman Morgan says:

    Adrienne, when I see you and read your story, I see a strong, powerful, and, quite frankly, gorgeous woman who came back from a horrible event stronger and better for it. As far as those who hate because of the way you dress, to Hell with them. They’re either jealous that they don’t look as good or mad cause they don’t have a shot with you. Keep your head high and your boobs out and proud.

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      You have no idea how hard I laughed at “keep your boobs out and proud”! Seriously though, this is such a kind comment. Thank you so much. 😊

  • Lentay says:

    Your bravery and fortitude is a tale to inspire. You share a remarkable gift not just with the vocals and music you all create, but with the stories you share and the people you reach with it all.

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      That really means a lot. I think the most meaningful thing that could come out of everything that’s happened, is the ability to inspire others with it. Thank you!

  • Rick says:

    I have dealt with depression from a very young age and I understand your pain. Music helps me get through the day, since I have no talent I listen to music and buy music (some would say I’m a bit obsessive). So please keep creating the music. I am 53 years old and only recently discovered symphonic metal, and I love it!

  • Cole says:

    Through the hardships and trials, I’m happy to see you are all still here, making music and sharing your stories..
    I was in a very abusive relationship for three years..and barely made it out alive..so when I read something like thus,it let’s me know I’m not alone and can rise from the ashes of despair and bitterness. Thank you Adrienne for sharing..you are a beautiful person inside and out.
    Stay excellent and please keep rockin🤘🤘

    P.s. I loved the bloopers and the cover of Nightwish! Well done!

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      Thank you so much Cole! I’m sorry to hear you can relate to the experience of an abusive relationship – I wish it would never happen to anyone – but I’m glad I can show you that you’re not alone. Thank you, that means so much to hear.

  • Jarrod B. says:

    Great story of pushing through the bad into the great. Being on camera will come espescially when you look as good as you….

  • Jason says:

    You’re a very brave young woman, thank you for sharing. Great band.

  • Chris Bear says:

    What an amazing article .I think you are so brave to open your heart.I will be honest I have only just started to listen to your music but I must say listening to your music relaxes me and puts me in a great state of mind . You have a fantastic voice As far as people saying you use the way you dress to make the band popular ignore them you dress how you want if it gives you confidence you do it . Stay strong and keep making that amazing music xxx

  • Aaron Collins says:

    I’ve read this particular blog entry 6 times now from beginning to end, I still can’t read it all the way through without crying. I think I’ve read every other blog twice, and I would be lying if I said I had different reactions there.

    I don’t really know which member of the band saw an earlier comment I sent through Facebook Messenger specifically saying that I was unable to articulate a response. Well, I’m going to try to respond now, here goes everything:

    One of the great misnomers that permeates this upside down world as you so succinctly put it, is that people on the Autistic spectrum feel little to nothing, similar to being a sociopath. It’s actually the opposite: Autistic people like me (diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in 1997) feel entirely too much of what’s around us and we “shut off” out of our inability to process so much stimuli. My inability to say anything regarding any aspect of this band other than my fondness for the music itself has done Kevin, Adrienne, and by extension the entire band a SEVERE disservice. I’m sorry for what I am :'(

    Compounding the aforementioned autism is a PTSD diagnosis of my own (caused by being exposed to excessive social interaction that actually sets off physical symptoms ranging from tremors to nosebleeds, among other things), persistent depression (It might still be called dysthymia by American doctors) and social anxiety disorder. Simply put, I wake up every day and ask my own mind “Ok, which mental illness is winning today?” This is not a negative for me, for if I have the answer, I know which coping protocol to use.

    Thirdly, the part of the blog that brings my tears is the mention of being raped and not being believed. I’m a product of rape myself, and can’t wish that on anyone. In my lowest points, I resent my own mother for not mercifully aborting me, and she’s the good parent.

    Fourth/Last, I owe the band a second apology: Your timing regarding your…I guess…preferred fan bundle was bad for me both ties it was available. You guys came into my field of digital view right around my 36th birthday and my disposable income was aimed at the party for it (Escape rooms, dinners with friends and Karaoke, if anyone cares). I’m sorry I couldn’t capitalize on your offer. Most people have a to do pile in life, I have a “to buy” pile and I have added Mute Prophet to that list. It may take a while as I’m not super rich, but I’ll get to you.

    I’m not sure if I just set a record for longest fan post ever, but I hope this finds all of you well.

    -Aaron

  • Michael van Ryn says:

    I think it’s amazing you’ve pulled through such tragedy and managed to use it in a positive manner.
    I’m not normally a big fan of this type of music, but have been drawn in nonetheless!
    I wish you and your bandmates nothing but success in your journey.

  • Erik says:

    Adrienne,thank you for sharing your heart and yes I can relate to the not looking at self in mirror and the abuse but I want to say this you are AWESOME your band is AWESOME.
    Most bands don’t give a CRAP about there fans and they say they do but its fake I don’t sense that with your band or you and I wish you and your band the best of luck in future thanks for pouring out your heart in your songs and cant wait for the next album.
    Remember this to thine own self be true who care what others think you continue to be the best you …you can be !

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      Thank you so much Erik. Seriously, it means the world to me that you took the time to comment! And yes it’s definitely true, we all truly care about our fans. It’s always rough to see some bands take their community for granted, like you said. Without people like you to listen, music doesn’t mean a whole lot. So thank you – we genuinely appreciate it more than words can express!

  • Keith says:

    Really liking the music my type of music

  • Dennis says:

    You are such a strong person for sharing your story and bouncing back from all that. All any of us can do is take it day by day. Remember that it’s all in the past. Music has such healing powers and your voice just seems to be so uplifting. I’ve bought all of your music so far and the stories you tell just amaze me. I wish you much success in the future and all the happiness in the world. You deserve it. I’ll definitely be along for the ride! I hope it’s a long one filled with wonderful music. 🙂

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      Hey Dennis, I’m so sorry for the late reply. Somehow this got buried in my notifications! Thank you so much for being here with us on this journey. I’m so incredibly happy to hear that you enjoy the music and the stories – and you have no idea how happy it makes me to hear that you find my voice uplifting ❤️ Not to worry, there’s so much more music we can’t wait to share!

  • Ross says:

    Hey Adrienne

    Glad to know the band has brought you some sort of closure.

  • Chris Tyson says:

    Your music has inspired me to start writing music again and never let others put you down my friend and cant wait to finish listening to yall music

  • Jaycee Hogan says:

    An interesting and revealing read.Many of us go through life battling a form of schitzophrenia. The conflict between who we are and who others expect us to be. There is no hard and fast answer apart from being yourself and doing stuff for you. if other people like it,it’s a bonus. In the case of Mute Prophet, it’s a done deal.Thank you for sharing your story and to hell with the naysayers 😉

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      That’s a really interesting analogy – I like that a lot! I’m really grateful to have found this band – it really helps to have such a clear purpose, especially with listeners like you ❤️

  • Matty says:

    Thank you for being transparent and vulnerable, what a beautiful but sad story. Keep making awesome music!

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      Thanks for commenting Matty, I really appreciate it! SO happy to hear you’re enjoying the music 🙂

  • William Thompson says:

    Thank you for sharing. You are such a strong person to allow yourself to be vulnerable and transparent with your fans. You are an inspiration.

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      ❤️ Thank you so much, WIlliam. Honestly, it’s easy to be a bit vulnerable when we have fans as amazing and supportive as you guys are. Thank you for making this possible for me 🙂

  • John Lavins says:

    Awesome and powerful read. Thank you for sharing.

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      Thank you so much for reading, and especially for taking the time to leave a comment! Knowing you enjoyed it really makes me glad I didn’t talk myself out of sharing this post ❤️

  • AnActualFerret says:

    You are a sexy beast and one Hell of a writer.

  • D says:

    Hello, Adrienne,
    Very powerful and well written post. I see a bit of the lyrics style in the writing – I do hope that ya’ll continue making fine music for years to come. Best of thoughts, D.Hester

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      Hey D., thanks so much for commenting! No worries there, at this point I can’t imagine life without this band. I think we’ll be making music forever 🙂

  • Rick Stevens says:

    Thank you, Adrienne, for sharing you story. Personally, I know at least 3 women who have gone through very similar experiences. That you have turned that, and the feelings it has caused, into music and writing is un itself amazing.
    As for the people saying that you’re using sex to sell music, ignore them. You have nothing to prove to anyone but yourself. If it helps you, then go for it! Yes, you are a beautiful woman, inside and out. What matters at the end of the day is how you feel. Your amazing voice is enough for some of us.

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      Thank YOU, Rick. Seriously, I don’t think I would have been brave enough to share this if I didn’t already know we had such supportive people in our little tribe here, but I’m really blown away by how incredibly kind your comment is 🙂

  • Tim says:

    When can we expect next video on YouTube.

    • Kevin Goetz says:

      Hey Tim, hopefully not too much longer! We’ve really let Youtube slide recently, because we’ve been busy working on our third album 🙂 More news on that soon, but ideally yeah, we should be able to get a lot more focused on Youtube fairly soon.

  • Yanis Perret says:

    Hi Adrienne.

    Im french, so excuse me in advance for mistakes.

    I think that youre a gorgeous woman with such à great voice. Youre very talented and like your lyrics.

    To make à confidence, i wrote more than 130 lyrics on my own about important subjects to my eyes… But i dont suffer from body dysmorphophobia… I suffer being shy and because of that, i stop singing…

    I think youre more powerful and confident than me and you May think.

    Of i have one percent of your talent, i will go further in my Dreams.

    Believe in yourself and your band, your team, your friend and your family. That doesnt matter what the others think. If you find yourself more confident and attractive wearing corset and beautiful dress… Wear beautiful dress. You dont have to Live in someone’s Shoes.

    Please, keep in Mind my Words and Who you are, miss.

    I think the freedom of being what we are is more important than the freedom what thé others think about us.

    Sweet greeting

    Xoxox

    Ps : maybe you should try yoga to ease your Mind and be “mindfree” of toxic thougts that they left you to.

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      Thanks so much Yanis! I’ve actually tried a bit of yoga and had some interesting experiences, but I think some of the dark thoughts are just always going to be with me. That’s okay though, I somehow think my music would be a lot more boring if I didn’t have some of that to deal with 🙂

  • Mark Schleupner says:

    Adrienne, thank you for sharing your story. Your story may help inspire someone else who is going through hell right now. You are a beautiful person, both inside and out. Keep strong and keep writing great music!

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      Thanks so much Mark <3 That's honestly my biggest hope opening up about this, that maybe I can help someone else who needs it 🙂 And seriously, thank you so much for being so supportive! It really means the world to me.

  • Héctor says:

    Hi, Adrienne. (And Hi Kevin! We love you guys!) Thank you for sharing this with us. That was a very powerful testimony, and I thankful to you for opening up like you have. I can appreciate how hard that must have been, and now I gain an appreciation for how much vulnerability and strength you’ve poured into your songs and the video performances. I am so glad that you’ve followed your passion with music and helped front Mute Prophet, and I want you to know that you all have a fan for life in me. Keep on making amazing music!

    Héctor

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      Héctor, thank you so much for leaving this incredible comment! Seriously, I wasn’t at all expecting such amazing support 🙂 We’ll always keep making music – thank you for being here to listen to it!

  • Frank B. says:

    Hi Adrienne! I don’t normally comment like this, but well, you asked. First, I have an enormous amount of respect for you and for the band. To come out of all that you have been through, and turn that into positive energy is simply astounding. I have less trauma in my life, but deal instead with dysthymia – chronic low-grade depression. Most days I can rise above it, but some days not so much. It’s always there, nibbling away at me.

    You guys are making terrific music. Like yourselves, I love Nightwish, Within Temptation, and many similar bands. Truthfully, I feel like your music is still in it’s infancy, sort of, and I can hardly wait to see where you end up in a few years.

    Lastly, you should NOT feel apprehensive about being on camera. You’re beautiful! You have a wonderful voice, your face, your figure, your hair, are all beautiful. And you are obviously beautiful on the inside as well. Honestly, I love watching you as much as listening to you. 🙂

    Thank you for baring your soul. Keep singing!

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      Thanks for commenting, Frank, I really appreciate it 🙂 I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had struggles with depression, but it’s really amazing that you’re able to rise above it.

      And seriously, thank you SO MUCH for being so reassuring about my appearance <3 I hope it doesn't seem like I was just fishing for compliments or anything like that - sometimes I genuinely can't tell what I look like. It's part of the PTSD, my brain can actually distort my perception of my own image beyond recognition. Like, I can look in the mirror and swear that my face is still totally bruised and scarred, even if I know better.

      Anyway, thank you so much 🙂

  • Tim says:

    Thank u for sharing this personal experience. I know it was hard to put in words for everyone to read. But you are a gorgeous woman with amazing ability to sing. Very proud to hear ur voice and watch your videos. Just to see how far you come.

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      Thanks so much for commenting, Tim. It means a lot to have you here, and I REALLY appreciate the support! You’re right, it wasn’t easy to write this, but I somehow knew it was safe to open up to our amazing listeners like you 🙂

      • Tim says:

        True fans can be more of a family u need when dealing with things. Obviously your fans including myself believe in your music and the band and u. The music us amazing and we can tell it comes from the heart. I listen to the music daily on my spotify account while I’m working. Stay gorgeous and continue to do what yall do.

  • Allen Carder says:

    Hi Adrienne. Both myself and my wife Amy have read your post and looked at the videos. We both say that it took a lot of guts for you to pour your soul out like that. You are a beautiful person with an awesome singing voice and you can play the guitar. You need to keep doing what makes you happy and what makes you feel beautiful. If that is singing in a band, writing songs, and wearing corsets, then so be it. Also, I know what it’s like to be in a dark place at times. I just kept praying, and I made it through. Just believe in yourself, and you’ll be the awesome person that you are.

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      Hi Allen (and Amy), thank you so much for commenting! I’m so happy to have been able to share this with you both. I almost talked myself out of writing this multiple times – I’m glad I followed through on it! Seriously, thank you for the encouragement. It means so much to me 🙂

      • Mark says:

        Thanks for sharing your story .I’m sorry you went through that .never like for a man hitting a woman almost had a few fights by stepping in to stop them before they started but that’s me .i will always step in to stop it .you are a gorgeous woman an never let other people say anything different love your singing .well glad u came through the other side stronger .well hope you have a great week

        • Adrienne Odenthal says:

          Thanks so much Mark! I’m really sorry this reply is so late, I somehow managed to miss the email notification. You’re an amazing person for being willing to step in and stop that sort of thing. The guys in the band are like that too, they can get downright scary when they’re defending someone. Thank you so much for listening and for reading – and yes, I did have a great week 😊

  • Keith Clarkson says:

    Wow.Opening your soul to the public is so brave and, in a way, very uplifting. Having attempted suicide three times your words relate to how I felt.
    I’m glad you’ve found strength with your friends and the band. Stay strong 🤘❤

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      I’m so sorry to hear you’ve attempted suicide in the past, Keith. Believe me, I’ve been there. For what it’s worth, if you ever feel alone and overwhelmed, we’re all fighting right alongside you 🙂

  • Thomas Whitley says:

    The story really touched the core of my soul, your a survivor and I am that your is your way of dealing with the pain. You are a inspiration to any woman who went through what you did, now they can have a voice too. Thanks for sharing looking forward to hearing some of your work.

  • Lee says:

    Hi and I like your music. That’s all. Keep on doing what you are doing.

  • Alasdair says:

    Hey Adrienne thank you for sharing your soul and giving us an insight to your songwriting and the dark times that most would not share.
    You look stunning and if anyone has a problem with how you look or dress Fuck them! Keep rocking and smiling.A.

  • Steve Lasseter says:

    1st you are a Beautiful person.And I love you songs. I know myself that depressiocan be and angel and a demon trying to tear you in half. And music can be a way to deal with them. Love you guys. Keep up the good work and never give in🤟

  • Richard Jones says:

    Adrienne, first of all, ‘Hi’
    I can imagine as a person dealing with my own demons that this couldn’t have been easy to post. Reading stories like yours helps me to realise that there is salvation out there in some form or another and it gives me the strength to carry on.
    Feel proud of what you have achieved, loving the music, you’re a beautiful person.
    We are shaped by what life throws at us but what we become as a result is up to us, I think you’re doing great 🙂

  • Paul Painting says:

    I think that you shouldn’t listen to what other people say about you. I think that you should do what you want to do and dress in what you feel comfortable in

  • Keith Knights says:

    The important bit is to be yourself and do what you want. As for how you dress – I couldn’t care if you and the rest of the group were naked, covered fully by a burka or anything inbetween as the music speaks for itself.

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