Of Sad Demons and Cruel Angels

Comments: 169

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.

It’s been like a rebirth. But it hasn’t always been easy – and I feel it’s necessary to do what isn’t usually done, and share these stories with you.

Have you ever heard the Epica song The Phantom Agony? To me, it’s 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: “All I need is one, one instant when I know the difference between pleasures of the bed and pleasures of the blade, both seeming equal in their sweetness and seduction.” It’s so damn hard sometimes, to keep fighting when there’s nothing but numbness. But ultimately that numbness is related to something that was truly life-changing for all of us.

See, the Depersonalization was caused by extreme physical trauma. I was beaten half-to-death, raped, and almost killed. And then the guy who did it somehow convinced most of my friends 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.

But suddenly everyone I knew thought I was a monster, and by extension, they thought the same of Kevin and Chris – my bandmates – for believing me.

It left me in a really dark place. I drank heavily, I abused drugs, I cut myself for the endorphin high (cliche, I know, but it worked for a little while), 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. Being socially blacklisted, suddenly all we had was our music, and y’know what? That was just fine.

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 had the money for a more professional setup at the time, but I honestly cherish the memory of making due with what we had. We would stop at nothing to make music, least of which would be less than ideal equipment. That’s also why I dress the way I do – to prove to myself that I don’t need to hide after everything that happened. PTSD can often cause the instinct to hide away and avoid attracting attention – if you’re visible, you’re not safe. And I will not give in to that false instinct.

So I wear makeup and busty corsets and weird-ass cage bras, anything to force myself to stand in the spotlight – 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.

In fact, judging from the number of hate comments I get for “flaunting triple-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 PTSD. 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. 

It’s not just me of course, we’ve all had our struggles – Chris was homeless and lived on the streets, Kevin nearly died from an autoimmune disease – and all of us credit this band for helping us through it.

And we’ve even been able to find an audience – including 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 or email me and let me know how you feel about this post, or even just to say hi. It would mean a lot.

Thank you again for reading, and please do leave a comment below or shoot me an email if you feel like saying hi ❤️


  • William Marsh says:

    Wow, You’ve been through a lot. Your music is awesome and singing is fantastic. I’m glad that music helped you through that tough time. Keep on rockin!

  • John Lehrfeld says:

    Mental illness n addiction runs deep with me.
    I’ve been stable for awhile. Clean n Sober since Aug. 8th 2019.
    Got a great dynamite girlfriend. I go to n.a. Mtg’s daily. Listen to copious amounts of METAL music. And ultimately get another day clean n sober.
    Please! Keep doing what your doing Keep moving forward and Stay in your lane.

    Have a great day and ttys

  • Norman Carlisle says:

    Sorry about all you’ve had to endure, But know this. Hold your head high because all you’ve endured has made you stronger. Just remember to look out for number 1. Music has always have a special place for me and has gotten me thru some bad times. I enjoy what you guys are doing and thank you for all you do. So take care….

  • Greg says:

    Adrienne, I’m happy you are strong enough to share your past but also sad that it happened. I personally know people with ptsd and especially due to abuse and most of them are in the place you were. Unfortunately they don’t have any musical talent so I hope they can find the strength to change things. Anyway, thanks again for sharing your story and your beautiful voice and looks. I hope it helps you and others cope. 💋❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • Lawrence "LEGION" Salazar says:

    Well My lovely Queen, I’m sorry to hear about your ordeal & the other members as well! I throw my🤘in the air for Mute Profit ! Your music speaks to me in more way that U think! Having just hear your music! Makes me live my life new every day!! I enjoyed it and U are very, very Attractive and your voice Dark & Mistress is what I LUV! I hope to catch y’all on the road soon! My NAME IS “LEGION” & now you have a Soldier for your ARMY!! Let the Metal Roar!! Luv U! Keep up the awesome Metal!🤘🤘🦇🎤🎸🎼🦇🤘🤘

  • Erik butryn says:

    I thank God that you are still upright and walking this planet and thru your courage and strength you got hold of your emotional scars and were able to process them in to your song !
    I want to thank you for putting yourself out there and I bet one of your fans went thru some similar events and after reading your story is still alive today ! Remember Adrienne you ARE A PRODUCT OF YOUR PAST BUT YOU ARE NOT A PRISONER OF IT! YOU ARE A WARRIOR !!

  • Bhakta David Nollmeyer says:

    The most important thing is that you are worth more alive than dead. I liked your tunes. Very heroic sounding. I am going to try that the next time I compose!

  • Chris Roberts says:

    Adrienne I want to thank you for sharing your story. It’s so inspiring to hear what you want through and to come out of it a better person. I too have used my music to heal some of the scars in my life. And I love your band and your vocals are just beautiful.

  • jay utterback says:

    Adrienne, It was extremely difficult. To read everything that you’ve been through I think it has expired you. To make incredible music I do hope. That if you have not already. That you find someone Who can help you through? All the pain and struggles that you have you seem to be. A very strong and resilient woman May God bless you and your life.

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      Thank you so much Jay ❤️ As far as someone who can help me through it, I definitely think my band and the music has become that for me, which is why it means so much to be able to share it. Thank you so much for reading, and for listening ❤️

  • Michael Silpoch says:

    It’s broken my heart to read what you been through, but I love the straight you got to push forward with the help of your band mates.to me you are a very beautiful woman inside and out,strong and determined to push on word.it had to take a lot to pour your heart and soul to tell us what you been through,,,, I have this feeling that you and your band are going to make it,,, I love what I heard it’s awesome,,,, keep it up and never stop

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      Thank you Michael! That means so much to me ❤️ I really appreciate you leaving such a sweet comment, and for checking out the music 🙂

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