Of Sad Demons and Cruel Angels

Comments: 237


In some ways, I can barely remember what life was like before I joined Mute Prophet. Three albums, international radio play, touring – such incredible things have happened in the last seven years, it almost feels like a completely different existence.

In fact, before I joined the band, I’d actually never sung a note! Seriously. So how did I end up singing symphonic metal, of all things?

Well, the thing is…joining this band literally saved my life.

Imagine 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 spent years struggling with – a very rare mental disorder where depression and PTSD intersect, called Depersonalization. And it was actually this disease of the mind that led to me discovering metal. And metal truly did save my life.

How so? Well…here’s the part that’s hard to share, but necessary.

So I had this crazy ex-boyfriend.

And one night he decided to beat me half-to-death, rape me, and leave me for dead on a fucking sidewalk.

Thankfully a passerby found me and took me to a hospital. But even after all my injuries had healed and I was cleared to go home, I couldn’t feel. Everything felt fake, like a very convincing dream.

I truly wasn’t sure I was real. Food had no taste. I couldn’t hear the sound of my own voice when I spoke. All emotion, good or bad, was gone. Part of me thought maybe my ex had killed me after all, and I was a ghost who hadn’t quite realized I was dead.

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 just to see what would happen.

But then…something I never expected…

Kevin (our lead guitarist) and I had been best friends for years. And when I opened up to him about how utterly broken I was, he said the last thing I would have expected: “Try singing.”

Now bear in mind, again, I’d never sung a note in my life before this. So understandably I was reluctant.

But he basically argued, “Look, you’re suicidal anyway, how much more could you possibly have to lose? It might help you the way guitar helps me.”

He pulled up Nemo by Nightwish and essentially told me to do my best to sing along. Very beginner-friendly, right?

But as the song went on, I started to feel something again, for the first time in months. And as that chorus kicked in – “All I wish is to dream again” – I still get goosebumps thinking about how it felt. Tears were streaming down my face, my throat did something that was kind of like a yawn and a sob at the same time and I actually HEARD my voice turn from this meek little thing into a full opera tone that overpowered Kevin’s speakers.

By the time I was done, he had this shocked look on his face. And naturally I assumed it was shock at how horrible I must have sounded, and apologized profusely for subjecting him to that.

Imagine my shock when he asked me to be the singer for a symphonic metal band he’d been trying to put together!

From that moment on, this has been my everything. Music has given me purpose, a reason to live and fight and overcome my trauma. Whatever I’m going through, it can always be fixed by belting out a high note or growling at the top of my lungs.

It’s a sort of glue that binds Mute Prophet together despite our separate life experiences, this goal of turning tragedy and pain into something triumphant. This band gave me an outlet to transmute things I would otherwise never have been able to overcome, into something amazing.

It’s not just me of course, we’ve all had our struggles – Chris was homeless and lived on the streets, Kevin and Louisa nearly died from autoimmune diseases that got out of control – and all of us credit this band for helping us through our hard times.

Music truly does have the power to change lives. That’s the reason I felt compelled to share this story, because everyone has their pains and struggles. But with music – and especially metal – we can triumph over anything! So raise the horns: No matter what you’re going through, metal’s there for you! And here’s hoping that Mute Prophet becomes one of your new favorites!

So please, leave a comment below or email me and let me know how you feel about this post, what you think of the music you’ve heard so far, 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 ❤️

237 Comments

  • gary murtagh says:

    omg..that is such an incrediable story..i congratulate all of you for not giving up.you all were ment to be, you have purpose each one of you have a purpose, to blow us away with your amazing music..the journey isnt over ..ROCK ON

  • Steve Carter says:

    I love rock music and your particular style is not something I would look for but stumbled across it and really like. Some very haunting singing and melodies and excellent musicianship. Brave of you to share your troubles and I hope you all continue your journey and enjoy it!! Look out for each other and I will watch out for you if you can make it to the UK when all of this Covid makes it safe. Best wishes

  • Rob Dittrich says:

    First of all, let me commend you for the bravery that it took to share your story. I firmly believe that growth and progress requires vulnerability, which isn’t easy. I hope that you are proud that you took a moment that tried to destroy you, and you were able to burn hot enough that you refined it into an instrument of your own success.

    Heavy metal is intense music, about intense subjects, made by and for people who live and feel intensely. I’d bet more of us have similar stories than you might imagine.

    Keep Rocking.

  • Tom H says:

    I get is, same for me, but different. PTSD from waiting 2 years for the cancer to take my son. Holding his hand as he took his last breath at age 7 left me with PTSD, reliving his last day every year for over 20 yrs. My depression & anxiety leaves me with not much for feelings outside of sadness, and different levels of anxiety intead of happiness. My wife of 10 years helps tremendously, and music lets me feel, and funny movies/tv helps me laugh.
    Most people don’t see what I live with inside.
    I understand the struggle.

  • DEAN STAHL says:

    I’m amazed at the story of this group. I applaud and and celebrate your survival and dedication to turning your lives into beautiful creations. Thank you for your wonderful expressions.

  • Toryn says:

    I felt this. All of it. I am truly sorry for everything you all have gone through. I do have to say that the fact that you all found an outlet that helps is awesome. You guys are great and I hope you continue to rock.

  • Dawg says:

    Adrienne,
    Nice strong post, but everything we go through is for a reason and what makes us who we are… your awesome! Keep singing your heart out.. I will be here listening to every word.

    Dawg

  • Mark Chadwick says:

    Hi.
    Dear god what a story that is. For me that is the ultimate horror story. No woman (nor anyone else) should have to endure that sort of cruelty. I used to listen to my mother crying out while the step father beat her. That in itself made mee
    Live a certain way and that way is not to allow cruelty to any woman or child. I’m happy that you found not just the band but the strength to continue and to create for the benefit of others .
    I wish you luck love and strength.
    All the very best for the future.

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      I’m so sorry you and your mother went through that, Mark. That’s awful. Thank you so much for the kind words, and I wish you all the best too ❤️

  • Joel says:

    I suffer from anxiety, so I am glad to see how your music saved you. You are an inspiration.

  • Lisa-Jaine says:

    I love the way you describe the operatic voice as similar to crying and I’m so glad music has given you an outlet for your pain and anger. Hang on in there girl you are an inspiration to us all xxx

    • Adrienne Odenthal says:

      Thanks Lisa! It’s definitely the most therapeutic thing I’ve ever tried. Thank you so much for reading ❤️

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