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Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral (Cover Artwork)

Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails: The Downward SpiralThe Downward Spiral (1995)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 5
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Contributed by: Alex101Alex101
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After five years of studio inactivity, it was time for Trent Reznor and co. to deliver the second Nine Inch Nails full-length, 1995's The Downward Spiral, which continues to influence and inspire a large number of other industrial, punk and rock musicians throughout its career. This was actually Tre.
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After five years of studio inactivity, it was time for Trent Reznor and co. to deliver the second Nine Inch Nails full-length, 1995's The Downward Spiral, which continues to influence and inspire a large number of other industrial, punk and rock musicians throughout its career. This was actually Trent's first true Nine Inch Nails album since the 1989 now-legendary debut Pretty Hate Machine, as 1992's Broken was an EP.

The album begins with "Mr. Self Destruct," an exercise in, well, self-destruction, as Trent wails off a list of vices for which the society he despises secretly live by, shaming ourselves on the altar of sex, drugs, gratuitous violence in entertainment, and religion. Ending with Adrian Belew's psychedelic guitar manipulations, it is the perfect way to start the album and lays the blueprint for the subject matter to come: a myriad of sex, drugs, violence and the contemplation of suicide which will leave the listener drained and devoid of hope once the album finishes.

Taking an unexpected turn, the music mellows into the bassy undertones of "Piggy," bringing the image of despair full circle with the eerily whispered lyric "nothing can stop me now, 'cause I don't care anymore..." After a guitar solo full of fuzz distortion cranks across the bridge of the song and brings the almost human sounding drum machines bashing into "Piggy"'s closure, "Heresy" begins, Trent's screams of rage at God and the powers that be over the AIDS virus dominating the track, making it one of the most brutal tracks presented here. That's alongside "March of the Pigs," its followup song and a continuation of the pig theme which seems to wholeheartedly encompass the artist's view of society.

Other noteworthy tracks are "Closer," the single which only proves you have been living under a rock if you can't sing along with its sexually explicit and non-radio-friendly chorus and "The Becoming," an industrial beast of a song featuring Reznor lamenting over the pathetic inhuman machine he has become, using samples of human screams instead of music as a backing track. It is one of the album's most disturbing moments and will infect your mind if listened to closely (or frequently) enough. And of course there is "Hurt," one of the most powerful songs of the `90s generation, an anthem which epitomizes regret and despair in the most dire of ways. Not to be missed is "A Warm Place," a hauntingly beautiful piano piece spreading its warmth across a few brief minutes of the middle of the record before plunging the listener back into insanity.

To anyone here who doesn't own The Downward Spiral, you must check it out, as well as Pretty Hate Machine; both are classics and also my favorite Nine Inch Nails albums. "Piggy," "March of the Pigs," "Closer" and the closing track "Hurt" are the best tracks on this album.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
TommyPickles (March 21, 2008)

The Downward Spiral is one of the best albums of all time.

SilentStorms (November 9, 2007)

"Plus, Trent is ugly as sin. Only chubby band geek types would've said otherwise."

Very relevant. Thanks. Wait ... your a stupid bastard! I knew something was up with that stupid ass comment. Haha, stupid.

JayTee (October 23, 2007)

Sorry but this just plain is not punk. I can see Rage being covered on here cuz they cover Minor Threat and are political. I can see any number of fringe bands, but NOT Nine Inch Nails. I don't know about you kiddie types on here but this was the kind of music I was trying to distance myself from by being into punk back in the 90's.

Plus, Trent is ugly as sin. Only chubby band geek types would've said otherwise.

Angiepants (October 22, 2007)

TDS came out in 1994.

ryanrockwell (October 22, 2007)

that dude rules! what's wrong with kid rock? Anyone hear he git arrested for getting into a fight at a waffle house?

SilentStorms (October 22, 2007)

DON'T TOUCH THIS LINK!!!!
It's Kid Rock, and boy does that shit suck.

Can you leave a negative score for comments? Shit ban this guy, so not cool. Fuck You!

"this is a video of converge covering "march of the pigs"
http://youtube.com/watch?v=P5T3efSH6NU"

shanholtzer (October 21, 2007)

this is a video of converge covering "march of the pigs"

http://youtube.com/watch?v=P5T3efSH6NU

CCSummers (October 21, 2007)

i am not able to get into this album

HonestAbe (October 21, 2007)

yea this totally an alnum I got rid of at some point, and have been regretting ever since. need to re-buy i suppose

scorpiondeathlock (October 20, 2007)

i prefer pretty hate machine

mattp330 (October 20, 2007)

definitly the most influential album, some great songs and i appreciate it for what it is. i don't think it is nine inch nails best though. the fragile, from beginning to end, blows my mind

Autosuggestion (October 20, 2007)

I sold this album in 1998 to get the money for The Suicide Machines Battle Hymns, so I will always appreciate what it did for me.

telegraphrocks (October 20, 2007)

Eight.

fallingupwards84 (October 20, 2007)

this review sucks, it doesnt tell me what the music sounds like
if i've never heard NIN before, how would i know what this band sounds like by this review?

damnitsderek (October 20, 2007)

The lowest review by this reviewer is 4 1/2 stars.

Hm.

Cos (October 20, 2007)

Otherwise, good album, though I kinda wish he'd made like Brian Wilson and gotten a co-writer for his lyrics, which are usually beyond childish ("Hurt" being an obvious exception).

Cos (October 20, 2007)

I'm a little confused on your math:

"After five years of studio inactivity, it was time for Trent Reznor and co. to deliver the second Nine Inch Nails full-length, 1995's The Downward Spiral, which continues to influence and inspire a large number of other industrial, punk and rock musicians throughout its career. This was actually Trent's first true Nine Inch Nails album since the 1989 now-legendary debut Pretty Hate Machine, as 1992's Broken was an EP"

Was '92's "Broken" not just an EP but b-sides? Shouldn't this really be three years of inactivity?

eatdogs (October 20, 2007)

good review. simple and too the point. a classic in every way. also, i think this was reissued in 2005 or 2006 with a second disc of extra material such as outakes ,demos, and covers among other things.

Villan (October 20, 2007)

Yeah, I just finished high school when this came out and while I thought that NIN was annoyingly overrated (didn't help that everytime I turned on the bloody radio "Closer" was playing), had to admit this album was pretty decent.

SilentStorms (October 19, 2007)

I sold this cd for some reason about 10 years ago because I got into punk. I wish I didn't, because this album was fucking amazing. Thanks for the reminder that I should rebuy this album. Top 10 most influential of all time (for me). Booya!

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