• By Henry Nulf

Album Review: Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Bad Witch’


Industrial music icon and modern day renaissance man Trent Reznor, other wiseknown as Nine Inch Nails, has been pushing his sound to the limit since the late 1980s.

Nine Inch Nails has had many musical successes including albums like “Pretty Hate Machine” and “The Downward Spiral”, but also with musical scores for projects like "The Social Network" and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. This latest album, “Bad Witch” adds to their pattern of success.

The record begins with blaring guitars on top of a signature gripping industrial beat that doesn’t let loose until it nally breaks down about half way through the song. The transition into the next song feels awless. On the second song, “Ahead of Ourselves,”the riot-esque atmosphere continues, thistime following a repeated droning beat chopped up with distorted vocals building up to an explosive chorus that sounds like it’s meant to inspire rebellion.

Following this we get the third track which is purely instrumental, laced with a horn section over yet another fascinating beat that makes the whole song give a sort of industrial jazz vibe.

Next is “God Break Down the Door,” a driving song that’s a bit of an oddity by the band’s standards, especially the depressing vocals. Reznor has explained the untradition-al style of the song while talking with Zane Lowe, saying in a post on itunes.com, “We find if we don’t watch ourselves we tend to try to get somewhere comfortable, because it feels better. ”

After this the record is closed out by two long, also instrumentally focused, songs that provide copious amounts of melancholic atmosphere to tie the project together. Although it’s thirty minutes long, “Bad Witch” manages to not only be musically impressive, but conceptually as well, lled with lyrics questioning society, religion, and self-worth as per tradition in the NIN discography. As a project, it continues an upward swing in the modern day Nine Inch Nails releases. It’s richly layered with sounds and ideas put together in a neat little sad ash covered box. It’s no “Downward Spiral,” but at this point in time it’s unlikely anything ever will be. Still it’s clear Nine Inch Nails is a project far from burning out anytime soon.


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