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Nine Inch Nails - Pretty Hate Machine CD (album) cover


Nine Inch Nails


Crossover Prog

3.43 | 108 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
2 stars NIN is the industrial vehicle for American singer/musician Trent Raznor. If we have to give the man credit for one thing it is for bringing the industrial avant-rock that had been thriving in the 80's underground scene to the masses. But the praise he gets for being innovative or even progressive is entirely misplaced, caused by lack of knowledge of the real pioneers that preceded him. Saying NIN is progressive is like claiming Microsoft invented the PC.

It would be a bit of a stretch to provide a background into the industrial music of the 80's here, as it was a very active and creative scene. But I sure need to mention important industrial dance acts such as Cabaret Voltaire and Front 242, and the more noisy industrial pioneers such as Foetus, Coil, Ministry and Einstürzende Neubauten. They all served Raznor as a source of inspiration. Even his inclusion of funky bass loops and poppy hooks is entirely copied from another band, namely My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, who debuted the year before.

So where it concerns originality, innovation and progressiveness, I have to give this album a big zero. But that's only one of many way to look at an album. The actual quality of the songs is quite high. Obviously, you shouldn't look for musicianship or harmonic splendour here. This music goes by other ethics such as the intensity of its alienated feel, the harshness of its sound, the aggression of the beats and the shout-along capability of the material. Quite a bit of similarities with metal actually :)

Raznor sure excels in the virtues expected in this genre and combines it with a knack for a good tune. He manages to keep the album varied and engaging for its entire course. In the early 90's I was a huge fan of the 80's scene that paved the way for NIN, so the fact that I can trace each track back to its main influence will forever spoil the experience for me. All in all, it's a fine album that has turned out to be quite important in rock history.

This is music from a scene as alien to Prog as rap is to folk, but it kind of touches avant-garde and RIO. Still, I'd rather review the real thing, the original bands who broke the ground instead of this second tier band who only popularized it. 2.5 stars

Bonnek | 2/5 |


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