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Nine Inch Nails - Bad Witch CD (album) cover


Nine Inch Nails

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Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars The 2018 album from Nine Inch Nails was originally intended to be the third EP in a series, the first being 'Not the Actual Events' and the 2nd being 'Add Violence'. Trent Reznor decided to make this one an LP because he felt that EPs tend to get overlooked. So, this last album in the series, 'Bad Witch', was ultimately developed into an album. The only problem is, and it turns out to be the biggest problem of this album, is that it is way too short at only 30 minutes. The positive thing about it that proves it is a great album, is that you want it to be longer, instead of being glad it is over.

The album is a lot more experimental and progressive than the other recordings in the series. This works to Reznor's and Ross' advantage and creates a very dynamic and varied album, but it could have been so much more than this if there were more songs on it.

'Sh*t Mirror' starts things off with the usual industrial sound with processed and regular vocals. It has a nice industrial build at the end and retains it's intensity throughout. Ian Astbury from 'The Cult' does some guest vocals on this track.

'Ahead of Ourselves' has a nice driving beat with a rapid fire beat. The vocals are all pretty much processed in this one, but it is still the sound you expect from Trent, exciting and intense.

The next track is instrumental. 'Play the G*dd*mned Part' utilizes a saxophone, but it isn't blaringly apparent, but more of a sound layer in the noise mix. It does increase in volume as the track continues until all of the background noise stops and a very dissonant chorus of layered saxophones play against each other. This track is brilliant and even approaches experimental avant-prog. It's good to hear Reznor's brilliance shining through again.

'God Break Down the Door' again utilizes a dissonant sax with another rapid beat. This track is very reminiscent of the music on the 'Blackstar' album by David Bowie, and this is actually intentional as Reznor admits to the inspiration. It is another great track and even with its inspirational source, it still manages to keep that industrial feel.

'I'm Not From This World' is surprisingly another instrumental. This one also surprises since it is an ambient track that is also experimental and utilizes multi-note drones and effects. NIN make themselves current by experimenting with this style and incorporating industrial rock with new methods.

'Over and Out' is made up of layers of music, vocals and sound that increase in intensity as it continues Again, it is not what you would expect from NIN's typical sound, but it goes in the right direction. This is also reminiscent of later Bowie music, with loops and layers flowing around each other and then finally fading to a high drone.

It's good to hear NIN get experimental again and more progressive as was the case in the 'Ghosts' album. This could have easily been another 5 star album for NIN if it was longer, but it woefully ends too soon. But hopefully it is an indication of where Reznor plans on taking NIN's music.

Report this review (#2038063)
Posted Monday, September 24, 2018 | Review Permalink
4 stars Brevity is good; I would rather listen to 30 minutes of solid music than an album of 30 minutes of the exact same music plus 20-40 minutes of filler. And 30 minutes of solid music is exactly what Nine Inch Nails offers here; Trent Reznor definitively crosses the streams and sets his soundtrack work and his Nine Inch Nails work on a direct collision course (not that they were ever *that* separate), and then pulls these gems from the wreckage. Back in the late 1980s or early 1990s you'd have never expected to hear a bit of jazzy saxophone on a NIN record, but Trent's old enough and self-confident enough to do exactly what he wants and not fuss too much about pandering to people's expectations.

Trent, soundtrack collaborator and creative BFF Atticus Ross, and their gang don their leather jackets, get on their motorcycles, and go raiding in the territories of dark ambient, art rock, and dark jazz acts like Bohren & der Club of Gore, David Lynch, and Blackjazz-era Shining, coming away with a range of musical ideas which they then integrate into their own territory. It's a release which leaves me with the impression that Reznor's creative reserves are far from empty.

Report this review (#2038507)
Posted Wednesday, September 26, 2018 | Review Permalink

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