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NINE INCH NAILS

Crossover Prog • United States


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Nine Inch Nails biography
US band NINE INCH NAILS was more or less formed in 1988 by Trent Reznor, and while other musicians have participated in various manners over the years the band is first and foremost his solo project.

The early start of this band occurred when Reznor worked as a janitor and assistant engineer at Right Track Studios, and asked the owner Bert Koster to be allowed to record some music of his own in the studio when it wasn't otherwise occupied. The subsequent demo recordings, where Reznor handled all instruments apart from drums himself, landed him a record contract with TVT Records, and 10 cuts from these demos were polished and issued as the first NiN album Pretty Hate Machine in 1989. The album eventually sold to platinum, one of the best selling independently releases records of all time. Tours in the US and Europe followed until 1991, when his record label pressured Reznor to start recording more studio material.

1992 saw the release of two EP's under the NiN moniker. The 8 track EP Broken was another highly successful venture, and while arguably better known for the promotional videos made for the singles released from the EP it was commercially highly succesfull as well, and eventually lead to Reznor getting two Grammy awards. The remix EP Fixed followed towards the end of the year.

Citing inspirations by Pink Floyd (The Wall) and David Bowie (Low), The Downward Spiral was Reznor's next full length effort to be issued under the Nine Inch Nail's moniker. And like his previous efforts it proved to be a massive commercial success, and is regarded as a major artistic achievement as well. The album appears in numerous lists of the most important albums of all times, whether they are based on commercial or artistic principles. The tour in support of the album was as massive a success as the album itself, and lifted Trent Reznor once and for all up to the major artist level. Even the remix album Further Down the Spiral became a commercial success story, shifting enough copies to achieve the Gold Album merit shortly after it's release.

Addiction problems and writer's block stopped the further evolvement of the project dead in it's tracks though, but while battling these demons Reznor got the opportunity to produce the soundtrack for the David Lynch movie Lost Highway. He contributed with the tune The Perfect Drug himself, on a soundtrack CD that also introduced a band like Rammstein to a wider audience.

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Hesitation Marks (Deluxe Edition)Hesitation Marks (Deluxe Edition)
Columbia 2013
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The FragileThe Fragile
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Nothing 1999
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Pretty Hate Machine: 2010 RemasterPretty Hate Machine: 2010 Remaster
Extra tracks · Remastered
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With TeethWith Teeth
Explicit Lyrics
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Year ZeroYear Zero
Nothing Records 2007
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$2.19 (used)
The Downward SpiralThe Downward Spiral
Explicit Lyrics
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Audio CD$7.87
$2.21 (used)
BrokenBroken
Nothing 1992
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Ghosts I - IVGhosts I - IV
The Null Corporation 2008
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And All That Could Have BeenAnd All That Could Have Been
Explicit Lyrics
Nothing 2002
Audio CD$3.82
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SlipSlip
Limited Edition
The Null Corporation 2008
Audio CD$16.97
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NINE INCH NAILS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

NINE INCH NAILS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.40 | 80 ratings
Pretty Hate Machine
1989
3.89 | 106 ratings
The Downward Spiral
1994
3.79 | 89 ratings
The Fragile
1999
3.11 | 52 ratings
With Teeth
2005
3.16 | 52 ratings
Year Zero
2007
4.02 | 71 ratings
Ghosts I-IV
2008
3.14 | 43 ratings
The Slip
2008
3.69 | 40 ratings
Hesitation Marks
2013

NINE INCH NAILS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.52 | 23 ratings
And All That Could Have Been
2002

NINE INCH NAILS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.20 | 10 ratings
Closure
1997
3.46 | 9 ratings
And All That Could Have Been
2002
3.54 | 16 ratings
Beside You in Time
2007

NINE INCH NAILS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.26 | 19 ratings
Further Down the Spiral
1995
3.21 | 15 ratings
Things Falling Apart
2000
2.57 | 12 ratings
Year Zero Remixed
2007

NINE INCH NAILS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.50 | 7 ratings
Down In It
1989
2.70 | 8 ratings
Head Like a Hole
1990
4.75 | 4 ratings
Sin
1990
4.00 | 3 ratings
Happiness in Slavery
1992
3.50 | 41 ratings
Broken
1992
3.03 | 12 ratings
Fixed
1992
3.88 | 7 ratings
March of the Pigs
1994
3.85 | 11 ratings
Closer to God
1994
4.83 | 6 ratings
Hurt
1994
3.75 | 4 ratings
NINJA tour sampler
2009
2.29 | 9 ratings
Came Back Haunted
2013

NINE INCH NAILS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ghosts I-IV by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.02 | 71 ratings

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Ghosts I-IV
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars What kind of album do you expect to have when Nine Inch Nails releases a double album of all instrumental music? Is it going to all be like soft new age music? Is it going to be experimental? Is it going to be loud and noisy? Well, I wasn't sure what to expect, but with Trent Reznor's work with soundtracks, I kind of expected mostly soft, atmospheric music not unlike new age style music. Well, you do get some atmospheric beauty here. But you get so much more than that too. There is some harsh music, some industrial sounding music, some electronic, some experimental music....really there is a lot of everything here, and it is all some of the best and most progressive music ever put out by Nine Inch Nails.

Reznor's contract with the music labels had ended and he finally had the freedom to do the type of album he had been dreaming about for a long time. The music is still surprisingly very NINs-like and there are times when you know who you are listening to. But, in most cases, the music is so much more deeper than this. And you never know what's coming next. Beautiful soundscapes with a lot of the slightly muted piano, piano that sounds like the brightness has been toned down and there is that slight feel of uneasiness, even in the most relaxing tracks.

Other times, you get jolts of tense textures, very often similar to other NINs music, sometimes repetitive as you would expect from industrial music, and other times very innovative and experimental. I did not expect this much variety from this album, and that is a very pleasant surprise that so many styles and sounds are explored here. Sometimes keyboards take the lead and other times guitar leads the soundscapes, helped along many times by none other than King Crimson frontman Adrian Belew, who at times even brings echoes of the ProjeKcts. Other times you get the experimental electronic sounds that echo the sounds of Eno or other greats. Many times the music is simple and beautiful, other times it is complex or harsh.

Those who really explored this music discovered that there were pictures that accompany the tracks here. Many of these pictures were what inspired the sounds of these tracks and they are available at the NIN wiki site with a track by track description of the music for those who are interested. It doesn't really do any service to you however for me to analyze and evaluate the music on a track by track basis here, because there is so much going on here that is beyond words. Just know that this is an amazing collection of inspiration and art. This album is also the reason why NIN belongs in the Archives. This is definitely a masterpiece of instrumental neo-prog and is an essential work for those who are not satisfied with only listening to progressive music of the past. 5 stars.

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 Further Down the Spiral by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1995
3.26 | 19 ratings

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Further Down the Spiral
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is yet another companion album to the highly successful "The Downward Spiral" album and serves as an E.P. even though it's duration is around an hour long. It mostly consists of remixes which further explore selected tracks from TDS. The huge hit song "Closer" is not one of the songs explored on this collection, but if you are interested in the remixes and very indepth exploration of this song, then get the other companion collection called "Closer to God" which has several remixes of that song with the addition of a few more selections. That is an excellent collection that, even though mostly centers around one song, is actually quite well done and not as repetitive as you think.

This collection though, is also very interesting, yet not quite as cohesive as the "Closer to God" collection. Several aritists like Coil, Aphex Twin and many others created these great remixes. There are a lot more mood changes in this album and the selected songs are explored quite well here. It is highly experimental, noisy at times and surprisingly ponderous in others. It starts out with "Piggy" (Nothing Can Stop Me Now)" which is a very industrial sounding remix and it is very recognizable, yet noticeably different from the original. It features the guitar parts from Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction) and starts off the album quite well, even though it is somewhat straightforward, and it prepares the listener for more in-depth exploration which can take the listener a long way away from the original tracks to follow. Next is the first remix of "Mr. Self Destruct" called "The Art of Self Destruction Part 1". The vocals here are downplayed quite a bit reduced to whisperings of certain phrases from the original song and the feeling is more quiet. The main passage used in this remix is from the quieter bridge of the original song, and that attributes to the overall feeling of this quieter remix. Following this is another remix of the same track called "Self Destruction Part 2" and it is based around the main themes of the song and focuses on Adrian Belew's (King Crimson, Talking Heads) guitar work from the original, thus creating a louder remix. This remix is definitely a noisy one and it is quite enjoyable.

Next is the remix of the title track of the original album and it is called "The Downward Spiral (The Bottom)". This one is harder to recognize as it uses a repetitive processed sound that sounds like something bubbling over. This is a processed loop of the guitar part of the original, yet it sounds like a keyboard producing the sound. Sounds very nice at first, but tends to be too repetitive. "Hurt (Quiet)" is the next remix from the original album. It is very recognizable and cleans up the original quite nicely, getting rid of a lot of the background noise that was evident on the original. The guitar build up is still present, but less noticeable and also a cleaner sound up until the explosive climax which echoes on for some time. This one is just as good if not better than the original and accentuates the lyrics better.

The following track is the first remix of "Eraser" and is titled "Eraser (Denial; Realization)" It works to build up quite well from the previous track and samples various phrases from the original song in a slowed down format so it becomes hard to recognize. The music builds back up and becomes more industrial sounding as it continues, bringing us back from the quietness of the previous track. Next comes an original instrumental track created for this collection by Aphex Twin called "At the Heart of it All". This one is a techno-industrial sounding song with a softer edge than normal, almost radio-friendly, but not quite. It incorporates a metallic drum loop as a base and later utilizes a horn section that grows and fades throughout the song. The next track is another version of "Eraser" called "Eraser (Polite)" which is a very short remix that repeats short phrases of the original and stays quite laidback and soothing, yet dark and foreboding.

Another remix of "Mr. Self Destruct" follows called "Self Destruction Final" which is a 9 minute remix that once again focuses on Adrian Belew's guitar passage from the original and also incorporates samples from David Bowie's "Time". It is very industrial and loud as you would expect from NINs. After this, another partly original track follows called "The Beauty of Being Numb" which starts out playing a backwards version of "Mr. Self Destruct" which actually sounds a lot better than you would think and is slightly ambient. This grows in intensity, but doesn't overwhelm and eventually becomes an original composition by Aphex Twin. The final track is the last remix of "Eraser" called "Erased, Over, Out" which samples synthesized sounds and thus ends the album on a slightly softer, yet still industrial note.

Overall, this contains some great highlights, but is still somewhat repetitive. The song explorations are great and I find that listening to the album is enjoyable except for the repetitive sections. Not as good as the "Closer to God" compilation or the original album, it is still a good album, it just isn't essential unless you love remixes and song manipulation. 3 stars.

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 The Fragile by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.79 | 89 ratings

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The Fragile
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This excellent album is an example of what happens when "less is more" but you get more anyway. The sum of this album is less than it's parts. Why is this the case? Well, look at the fact that the album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200. It had been several years since the release of "The Downward Spiral" and fans were anticipating the next album from NIN. That explains the reason for the sales at the beginning. But in the 2nd week of it's release, it fell to number 16 and set a record of being the biggest drop from #1. I think that is because the fans went out and bought the album and would have bought it at almost any price, but it proved to be too costly for the masses who didn't want to pay for a double album. It was too much all at once. It probably would have done better if it was released in 2 parts. The other problem with this being a double album is the music is dark and dense, as you would expect from a follow up to "The Downward Spiral" and it is difficult, especially one the first several listens, to take it all in one big dose. As great as the music is, it is hard to sit through it all in one sitting.

However, many fans have accepted it as the best album by NIN. As for myself, I find the songs more developed and adventurous. But I can't give it masterpiece status because it is an album released with 2 discs as a whole, which normally isn't a problem if it doesn't wear itself out. But the problem here, by the time you get to the 2nd disc, you lose interest, even though the music is still top notch. Take "The Wall". It is easy to sit through both discs because of the variation in the tracks. In NIN music, there is just too much repetitiveness to stay interesting through 2 discs. If you listen to them separately, they are much better and you will end up discovering the 2nd disc is actually better than the first.

There is some variety among the tracks though. I believe that the songs are slightly better individually than "The Downward Spiral" because there is a lot more variation and experimentation throughout. There are several instrumentals and atmospheric/moody passages that break up the noise, and the songs are slightly more progressive than before. You also get several tracks with Adrian Belew (from King Crimson as if you didn't know) participating. All of these things should add up to a better whole right? Well, it doesn't because it is too hard to sit through it all. So listen to it separately, it's much better. Trent even said that he should have released it in 2 parts. It is, after all, a personal record for him in that it reflects the moods and difficulties he was going through at the time. Where "The Downward Spiral" was a concept album about a fictional character, this album was a concept album about his own feelings.

There is still a lot of noise and industrial sound to this one and a lot of people might not even notice a big difference in the sound. Granted, it is hard to hear at first. But you will notice the more frequent change in dynamics, moods and sound the more you listen. Trent tried to downplay the album before the release saying that this album would sound like nothing else done by NIN but more like the most ridiculous music you've ever heard with nursery rhymes over the top of it. Of course, it's nothing like that, it is very NIN typical sounding but with a lot more atmosphere. Still an excellent album, but the whole album can't be considered a masterpiece because of the loss of interest one feels when listened to completely. Yes that is a big enough deal to me to take it from the masterpiece status that I awarded to TDS. Still an excellent addition to your collection. 4 stars.

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 Pretty Hate Machine by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.40 | 80 ratings

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Pretty Hate Machine
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by aglasshouse

2 stars Dark, brooding, and emotional, Trent Reznor broke onto the music scene with his 1989 album titled Pretty Hate Machine. he envisioned for a band that would, using metallic undertones to bring out a more righteous clang to his point, make points of sociopolitical commentary. This album was written and recorded to embody this spirit. Did Pretty Hate Machine accomplish what it was made for?

...No, I'd say it didn't.

The album overall achieved a good round of applause from most critics, although not all of them took well to Reznor's work. However most progressive rock fans that at the least call Reznor a 'prog' artist and his band a prog band would do well to stay away from this one. Instead of the usually dreary electronic use most commonly found in artists such as Stabbing Westward, Orgy, Ministry, and later NiN works, the album functions around a steady theme of catchy alternative rock beats and composition, albeit with some amateur technological use overlapping it.

Pretty Hate Machine brings to the table a large theme of anger, with blatantly spiteful lyrics and, as stated before, social commentary. But that doesn't excuse the fact that this album is annoying. I've seen many bands accomplish commentary such as this and do it well. A band that comes to mind are Porcupine Tree, which actually implies subtly the ideology of anti- systematical lyrics mixed in with their enjoyable music. Here, it's more along the lines of Reznor and his emo friends recording an album during their aggressive teenage phase. Other than that, the songs are just plain boring. The 'catchy' riffs used on the album are over repetitive and rely on a similar theme, giving the illusion that all of the songs are the same. The only track that I've found to stand out is the ever present 'Head Like a Hole', although even that song is just a casual listen and not material for a respectful intake of the album itself.

So, all in all, this is a skippable one. Mostly because any fan of Nine Inch Nails would enjoy their later works more than the earlier material, but even if your not a fan you would do well not to pick this one up. Alternative electronic rock? No thanks.

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 Broken by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1992
3.50 | 41 ratings

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Broken
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by aglasshouse

5 stars In the late 80's, Trent Reznor originally envisioned a band that made subtle social commentary which was conveyed via. industrial rock. Thus, Pretty Hate Machine was released in 1989 to average popularity. However, Reznor himself believed that he had overdone it, and implied too much shameless self pity. Feeling that his point was ruined from the release, he planned another release and gave the public the EP Broken a few years later.

Trent, my god, good job with this one. Taking a metal edge instead of the indulgent mainstream industrial rock that the antecedent release was full of, this EP evolves not only the Industrial metal scene but also the band's structure. If I were to say, my favorite industrial metal band has always been Stabbing Westward. However, after finding and buying this little gem at a thrift store, I decided that Nine Inch Nails had thoroughly earned my respect as a whole.

The album ranges from flat out slamming metal to more complex, albeit stranger songs. The future Nine Inch Nails sound is still there, but if you are interested in such a raw version of this band then this would be definitely something for you. 'Wish' is a simple little tune, undoubtedly the most recognized from it, which follows a quick tempo as well as sudden bursts of angry static-style riffing. 'Last' is an absolute slammer, with giant hunky metallic riffs making for a pure ball of anger hitting you over and over. Simply excellent, and perhaps my personal favorite from the album. 'Help Me I'm In Hell' is an interesting bridge to 'Happiness in Slavery', another scream-filled song which Reznor pours his soul into. 'Gave Up' is more of an fast, alternative hard rock song with fewer industrial elements than the others. However, Reznor's voice has been modified which sounds like he's speaking into a fan. However, it does add some more feeling to the song.

Now, 'Gave Up' is perhaps where we would end, for the rest of the EP is simple blank space. But no, hidden at the end are two covers of two different bands. The first being 'Physical (You're So)', a cover of the post-punk band Adam and the Ants, is actually quite enjoyable. The band souped up the original to add more metal as well as more electronic influences and sounds. The second is 'Suck', a cover of the industrial rock band Pigface. It isn't as enjoyable as the former but it's still okay. I would call it more undoubtedly rock-y than metallic. Nice casual listen, though.

So, in the end, NiN's Wish is a fantastic EP. I would go so far as to say that this little gem is what undoubtedly got the band rolling. I suggest if you are any particular metal fan or even a fan of the band, get it, it'll be worth it.

(Originally Written for the Metal Music Archives on 2015-02-01)

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 Year Zero by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.16 | 52 ratings

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Year Zero
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Overall, this isn't a bad album. The music is still industrial, like before, but it is cleaner sounding and seems to be more accessible, even considering the sci-fi concept that it is based on. To me, the music looses a bit of credibility because of the cleaner sound, so it doesn't have the bite and the draw for me that "The Downward Spiral" or "Pretty Hate Machine". There isn't much in the way of prog here either, not that there was a lot before, but there were some elements. The rhythms are pretty straightforward. But there are a lot of nice surprises which is what one can expect from NIN. But I don't believe the music has progressed so much from the earlier albums. It's okay to have a cleaner sounding and more accessible record if you can do that while advancing your sound. The music remains pretty close to the same, and with the accessibility factor on this album, that tends to make it suffer a little.

Don't get me wrong though. I still enjoy most of the album. But it pales when it stands next to Trent's earlier work. There are still plenty of dynamic changes and nice passages. It mostly suffers because of the sameness of a lot of the music. Not the best representation of NIN ingenuity, but still pretty good. Unfortunately, I have to give it about 3 1/2 stars because of the lack of progression and I will round this down because of the way the accessibility washes out the credibility.

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 Year Zero Remixed by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2007
2.57 | 12 ratings

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Year Zero Remixed
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This album is all remixes of songs from the "Year Zero" album. This was basically one of those contractual obligation albums that Trent put together and was the last one released on Interscope Records. After this release, Trent was free from any recording contracts and could record whatever he wanted.

There were two versions of this album: the one with the track listing above and the vinyl version which consisted of 5 recorded sides and one blank side. The vinyl version had a different track list with some tracks not included on the other version and a few tracks are left off. Overall, the vinyl version ended up with 17 total tracks. The vinyl version is the one that I listened to for this review.

So, that might give you an idea of what you will get with this album. It is, for the most part, quite difficult to sit through. Most of the remixes are quite repetitive and boring, nothing like a good part of the remixes that were released by NIN in the past. It seems to me that a lot of these tracks were rushed or maybe accepted just to fill up time. Some tracks extend over 10 minutes which is way too long for the type of repetitive remixes they are. They start out promising but end up overstaying their welcome in each case.

There are some great highlights here though, but I doubt they are worth the price or time invested. "The Great Destroyer" remixed by Modwheelmood is the best track on here and even entices me to check out some of their other recordings. "Another Version of the Truth" is also quite amazing and is performed and reimagined by the Kronos Quartet. This is a beautiful performance done by strings and I would have rather heard an entire album of this Quartet doing NIN songs. It is very modern-classical sounding and very impressive.

Other than those highlights, there are a few other okay recordings, but way too many that just continue on and on for way too long. If the two versions of "Vessel" were shorter, they would have been interesting, but as they are they continue on to the extent of redundancy and become annoying. "Me, I'm Not" works the same way, starting out sounding quite interesting, but wearing out at around the 5 minute mark and by the 14th minute, your mind has already dismissed it as background noise.

I enjoy listening to NIN's remixes and especially enjoy "Closer" which is an album full of mostly remixes of that song with a few other remixes interspersed within it's close-to-an-hour length. It's funny how that album doesn't get boring even if most of the songs are remixes of the same song. They are more than remixes and the album as a whole works a lot like a concept album which is a great supplement (or sequel is you will) of "The Downward Spiral". This "Year Zero Remixes" album though is a far cry from that "Closer" album and doesn't even come close to that one. Except for the few highlights and a couple of okay tracks, this one is too disjointed or just plain uninteresting. Only completionists will want this for the long-term, but since the production and sound is good, I can't rate it as poor. So I think we can squeeze 2 stars out of it, but try to see if you can get the few highlights from the album and disregard the rest as an album that simply fulfilled the record company contract.

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 Came Back Haunted by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
2.29 | 9 ratings

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Came Back Haunted
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars This is just a single that came out from Nine Inch Nails' last studio album "Hesitation Marks", released in 2013. For those who already know the band (project), can figure out what kind of music you will find here, in this wonderful song called "Came Back Haunted" which happens to be my favorite one from the album above mentioned.

However, the single does not feature anything extra, it is just the song, no mixes, no b-sides, so it is like listening to a radio hit but with a single release. In other words, this might be only for those die-hard NIN fans who collect everything, or to curious people who find it cheap and does not harm their record collection. It is worth mentioning that there is a video clip of the song, directed by David Lynch, so the tension and darkness are included here, as well as the great electronic, industrial music with the fabulous Reznor's voice.

Though the song itself is wonderful, I adore it, I think this single should have contained more tracks, or something that would complement it and make it stronger.

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 The Downward Spiral by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.89 | 106 ratings

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The Downward Spiral
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I have a hard time understanding why people seem to have a hard time accepting this album as a essential masterpiece of progressive rock. I can give you a lot of reasons why this is progressive and these reasons follow in the next paragraph.

It was inspired by the works of David Bowie (Low) and Pink Floyd (The Wall). It is a concept album in every sense of the word about a man on a downward spiral of destruction from the beginning to an attempt at suicide. Sure that's a heavy subject but then so was The Wall. It is musical progression in that Trent changed his focus from the synth-pop of "Pretty Hate Machine" to hard hitting guitar centered music ranging from heavy metal to prog-industrial (King Crimson style anyone?) to short bits of ambience. It has some very tricky meters through various part of the album (29/8 time signature in "March of the Pigs' for example). The heavy guitar sound was influenced by Adrian Belew (Frank Zappa, King Crimson) who felt that Trent's ideas at the time was a good outlet for Belew's guitar experimentation, in fact, Belew not only helped on two tracks ("Mr. Self Destruct" and "The Becoming") but also convinced Reznor that the guitar was a very dynamic instrument and helped steer him away from the syth-heavy sound that he was using. This album is also a study in dynamics and abruptness, there is very little use of crescendos and decrescendos, but dynamic changes are very abrupt and fit this music and the concept perfectly. Most of the songs here do not use conventional song patterns such as Verse/Chorus/Repeat. The album itself worked to inspire a host of future artists and is still essential and evident to this day. The structure of the music is based on experimental and psychedelic music and the influence of both types of music are used effectively throughout. Odd chord changes and chord manipulations (Hurt) abound. Recurring themes are scattered among the tracks tying the concept together. Inventive music and experimental sounds are all over this album (The Downward Spiral, Mr. Self Destruct, etc.) I don't know what else people need to prove that this is progressive music.

Now, I agree that it doesn't fit to everyone's taste. It is a study in extremes, so even though you get some beautifully quiet passages, most of the album is loud and noisy. It is industrial, yes, but progressive elements are infused into the music all throughout the album. If you don't like the over the top loudness and feelings of loss of control, then this is not for you. It is dark, but if it wasn't, it wouldn't be very true to it's concept. So that's just how it is. I can't blame people for not wanting to listen to it because of the subject matter, but that doesn't bother me, so I recognize this for the masterpiece that it is. It may not be the most progressive music out there, but it's definitely more progressive than any of the music that was popular (or is popular now) and anything that becomes accessible to the masses that promotes progressive music is a great thing. This is a type of album that I wouldn't be surprised if Mike Patton or Toby Driver would put out, of course with their own styles, but their styles aren't really that far removed from this. This is not an overrated album. It is the celebrated masterpiece that it deserves to be, but those that should be it's proponents are it's biggest deniers. As for myself, I can't recognize this for anything less than what it is. 5 stars.

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 Down In It by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1989
2.50 | 7 ratings

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Down In It
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars There's not really a lot to be said about this one. It is the first single that Reznor released and it is simply three versions of the song "Down In It" which was released as a teaser for NIN's first album which had not been released yet. The song is a hard driving song with a constant beat and is a great song. The versions on this single however are not as varied as NIN's later remixes would be. The first version (Skin) is simply the same remix that is on the album. The second remix (Shred) is pretty close to the same with a more accented bass line and a harder beat. However, the ending is extended by another 3 minutes and that is where the most interesting variations take place as the beat drops off and comes back and other sounds and variations come in. The third version (Singe) is the most different than the others in that it mixes all the vocals so that they are no longer in a verse/chorus format but looped in different arrangements throughout. The instrumentation is more industrial and techno sounding, but still close to the same. More experimentation is done here with the vocal arrangements than anything.

NIN's later remixes and singles would be a lot more interesting than this. Even though this is a very good song, there is not enough variation in the mixes to keep things very interesting throughout the single. This is only for those who like to hear the same song put on repeat, but does not have a lasting value except for collectors. I can't call it poor because the production value is excellent and so is the song. But there is not enough variety on the single to be anything more that a collector's item. 2 stars.

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Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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