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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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Bad WitchBad Witch
Null Corporation 2018
$6.77
$4.91 (used)
Not The Actual EventsNot The Actual Events
Nothing 2017
$5.71
$8.68 (used)
The Downward SpiralThe Downward Spiral
Explicit Lyrics
Nothing/TVT/Interscope Records 1994
$6.78
$1.97 (used)
The Fragile [3 LP]The Fragile [3 LP]
Explicit Lyrics
Nothing 2017
$31.90
$23.77 (used)
Add Violence EPAdd Violence EP
EP
Capitol 2017
$5.70
$7.55 (used)
Pretty Hate Machine [LP]Pretty Hate Machine [LP]
The Bicycle Music Company 2011
$15.84
$21.13 (used)
Broken [LP/7Broken [LP/7" Combo]
Explicit Lyrics
Nothing 2017
$19.98
$24.75 (used)
The FragileThe Fragile
Explicit Lyrics
Nothing 1999
$9.24
$1.74 (used)
Ghosts I - IVGhosts I - IV
THE NULL CORPORATION 2008
$12.00
$2.04 (used)
Hesitation MarksHesitation Marks
Sony Legacy 2013
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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)

3.43 | 101 ratings
Pretty Hate Machine
1989
4.05 | 132 ratings
The Downward Spiral
1994
3.97 | 114 ratings
The Fragile
1999
3.14 | 68 ratings
With Teeth
2005
3.18 | 66 ratings
Year Zero
2007
3.92 | 87 ratings
Ghosts I-IV
2008
3.16 | 54 ratings
The Slip
2008
3.65 | 50 ratings
Hesitation Marks
2013
3.96 | 8 ratings
Bad Witch
2018

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

4.29 | 25 ratings
And All That Could Have Been
2002

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

4.20 | 10 ratings
Closure
1997
3.54 | 16 ratings
And All That Could Have Been
2002
3.60 | 24 ratings
Beside You in Time
2007

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

3.30 | 25 ratings
Further Down the Spiral
1995
3.16 | 18 ratings
Things Falling Apart
2000
2.38 | 15 ratings
Year Zero Remixed
2007

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

2.38 | 10 ratings
Down In It
1989
2.72 | 12 ratings
Head Like a Hole
1990
4.00 | 8 ratings
Sin
1990
4.00 | 3 ratings
Happiness in Slavery
1992
3.58 | 50 ratings
Broken
1992
3.30 | 18 ratings
Fixed
1992
3.83 | 10 ratings
March of the Pigs
1994
3.87 | 14 ratings
Closer to God
1994
4.71 | 7 ratings
Hurt
1994
3.75 | 4 ratings
NINJA tour sampler
2009
2.28 | 10 ratings
Came Back Haunted
2013
2.67 | 3 ratings
Not The Actual Events
2016
2.54 | 8 ratings
Add Violence
2017

NINE INCH NAILS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Add Violence by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2017
2.54 | 8 ratings

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Add Violence
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The second part of a triptych that began with Not The Actual Events and concluded with Bad Witch, Add Violence slams itself bodily against two different musical extremes of Nine Inch Nails - slickly delivered electro-industrial with enough hooks and instant catchiness to verge on industrial pop on the one hand, loud, aggressive industrial rock confrontation on the other.

The Background World closes off with an increasingly harsh and confrontational repetition of its closing movements, which rather strikes me (considering the song title) as Trent Reznor slightly rebelling against his newfound reputation as a great soundtrack dude; he's insisting here that his music isn't something to just fade into the background but has a real, vibrant purpose to it which deserves to be in the foreground too, and seems to intend the outro to the track as a means of shaking the listener out of whatever they are doing with Add Violence in the background and making them pay attention to it.

Joke's on him, though - these rather light compositions are, aside from that, perfect background music for electro- industrial fans. Sorry, Trent.

 Bad Witch by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.96 | 8 ratings

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Bad Witch
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Bad Witch by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.96 | 8 ratings

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Bad Witch
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Broken by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1992
3.58 | 50 ratings

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Broken
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

4 stars Felt exactly like "Happiness In Slavery" under such a destructive "Broken" situation. This ep "Broken", my first NIN album, has given me an unbelievable shock and magnificent amaze. Already immersed in the sleeve with a quietly burning "n" character at the centre indeed, but NIN aka Trent's noisy, violent but sincere, gorgeous sound theatre has driven me complete mad. The musical method in his early years is far from "so-called" progressive rock indeed but he has had a lot of foresight (enough to dig Marilyn Manson or so out) for producing serious musical innovation and creating industrial invasion. His innovative soundscape's exploded massively through this ep, regardless of his previous album "Pretty Hate Machine" already full of dry loudness and desert madness.

Yes in the first break "Pinion" the sound structure is already broken. Just like a volcanic eruption (reminding me of Tarkus' Eruption actually), offensive dissected melody lines are convoluted and synchronized one after another. This phenomenon is crazy enthusiastic enough to uplift my motivation gradually. And in an aggressive manner I'm kicked out via one of the most speedy, uptempo stuff "Wish", where bombastic electric guitar phrases are launched aloud here, there and everywhere. Another spiritual regulation attacks me. On the contrary, "Help Me I Am In Hell" consists fully of sticky, repetitive guitar meditations from the beginning until the end ? sorta dissonant moment is going away quietly. Also upon "Last"in the same vein of his previous album Trent tries to show his strong intention of grunge / industrial hardcore.

Another tough exposure is exactly a piece of his words "Gave Up", followed by about 80 second silence ? pretty of anxiety. This disquieting quietness should be one of his point of views upon the current rock scene, I guess. Sounds like the last "Suck" would have mentioned such an unstable situation in the music world should be continued eternally. Predominant eccentricity itself is his incredible, agitative representation, let me say. My favourite one.

 With Teeth by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.14 | 68 ratings

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With Teeth
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After the huge success of 'The Downward Spiral' and 'The Fragile' along with some EPs thrown in there for good measure, Trent Reznor was riding high, but was also battling with drug and alcohol addiction. Also, during this time, Reznor faced writers block. This was not a good time for Nine Inch Nails, or the fans. The public was getting restless for a new NIN album. 'And All That Could Have Been' was released in 2002 and it was a double album, one disc live, the other studio tracks. This was an excellent album, and worked to appease the fans for the time being.

Fast forward to 2005 before Reznor was ready to release another album. Excitement was generated when news started coming in that an album was on it's way. When the album did finally come out, it shot right up the charts. People were expecting that loud and inventive music that Trent was know for, the same wildness and ingenuity that existed before.

For the most part, the critics and the fans were happy with this album. I know I was happy with it, but there was a little something missing in there that was hard to pinpoint. Nevertheless, this is a decent album, not quite as major of a release as the previous albums, but it was still satisfying. The album was originally supposed to be a concept album with songs and music dealing with the way addiction can lead to either a downfall or to recovery. By the time the album was finished however, Trent admitted it wasn't a concept album except for maybe in a loose sense where the songs could be listened to individually, but would also fit together nicely as 'friends'.

Right off the bat, you can tell things are different in that the first track doesn't come blasting out at full volume like you would expect. However, there is a lot of tension in 'All the Love in the World' and it builds and builds. There was some electronics, but there was also some organic sounds that were mixed to the front, piano and percussion. This was a pleasant surprise. But the way the music builds and builds is just what this album need to start it off, and by the time you reach the end, your heart is racing and your blood is boiling, and hallelujah, NIN is back!

'You Know What You Are?' follows as an upbeat and loud track and carries on with the excitement. 'The Collector' veers off in a progressive direction with some interesting and constant meter changes, and you end up with a great track that continues in the same style as previously, and by now, you are convinced that NIN is back with a vengeance. Things would be amazing if only they would follow this same trend through the album.

But this is the point where we seem to lose the forward motion of the previous tracks. 'The Hand That Feeds' is only a straightforward rock song and sounded pretty typical for the time, so it was released as a single. This same straightforwardness continues through 'Love is Not Enough' and 'Every Day is Exactly the Same' not that these are bad tracks, they just don't have anything really different and unique about them. So things begin to get a little disappointing at this part of the album.

'With Teeth', the title track, brings the hope back however, and sounds a lot more inventive and unique, especially with the sudden drop in volume and intensity in the middle of the track where things become more ambient and spacey for a while and builds back up. Great use of dynamics in this track. 'Only' is another single from the album, and is an excellent reminder of the greatness of past NIN hits, and, even though the beat is steady and pretty standard, it is very catchy and the variation of instrumentation in the background keep things interesting and exciting. The chorus is repetitive, but it is easy to see why this song would be considered another anthem in NIN's repertoire.

'Getting Smaller' starts out with some great noisy and industrial sounding effects, but it soon lapses into mediocrity with a rapid fire beat and a song sounding too much like it's trying to repeat past successes, and only succeeding in sounding copycat more than reminiscent of the older NIN. 'Sunspots' has a great bass line, but other than that, it is nothing special again. There are some places in these two songs that approach being industrial, but the effects aren't enough to carry the song into greatness as before.

'The Line Begins to Blur' is a attempt to return to the slow, dark sound of 'March of the Pigs' et al, and it does so, but after following a couple of more commercial sounding tracks, it loses it's effectiveness. By itself, it would probably fit quite comfortable in the loudness of previous albums, but with it's placement on this album, it loses its power. 'Beside You in Time' is a study in tension with somewhat subdued vocals, and tension building over a drone. This one is better, and more unique. This would be a hint at the type of great music exploration on the album 'Ghosts'. 'Right Where It Belongs' ends the original release, but it is a little weak especially considering the previous track. Again, it isn't a bad song, but it is not the finale you expect to hear after the song preceding it.

Overall, this is still a great NIN release, and in the complete context, is a good album. Unfortunately, there are weak points among the very strong points. There is hope that the NIN of the past is still there, but there are tracks when that special something is missing, probably because Trent is experimenting with other styles and sounds. There is nothing wrong with this, and in this case, it doesn't completely destroy the album, but for a while, things won't get any better in the next album 'Year Zero'. Still, 'With Teeth' still manages to come out it all as a solid 4 star album.

 And All That Could Have Been by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Live, 2002
4.29 | 25 ratings

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And All That Could Have Been
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This is the explosive live album released in 2002, at the height of Nine Inch Nails' popularity. Even though it was released in that year, the performances were from the year 2000. Trent released it as a transitory album between 'The Fragile' and 'With Teeth'. The album is, in reality, a double album, with disc 1 being the concert disc and disc 2 being a studio/live album named 'Still'. The listing in Prog Archives only has the track listing for the live Disc One. I will talk about the second disc later.

The live disc comes from the Fragility 2.0 tour. The tour consisted of a full band even though most of the songs on their original studio versions were recorded by Trent doing almost all of the instruments, mostly computer controlled synths with occasional guests. To turn what was mostly electronics previously to be performed on standard instruments is quite a feat in itself. The live disc is definitely loud, but it makes the sudden dynamic changes when they happen even more effective. The production and mixing is excellent. The audience can be heard between songs, but is mixed way down during the songs, which is great. Even though there is nothing new here, the songs prove how rousing they are in a live environment, and you can hear differences in their sound which makes them fresh, but recognizable at the same time. This has to be, in my opinion, one of the best live albums ever released. The music and the sound is superb, the performances excellent, the music exciting and even the order of the tracks is perfect. You can really feel the excitement of the live concert, and you feel like you are right there. There is a video release that contains all of these tracks, plus several others, but they are in a different order, and I can't say if this affects the overall experience, but my guess is that it is also excellent given the quality of this recording. Trent has said of this tour that he has a hard time watching himself because he was in such rough shape at the time and felt he wasn't giving the best performances during this time. I don't notice any problems with his performances, and if this isn't his best, then I can only imagine how great his best is. As with other NIN albums of this time period, they are not for the easily offended nor the faint of ear. It's not all just a loud wall of sound though, there are plenty of dynamic changes and slower, yet dark, tracks, but the overall feel is loud.

So disc 2 is not included on the above Prog Archives track listing. It can almost be considered a new album, except for the fact that 4 of the tracks are versions of previously released songs in a live, deconstructed setting (again with a full band), and 5 are new-to-this-album, unreleased songs. The new songs are mostly formed from themes that were rejected on the 'One Hour Photo' soundtrack.

This part of the album starts with 'Something I Can Never Have' in it's 'deconstructed' form. This song was originally from the debut album 'Pretty Hate Machine' and was also included on the movie 'Natural Born Killers'. This version is all acoustic with Trent on piano and John Dillon (NIN's ex drummer) on acoustic guitar. This version turns the song into a heartbreaking ballad about loss and depression. It is amazingly beautiful and heartfelt. The lyrics are even that much more powerful in this setting.

The 2nd track is original to this recording. Trent states that this instrumental is a continuation or conclusion of 'La Mer' from 'The Fragile'. It is a mostly sparse and stark instrumental using piano and some percussive instrument that sounds like a combination of marimba and steel drums. It is short, but builds effectively to the end.

Next is the deconstructed version of 'The Fragile' from the album of the same name. This one is very quiet, except for Trent's own emotion through his vocals. The backup consists of electric piano sparingly played which is later joined by bass, which is also followed by a fading in of drums. Tension builds through the bridge of the song, ending with sustained guitar.

'The Becoming' from 'The Downward Spiral' in this instance is very percussive through the first verse, then joined by piano and base with a plucked sound and sparse guitar. Again, most of the dynamics here are in Trent's emotional vocals. This is a very inventive version of the song, and almost better than the original in this version. The tension is very prevalent throughout this version.

'Gone, Still' is the 5th track and is another original. It is also an instrumental, again sparse, but this time with guitar, piano and synths. The guitar and piano play repetitive melodies and the synths provide texture. The title definitely reflects the feeling of the track.

'The Day the World Went Away' comes next in it's new form. It did appear on the live portion of the album on CD 1. This time, it is even more sparse starting out with only guitar. The 2nd verse builds on this by adding a persistent slow beat and plucked/strummed acoustic guitar. Piano also joins in almost giving it a bright sound, but the bright tone gets flattened as the song goes on.

'And All That Could Have Been', the title track of the entire album, is an outtake from 'The Fragile' that was unused before this point. It is a complex song, dark starting out slow and building tension as it continues. The vocals here are from Trent of course, first sounding far away, but suddenly getting louder. The verses are in 7/4, the chorus in 4/4 and the mostly instrumental bridge in 6/8. Dynamics are used quite intelligently in both vocals and instruments. This reminds me of 'Signal to Noise' from Peter Gabriel as far as the structure, feeling and tension building goes, just without the orchestration.

'The Persistence of Loss' is an apt title for this beautiful instrumental. It is based on a repeating motif that starts out quiet and then other instruments start to layer in, including horns. The repeating motif, which lasts 10 meters on each instance, is reflective of the 'persistence' and the sadness/slowness of the piece reflects the loss. The added instruments represent memories.

'Leaving Hope' is another slow paced instrumental driven by piano with tense sound effects, supposedly built from past vocals that have been treated so they sound more like electric current running than they do vocals. This is another pensive yet lovely track. Sustained and treated guitars come in later adding mostly texture and feeling to the track.

This 2nd CD to this album proves Trent's ingenuity and musicianship. His music isn't simply industrial rock or loud noise, you can hear, especially in these more sparse tracks, that he is an amazing composer. You have to listen closer in his louder music, but here, it is more evident. I highly recommend this entire package as an essential album that bears testament to the amazing music of NIN and Trent Reznor. It gives you a chance to hear the power of NIN in concert and also in a more quiet setting, just so you can experience for yourself how amazing this music really is. Like I said, this is one of the best live recordings out there, and the addition of 'Still' solidifies this by making this album that much more of a must have. 5 stars.

 Add Violence by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2017
2.54 | 8 ratings

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Add Violence
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars As much as I wanted to like this EP, I just can't call it anything but mediocre at best. This was the second in what was supposed to be a series of 3 EPs released after "Hesitation Marks". It starts out well enough with "Less Than" which was also released as a single. This one sounds a lot like the way NIN used to sound, hard and straightforward. This is the kind of song I used to love from NIN, so things seem positive at the beginning. However, this track sounds nothing like the rest of the EP. The next track is "The Lovers" which seems dark, but vocals are mostly spoken and the track, though it shows some promise, never really goes anywhere. The music is sounding more like electro-industrial without much of an edge. The 3rd and 4th tracks have even less substance. Sure, it's great that NIN was experimenting with different sounds, and they did that quite well with the "Ghosts" CD, but this time it falls flat.

The 5th track is a strange one. "The Background World" starts out really well, and you actually have an 11 minute track here. The first 4 minutes of this track is a definite 5-star song, but there is a sudden change as a looped sequence starts to repeat itself. This goes on for the rest of the track, but listening closely, you start to hear background noise come in. The noise and fuzz slowly get louder over the next 7 minutes as the loop continues, until it completely takes over the loop sequence. So, what was the background becomes the foreground and vice versa. By the time the track expires (that's what it does, simply expires) the noise sounds more like an industrial drone. There is nothing wrong with drones, but the loop repeated ad naseum and the continual noise get very annoying.

This seems like a failed attempt at finding a new sound. I give NIN props for trying, but I don't feel the same passion for the music (except for the first track and the first part of the last track). Maybe the last EP will be better. It is now considered an LP which will be released later in June 2018. It will only be around 30 minutes and Trent wanted to change the designation to LP because he felt that EPs get lost in all the singles that get released, which he probably has a good point. The good news is the plan is to still only charge the price of an EP. Anyway, this EP is not worth looking for unless you are a collector or fan.

 The Downward Spiral by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.05 | 132 ratings

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The Downward Spiral
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

4 stars Come back to my younger days. One of the most important creations - both for NIN (aka Trent REZNOR) and the alternative industrial rock scene - 'The Downward Spiral' released in 1994 should have exactly amazed me in my 'non-progfreak' days. In those days I've got immersed in novel alternative pop / rock like 'Nevermind' (Nirvana) or 'Vs.' (Pearl Jam) but a tad got bored with media-oriented tunes or creations. Although it's said in general NIN has made his progressive identity just in the following album 'The Fragile' indeed, Trent's squeeze kinda starshine into my brain, with his EP 'Broken' in 1992. His second full-length album 'The Downward Spiral' featuring violent electronic explosions and ironic acoustic texture can be called as a sort of development for progressive industrial hardcore, let me say ... and honest to say, also for me, it should have been a stairway to progressive rock world.

The first brilliance 'Mr. Self Destruct' is Trent's musical collective at that moment. Extreme sound violence, expressive loud electronic craziness, impressive improvised guitar riffs by Adrian (I didn't know at that moment, shamefully!) ... on the contrary, the following one 'Piggy' is cold, bluesy, and mysteriously quiet, featuring Trent's quirky voices. 'March Of The Pigs', that has appeared in Billboard Hot 100 and disappeared very soon, sounds like a delicious but rough desert lunch with an acoustic dessert at last. Another similar case can be heard whilst the latter section in this album, especially between 'A Warm Place' and 'Eraser' ... surrealistic moment and infernal end. Basically this stuff consists of exaggerated loudness and weird quietness one after another. This contrast was (and is even currently) innovative. Old but novel, in conclusion.

 Broken by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1992
3.58 | 50 ratings

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Broken
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Nine Inch Nails was a band I got into in the mid-nineties, though I no longer recall how it was that I heard of them or decided to buy their albums. My first purchase was "Further Down the Spiral", a collection of remixes of songs from "The Downward Spiral", which was my second purchase. I had "March of the Pigs", yet another remix album, but I was so disappointed with it that I eventually sold it.

"Broken" was my final NIN purchase. It sounded very different from what I had heard on "The Downward Spiral" and "Further Down the Spiral" but it was still obviously Nine Inch Nails. Around that time, there was a video for "Pinion" that I saw on Much Music (Canada's music station). In the video, the camera followed a series of pipes running across the ceiling and down walls, through floors, in some building and the final scene brought us to a person tied up in black leather with the pipe terminating in his mouth and water spewing from his mouth out the sides. It's just a short track and an instrumental at that. The volume slowly rises with a creepy distorted guitar chord sequence that repeats as effects come in. Then it abruptly ends as "Wish" begins with its quick percussion and heavy guitar. "Last" was and still is my favourite song on this album. The guitar riffs sound really like Black Sabbath to me, and Trent Reznor delivers his trademark paranoid/maniac style of vocals.

I hadn't listened to the album for a long time but a few weeks ago I watched the Lock Horns (on YouTube) episode about early industrial metal albums and this one was mentioned, so I dug it out and put the disc into iTunes and on my phone. It's better than I remembered. Now I find most of the album captures my attention. The production is clear, warm, and loud but not in the red. There is an excellent balance between heavy guitar rock band and electronic band. Some songs feature some great riffs that caught my ear while I was walking and listening, tracks like "Happiness is Slavery" and "Suck". There's enough variety on this album to keep it interesting, though "Help Me I Am In Hell" is another short instrumental that is simple and a little repetitive.

One comment to make here is about the two hidden tracks, "Physical (You're So)" and "Suck". A lot of hidden track albums will put the hidden track on as part of the final track with an intervening empty gap that can be anywhere from a couple of minutes to over ten minutes. I really despise those long pointless gaps of blankety- blank-blankness. However, on "Broken" all the empty space is filled with something like 91 1-second-long blank tracks. Why is this good? Because when putting the CD into an iTunes library, you can unselect all the blank tracks and save only the tracks with music. My iTunes folder now has only 8 music files for this album instead of eight plus 91-something blank tracks. Good thinking, guys! A huge blank gap in between two tracks that make up only one track on the CD is really the pits!

All in all, a very good bit of industrial metal. It's not every track that's a killer but there's a lot of great stuff here! On Lock Horns, by the way, the album made the list of ten essential early industrial metal albums.

 Fixed by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1992
3.30 | 18 ratings

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Fixed
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by thwok

4 stars I think it's interesting that NINE INCH NAILS' music is categorized on this site as Crossover Prog, as opposed to Progressive Electronic. Is it based on the idea that Trent Reznor writes what most people would consider actual songs? I am a very big fan of NINE INCH NAILS. I rarely listen to any other bands who play electronically-based music, for lack of a better term.

Over all, I enjoyed Fixed quite a bit. This EP is as much the work of Trent's collaborators as it is Trent's. Their radical tweakings of Trent's songs are mostly compelling. The nine minute version of "Wish", surprisingly, is probably my favorite. Unless you know the Broken EP very well, I wouldn't choose these remixes first. However, this is an interesting 40 minutes of music. Since, we're not allowed half stars in our rating system, I'm going to bump this up to 4.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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