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Nine Inch Nails - Closer CD (album) cover


Nine Inch Nails


Crossover Prog

3.82 | 18 ratings

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4 stars This release is considered a single of the song Closer to God by Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails. The interesting thing is that it is a 52 minute single. And it is a 9 track single. And it has 6 versions of the title track plus 1 other remixed song from "The Downward Spiral", a cover song and an original instrumental track. With this many remixes of the same song, you would think this would get very tiring and boring. Not so. I am amazed at this album and how you can take elements from the same song, break them down, rearrange them, and them bring it back to life as an almost completely different creature. Sometimes the remix is pretty clearly the same song and at other times it is very difficult to recognize except for some of the elements that have been added back in. This experimentation is intriguing.

It starts out with a nice techno version of the song and is easy to recognize. The 2nd track is a complete opposite to this and remains pretty much instrumental until it is halfway through. This one is very ominous and dark. Before the lyrics start, it is hard to recognize the theme but once they start, you think, oh yeah ok now I see, but the atmosphere stays the same. The 3rd track is the Deviation version of the title track and it has more of a recognizable sound with a new beat or rhythm throughout the mix and the lyrics pretty much left intact but with a slightly different feel from the original.

Just in case you are starting to get tired of the same song, a remix of "Heresy" follows as the 4th track. This is a nice mostly synthesized sounding version of the song, all of the instruments and even the vocals especially in the chorus have a synthesized sheen to it. Because of this, the lyrics are a little harder to understand than on the original version of this song, but still very recognizable. The 5th track is a cover of a Soft Cell song called ""Memorabilia". This one is very industrial-techno sounding with a consistent rhythm pounding through the entire track and mostly indiscernible lyrics. To me this is the least interesting track on the album and it overstays it's welcome.

The next track, no. 6, is a return to the title track remixed with the "internal" version. This one takes all kinds of liberties with the song, removing the beat at times, bringing it to front at others. Lyrics are repeated in muffled or whispered voices and phrases are out of order as well as the instrumental phrases put in different places, inverted, turned upsidedown and insideout. Very interesting remix. It gives you a distinct feeling of being dragged even further down into the darkness that the main protagonist in the album "The Downward Spiral" is experiencing. The song builds to a wild climax and segues into the sudden whispy beat of the next track which is the instrumental track "March of the Fuckheads" which is original and not related to the "March of the Pigs" track from the album. It is mostly rhythm and sounds, very whispy and flighty sounding if that makes sense with synthesized arpeggios traveling from one channel to the other and somewhat similar to "Fly Like an Eagle" by Steve Miller Band but very warped.

Track 8 returns to the another remix of the same theme, the Further Away version. This one is another dark spooky version which I feel represents the bottom of the pit at the end of the downward spiral were lyrics suddenly shout through. Dynamics are changing a lot here with even a short disco spurt. Everything is mixed up here. On track 9, when the original version of the song starts, it's like you have finally emerged from the darkness into some strange form of sanity. But when everything clears and you get the organized version of the song and you understand what it's all about, maybe things aren't so rosy afterall. But I know this, after this terrifying ride, the orginal song stuck on the end of the album is like a welcome relief.....until you get that extended ending with the distorted piano, then you think maybe things aren't so rosy afterall.

This is a great remix album and is probably the closest a remix album will get to being a concept album, continuing the story from "The Downward Spiral" or experiencing the downward journey through one theme and a lot of variations. Either way, it has a lot of the same effect as the original album does and I find it very effective and interesting most of the way through the album. I do consider this an excellent addition to your prog collection especially if you are a fan of hard industrial sound, I could even consider this a close kin to King Crimson's "Thrak" album or even the "Thrakattack" album in that it is similar to it's effectiveness. Anyway, that's it. 4 stars. One of the best remix singles/EPs ever.

TCat | 4/5 |


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