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Nine Inch Nails - Further Down the Spiral CD (album) cover

FURTHER DOWN THE SPIRAL

Nine Inch Nails

 

Crossover Prog

3.28 | 26 ratings

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TCat
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.

TCat | 3/5 |

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