Nine Inch Nails
The Downward Spiral


5.0
classic

Review

by Porter W. Richards USER (62 Reviews)
June 2nd, 2007 | 19 replies | 5,200 views


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Classic album that captures fear, aggression, paranoia, and regret all in one not-so-pretty package.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

When Pretty Hate Machine was released by Trent Reznor under his psuedonym Nine Inch Nails back in 1989, rock and industrial fans had no clue how great this band would truly become. One of the most influential rock and industrial bands of all time, Nine Inch Nails would go down as God's gift to industrial music. But with Pretty Hate Machine the music wasn't as aggressive, or beat-driven as traditional industrial music. When Broken was released, 'Nails fans got a taste of what was to come from Trent Reznor's pet project in the future. Loud, aggressive, furious, and angry, the album captured a more mainstream style of industrial rock, while incorporating some of Trent Reznor's famous angst-filled lyrics. But what happened in 1994 would change industrial rock forever; as The Downward Spiral hit store shelves.

There is no perfect album, but Nine Inch Nails' second full-length release comes darn close. Managing to capture angst, depression, insomnia, and paranoia all in one twisted album, The Downward Spiral excels in ways not many bands will ever accomplish. Not many bands can manage to tell a story as dark as this album, but it does very well. This album follows a tale of suicide, from the aggressive Mr. Self Destruct to the absolutely depressingly dark Hurt; the album tugs at emotions and will forever be one of the best emotional albums of our time.

When Reznor decided to record this album in the Manson murder house, he had no clue what was about to happen. He was about to capture human fear, emotions, and anger all in one exclusive package in the best place you could think of; a house with horrible, horror movie-esque stories. Trent Reznor sited the house he recorded this album in many songs, such as the title March of the Pigs, Piggy, and in random lyrics thrown about the album; and it all seems to fit together nicely. Filled with ferious, aggressive tracks like Mr. Self Destruct and The Becoming to slower, dancefloor-like beats Closer or atmospheric, heavy-hitting emotional songs Hurt, it manages to be a wild trip through human emotion.

The way the album flows together is impeccable; and it never seems to overwhelm like Broken. After a nasty fast, feriocious track like Mr. Self Destruct it slows down into the rhythmic, catchy Piggy, and it does this for most of the album. There's plenty of tracks that blend together perfectly as well, as if they were meant to be played together, like the duo I Do Not Want This and Big Man With a Gun. It gives you plenty of room to breathe, especially like the slow-burning tracks like Eraser and Hurt. You just can't pass up how varied and how well this album works as a whole.

There's one song on this album that deserves a whole paragraph dedicated to it, and that would have to be Closer. Everyone's heard it at least once even if you don't know it. It still turns heads, still shocks and scares people at the same time with its dirty, unprintable chorus. The dancefloor beat to this song is addicting as well as the keyboard squiggles, tones, and the beats that mix along with the main beat. And, if you can get past the sexual connotations in the chorus line, you see a darker meaning, representing actually about degredation of oneself through sexual acts; which manages to shine a bit more light on the lyrics and the video; making it less vile and repulsive lyrically.

The Downward Spiral works together perfectly and tells a terrible, tragic story of a man contemplating suicide, commiting suicide, and looking back upon what he had done. Its angry, just like most Nine Inch Nails albums, but it has a certain 'epic' charm that even The Fragile and Year Zero don't have. What this is, I don't know; and has become one of the 90s best albums, if not one of the best albums of all time. I don't know how I lived my life without hearing it, and you will too once you've listen to The Downward Spiral all the way through.

Go out and buy it.

Now.

DOWNLOAD:
Mr. Self Destruct
Piggy
Heresy
March of the Pigs
Closer
The Becoming
I Do Not Want This
Hurt



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user ratings (2933)
Chart.
4.4
superb
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
NOTINTHEFACE
June 2nd 2007



1653 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I actually haven't heard anything off this. Wanna come buy me a copy? :-P

Actually I've been meaning to get into this band for awhile. I just don't know where to start. This sounds like a good one, but is it where I should START?

And your review is good, too. The track-by-track-except-not-really format works alot better here than in your Deftones review, probably because of the concept nature of this album. You got my vote.

PaperCities
June 2nd 2007



199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I dont really like the track-by-track thing, but it was still a good review. And the album is amazing.

tribestros
June 2nd 2007



918 Comments


Start with Pretty Hate Machine or With Teeth. They are the most easily accessible albums.

Altmer
June 3rd 2007



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is my first and only NIN album. Good stuff.

tribestros
June 3rd 2007



918 Comments


Broken, The Fragile, and Year Zero take awhile to get into, so best to listen to them if you're ready to give it multiple listens.

Two-Headed Boy
June 3rd 2007



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Amazing album.

tribestros
August 11th 2007



918 Comments


Re-written this review as well.

sharkboy
August 11th 2007



33 Comments


why do rewrite every damned review you write

tribestros
August 11th 2007



918 Comments


Because my first reviews were crap I wrote so I could boost my stats.

sharkboy
August 11th 2007



33 Comments


stats dont matter you cheesehead. this is why sonictheplumber is so retarded becus of people like you

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
August 11th 2007



15732 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sharkboy and Lavagril was a bad movie.

And Tribestos, don't rewrite your reviews for stats, this isn't like a video game where you can show off how awesome you are on the internet. Rewrite crappy reviews sure, but do it because you want to, not because of your rating on a website.

Also, lol at your recommended tracks. Piggy is teh sucks.This Message Edited On 08.11.07

Confessed2005
August 11th 2007



3314 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, all of those tracks as recommendations is a bit much.

I would say March of the Pigs, Closer and Hurt of course. But the album has be listened to in it's entirety to be adequately appreciated.

sharkboy
August 11th 2007



33 Comments


Sharkboy and Lavagril was a bad movie.


hey electro city
















































go suck nads

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
August 11th 2007



15732 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

lol

tribestros
August 11th 2007



918 Comments


I wasn't rewriting them for stats. I re-wrote my crappy reviews because I'd like to increase my approval rating and don't want the bad ones on my name.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
August 12th 2007



15732 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I wasn't rewriting them for stats. I re-wrote my crappy reviews because I'd like to increase my approval rating


...So stats.

tribestros
August 12th 2007



918 Comments


Because my crappy reviews were dragging my approval rating down.

This was a crappy one.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
August 12th 2007



15732 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Your approval rating is a stat, so you were rewriting them for stats..

The rewrite is good, though, don't get me wrong. I like this album in small doses, but is doesn't warrant the sex it gets in my opinion.

Chewie
December 30th 2007



4531 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

hmmm, good review except it was a bit too fan-boyish. Now i also give the album a five, but talk just a bit more about the album and not the fact that its "awesome." still good review though.



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