Nine Inch Nails
The Downward Spiral


5.0
classic

Review

by Defeater USER (5 Reviews)
March 2nd, 2011 | 78 replies | 4,816 views


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A generational shift

13 of 13 thought this review was well written

Apocalypse has been explored since the beginning of time. Apocalypse on a personal level is not liked or talked about nearly as much. The Downward Spiral fully realizes the role the individual plays in their downfall, instead of blaming outside forces. And this distinction clearly defines the difference between the current generation and those who were just entering adulthood around the time this album came out. We’re continually losing the ability to find a source of personal accountability. Other people may make choices which you view as unfair or threatening, but it’s your decision to do with them what you’d like. That is what The Downward Spiral is: a lesson in narcissism, personal accountability, and value of choices. Today the theme is known; the accountability is not.

The majority of the album is incredibly abrasive, with songs lashing out at concepts from broken relationships, God, and violence. It’s very drum and bass focused with various levels of distortion used for the guitar passages to create an effective electronic layering; samples from babies crying to people screaming to bees buzzing display a dire atmosphere as the main character meets face to face with his living hell. There are a few slower moments in the middle of the chaos which fail to change the mood because of their search for depression instead of peace. The protagonist is the man witnessing the unraveling of his life as the antagonist (the decisions, thoughts, and actions taken by the main character) completely destroys the life he once knew one step at a time. There’s no one else to blame but himself. As the character realizes this, he takes his own life and finally discovers the nothingness which was trying to consume him all along. The final realization is met: No matter how we live our lives, they all end the same way.


user ratings (2790)
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Defeater
March 2nd 2011



5782 Comments


And that's how it's done Francis.

eternium
March 2nd 2011



16209 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Short and simple, doesn't cover all of the bases but definitely gets the point of the album across.

pos

Digging: Thou - Heathen

Wizard
March 2nd 2011



18784 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Broken is better.

Digging: Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

Defeater
March 2nd 2011



5782 Comments


Broken is probably my second favorite.

WashboardSuds
March 2nd 2011



4888 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good review man, pos'd.
I don't have this album, but the songs I've heard from it are pretty good.

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins

SowingSeason
Emeritus
March 2nd 2011



14512 Comments


why is this album getting so much attention all of a sudden

ShadowRemains
March 2nd 2011



19440 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

why not

SowingSeason
Emeritus
March 2nd 2011



14512 Comments


not that i have a problem with it. listening to it now actually

somberlain
March 2nd 2011



2121 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so is this a companion to the 'defeated' list?

good review though

BloodSweatandBeers
March 2nd 2011



978 Comments


"The ruiner's a collector he's an infector serving his shit to his flies
Maybe there will come a day when those that you keep blind will suddenly realize"

Defeater
March 2nd 2011



5782 Comments


so is this a companion to the 'defeated' list?

good review though


I hope not. There's probably more truth to that than I know though.

Satellite
March 2nd 2011



19879 Comments


i really dig this review. as far as i'm concerned, there's no need for a review to be much longer than this (and it sure as hell better justify being long super long if it is).

also, instead of picking apart every minor detail, you dealt with a singular theme. i like that. i'm much more interested when a review tries to explain the IDEA of an album rather than treating the review as a fucking consumer guide.

tl;dr good job and review more

Digging: The Menzingers - Rented World

Defeater
March 2nd 2011



5782 Comments


all right, thanks man.

And I do have to review more.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
March 2nd 2011



10553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Holy shit Defeater, great job

Digging: Saintseneca - Dark Arc

Defeater
March 2nd 2011



5782 Comments


Thanks.

crazyblinddude
March 2nd 2011



3389 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nice write-up man. I'm glad more people have been checking this album out recently.

Blindsided
March 2nd 2011



1871 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Abso-fucking-lutely.

Ovrot
March 2nd 2011



10253 Comments


I want to fuck you like an animal.

Defeater
March 2nd 2011



5782 Comments


well I'm glad this is going over well

I didn't know if people were going to hate on it because of the length or not

Pizza
March 2nd 2011



687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, it's short but it describes the album very well. I haven't listened to this in forever but i'll give it another spin soon



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