The Downward Spiral review by Nine Inch Nails

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  • Released: Mar 8, 1994
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.6 (102 votes)
Nine Inch Nails: The Downward Spiral
9

Sound — 10
Its rare to find an album so diverse, touching so many corners of dynamics and timbres, that every song conjures up a feeling or memory. Downward Spiral achieves this, which makes it so appealing. The textures in downward spiral never cease to enchant and engage me. The soft "chss" sound at the start of eraser, for example, reminds me of blowing air through a straw; the machine loop of ruiner, being true to the name Industrial. On no album have I heard so many layers that every time I listen I find something new in the frey.

Lyrics — 8
One of Trents strengths and weaknesses: His lyrics can sometimes being cringe-worthy and overbearing, and sometimes so brutal and true that it reaches out and tells you something you've been thinking all along. Lyrics-wise, this is Nine Inch nails greatest album, in particular Hurt, which makes me shudder with his soft, then grating singing. Vocals on this album, as usual, are a particularly strong, as they fit perfectly with the sound. "I do not want this" is my favourite song, with a warning repetition of the title, then and blast of defiance, "don't you tell me how I feel!".

Overall Impression — 10
4x platinum, no. 2 only billboard 100, cover by Jonny Cash and more "top 100 albums" lists than you could possibly count. There's a reason for all this. This is definately one of my favourite albums of all time, so varied yet united by a feeling of being so alone. In the year 2408 this will be considered 20th century Mozart.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Mihyaeru
    sadindian88 : What do you guys think of Johnny Cash's cover? I don't really like it. It's good but not as good as Trents'.
    Suprisingly as much as I like NIN and Trents version of Hurt...I love the Johnny Cash version and actually prefer it to the NIN version....
    Kueller
    Maybe he would pick apart dogma and be happy that his creation at least has a bit of free will... Either way, I like this album, even though it's not my type of music. Sadly though, I like Cash's version better, too.
    Floydian45
    sadindian88 wrote: What do you guys think of Johnny Cash's cover? I don't really like it. It's good but not as good as Trents'.
    I read somewhere that Trent himself said in an interview that he prefers Cash's version of Hurt.
    Anno[fzk]
    Broken_Drum wrote: Shredmaster42 wrote: If God released an Album, This would be it. I doubt God would pick apart the concept of Christianity, as Trent does in Heresy, on his own album.
    DAmn it, Kueller took the words out of my mouth (or my fingers) before I started typing. Actually, I think God would take Colors (BTBAM), Calculating Infinity (DEP), F#-A (GY!BE), and this album and sync them up together.
    Broken_Drum
    Shredmaster42 wrote: If God released an Album, This would be it.
    I doubt God would pick apart the concept of Christianity, as Trent does in Heresy, on his own album.