The Downward Spiral review by Nine Inch Nails

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  • Released: Mar 8, 1994
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.6 (101 votes)
Nine Inch Nails: The Downward Spiral

Sound — 9
The Downward Spiral. Probably the most influential industrial album out there. This is not Broken part two, but the famous screaming from Trent are still here. Distorted vocals, distorted guitars, and techno loops are presents here to bring something new to the table. This is an excellent album, even soundwise. The slow peacefulness of a Warm Place to the violent and chugging Reptile. The sound is great, overall.

Lyrics — 10
Trent is an odd lyrcist. Looking at the Downward Spiral booklet, the lyrics were incredibly interested because he doesn't follow the traditional chorus verse outline, Trent wants to tell a story. The best lyrical example is Hurt or the title track, due to it's simplicity and effectiveness.

Overall Impression — 9
No words can describe this album. I have no major problems with this album. 01. Mr. Self-Destruct- kind of slow at the beginning, but turns into a barrage of screams and guitar. It's alright. 02. Piggy- I hate this song. It is slow, has a steady beat, but doesn't really go anywhere song wise. This is the first we see of the many refrences to pigs in NIN's work. 03. Heresy- Great song, it is about denying God or something like that. Great catchy beat the beginning, and there is great singing in this. 04. March of the Pigs- This ia one of NIN's classics, but it is extremely short. The riveting beat and screams are the highlight, and it includes a jarring piano section in the climax. 05. Closer- This song is legend! This is NIN's superhit and if you were download a song from them, this would be it. THe slow, griding beat that seems to fit in nightclubs and the ending is the best part. Just a great song overall 06. Ruiner- This song's chorus is pretty good, even though it seems to be refering to a penis. "how'd you get so big? How you get so hard? How you get so strong? How you get so long?" It has a great beat to it. 07. The Becoming- Is this song about rape, because the women screaming at the beginning is odd. The chorus and acoustic outro is great. 08. I Don't Want This- This song is dull and boring, I am not even going to review it. 09. Big Man With Gun- Eh. It's okay, the lyrics are good, but the song is short and uneventful. 10. A Warm Place- A good song. The only really slow soft song in the album, something you wouldn't expect from this album so far, 11. Eraser- This song shows Reznor's simple, yet effective lyrics. It starts off slow, though. 12. Reptile- An excellent song. It has a slow, killer beat that sounds like meat getting cut up. THe lyrics are impressive, something about a whore. 13. The Downward Spiral- A song about depression and suicide. This song demostrates Reznor's audio representation of a story being told. The screaming in the background can only represent the character's thoughts and agnoy. Truly a masterpiece. 14. Hurt- Another standout on the album. It has a acoustic guitar playing an out of tune riff that represent the out of tune mind of hte character. It's a good sad soft that really has an ugly ending which I hate. Overall the album is great and I recommend buying it.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    tim western
    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.
    Well given that there are thousands of supposed Gods it's unlikely that if one was to exist it would be the Christian God. So you might find he did pick out that song and didn't give a shit... Either way good album but i do actually prefer Johnny Cash's cover of Hurt.
    def the best NIN album for me the second best.....ehh i'm tied between pretty hate machine and the fragile
    Dream Pin
    Howie, didn't your mother ever tell you not to speak ill of the dead? Also, great review, no complaints here, and an amazing album. Definately a modern classic.
    FUCK JOHNNY CASH!!! why the hell do u think he picked the song to re-do? it was because he liked it so u can shove johnny cash up your ass bitch!!!!!