NINE INCH NAILS 'The Downward Spiral' LP Cover
NINE INCH NAILS 'The Downward Spiral' 2x12" LP Black vinyl
Interscope Records

Nine Inch Nails 'The Downward Spiral'

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'The Downward Spiral' is a visceral, haunting concept album, telling the story of a mans descent into despair and depravity, modeled on Trent Reznor, the sole member of Nine Inch Nails. This despair is evident from the beginning, with the album opening with "Mr. Self Destruct", a song that displays Reznors trademark whisper/scream vocal dynamic throughout, before segueing into the bass-heavy "Piggy", with an almost chant-like refrain of "nothing can stop me now / cause I don't care anymore".

The bleakness of life that 'The Downward Spiral' presents is shown through tales of self-loathing and sexual deviancy, subjects that have fueled many of Nine Inch Nails greatest songs, Including the infamous "Closer". An MTV hit that has become greatly misconstrued as a song simply about sex, it is the embodiment of the escapism and nihilistic tendencies that are present in every second of this album. The textured soundscapes that Reznor creates help to form an experience that every listener longs for with an album; the music sounds insurmountably huge, with the vocals emerging from layers of distorted sounds and blank noise ambience, shown most prominently on "Eraser".

While the album may be almost entirely desolate, the way Reznor crafts the songs with unflinching honesty and sonic precision make it such a pleasure to hear. On multiple listens, a new sound is picked up each time, or a lyric might have a different meaning than what you first thought.