Nine Inch Nails Echoes Its Past But Looks to the Future

Michael Bonanni, Senior Staff Writer

In the world of music, there are usually a couple of bands that define a genre­—Nine Inch Nails is one of them. With their newest album “Hesitation Marks” they continue to define industrial music and maintain their sound.

The album is very similar to the sound of their 1994 album “The Downward Spiral.” This is definitely a less experimental Nine Inch Nails, putting emphasis on the electronic side of their sound and the minimalism of the beats.

Many songs sound very similar such as “Came Back Haunted,” “Running” and “Various Methods.” The songs don’t have the distortion or varied sounds like those of “The Downward Spiral,” which causes them to blur together and become less memorable. Each track starts the same way, with the beat going for about 20 seconds and then the vocals coming in. However, the choruses also can’t seem to make up for the rest of the song.

Songs that nail this minimal approach include the first track, “Copy of A,” which is led by an intro track called “The Eater of Dreams.” This track is slightly underwhelming despite its name. It has a memorable beat but only picked up slightly at the chorus to keep the atmosphere of the song, sounding like the first Tron movie or an old Playstation game. “In Two” is one of the few tracks with an aggressive, harsh beat and more menacing tone, which sets it apart from most of the album. Lastly, there’s “Everything,” which is completely different from everything (no pun intended) on the album. It has actual guitars, a drum machine beat and a slightly poppy tone which makes it an album standout.

Overall, the album is good for those who like Nine Inch Nails or industrial music and want to see where it might be going. It may be disappointing to some people due to it not being an awesome “rock out” album or having any of the experimental qualities of previous works, even though tracks such as “All Time Low” and the outro “Black Noise” echo the Nine Inch Nails of old. Hopefully the next album will feature more variety and use this new sonic landscape more successfully.

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