Wednesday 27 June 2018

Review: Nine Inch Nails – 'Bad Witch'

The third instalment of the EP trilogy that began in 2016, 'Bad Witch' finally emerges. Though classed as an LP by Trent Reznor the album is still of comparable EP length featuring a total of six tracks which is only one more that the previous two.

NIN's post 'Year Zero' output has often been criticised of being a bit safe and samey despite of its prowess. With that in mind this trilogy has been really refreshing with each offering possessing a frantic unfinished and raw energy that is at odds with the perfectionism that coloured his 90s and early 2000s output. The album has the noisy, low-fi edges of 'Not The Actual Events' and the analogue synth playfulness of 'Add Violence', and throws in overt saxophones that gives the album a hint of 'Outside' and 'Earthling' era Bowie. But most importantly out of the albums in the trilogy this one feels the most complete and well-rounded.

The Bowie influence is at its most overt on the brilliantly tense and frenetic 'God Break Down The Door' which sees Trent break out his best croon for the occasion. Tracks such as 'Shit Mirror', '
Ahead Of Ourselves', and 'Play The Goddamned Part' are a little less-user-friendly and employ more of the noise rock vibe from the first EP. However, there's a sudden turn with 'I'm Not From This World' with it's gritty and dissonant synths over a throbbing rhythmic bass line to create a haunting industrial instrumental before the album finishes on the which once again returns to Bowie territory with a nod to his late hero's final album 'Blackstar'.

The production maintains the raw and gritty atmosphere of the previous two outings. It's unpolished and almost live in its energy. But still crafted and mixed with a masterful hand and certainly doesn't feel rushed. Just honest and urgent.

'Bad Witch' pushes out from the safety of classic NIN. There is a cosmic anxiousness at play here, a sense of existential tension that permeates the tracks with discomfort and subversion. Out of the three releases in this trilogy it certainly stands apart as a stronger and more rounded release.

The trilogy as a whole, has led to a more revitalised NIN sound that raises the question that had these songs featured on one album, would the effect have been similar? Also, will we see the staggered format from Reznor and Ross again in the future? Time will tell.

Download post as PDF file
Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

[Valid Atom 1.0]

Click to download our free compilation albums!


Radio Nightbreed