Industrial metal icon, Trent Reznor, returns with NINE INCH NAILS in 2018. The new album is titled “Bad Witch…,” and after one listen of the record in its entirety I feel this is definitely the most blatantly disturbing work ever released by the Satanist noise maker. You don’t really get much in the form of a traditional rock song, or anything cohesive for that matter. The genius in what Reznor has achieved here is layered synth sounds that carries you off into his version of Hell, and with its moody textures tied to one grotesque vision, Bad Witch is a breakthrough in modern music. Certainly the David Bowie influence Reznor has relied upon over the years is more evident than ever, although the mastermind takes the earlier NIN sound and expands upon it. The opening track, “Shit Mirror,” is totally brilliant. Ian Astbury of THE CULT adds his vocals to the mix.
Despite being the shortest album of the band’s legendary career, clocking in at thirty minutes, the complex, over the top psychedelic delivery makes it feel much longer. Along with his trusty partner in crime, Atticus Ross, these two have crafted a masterwork in utterly bleak music. In one sentence, this sounds like what you would imagine a crazy acid trip to sound like if it could be turned into noises instead of strange waves of images. Up next, are the melancholy “Ahead of Ourselves” and “Play The Goddamned Part”, building the frenzy of pain into a seething display of solitude.
On track four’s “God Break Down The Door”, Treznor plays the saxophone. It’s a wild ride of jazz fusion meets electro rock, and is followed by the equally as impressive “I’m Not From This World.” Credit needs to be given to Alan Moulder who handled the mixing and Tom Baker who took care of the mastering, with additional help coming from engineers Chris Richardson and Justin McGrath. The album concludes with my personal favorite, “Over and Out”, which has a real catchy bass line played over and over with a trippy drum pattern, and Reznor’s vocals are simply out of this world good.
NINE INCH NAILS – “Bad Witch…” (CD)
(The Null Corporation/2018)
1. Shit Mirror
2. Ahead of Ourselves
3. Play The Goddamned Part
4. God Break Down The Door
5. I’m Not From This World
6. Over And Out