Nine Inch Nails Hesitation Marks Review


Anthony Airdo, Columnist

Nine Inch Nails is at it again, with their first release in five years. The question is, can Trent Reznor, a now happily married award-winning artist, capture the essence of the rage within in his heart that’s fueled his music for the last 20 years? The answer is yes, and Reznor is as strong and passionate as ever. The industrial metal he pumps out of his soul is just as real and cutting edge as his smash hit The Downward Spiral. Nine Inch Nails’ past few albums have had decent reception, but this album is one of the most definitive and focused efforts the group has made.

The new album, Hesitation Marks, is just as dark as its predecessors, yet it captures a careful balance of anger and reflection.  This beautiful balance is not captured in the first single of the album, “Came Back Haunted,” which is a very unmemorable, jagged song, with overly crowded instrumentation. However, the second single, “Copy of A,” is an awesome opener for the album, and the lyrics are just as clever as the instrumentation is beautiful. “Everything,” the third single, is possibly one of the most original and happy sounding songs Nine Inch Nails has ever made. As the song progresses you can feel it switch emotions as a pendulum of triumph and failure.  It’s a fantastic listen, and it’ll have you singing along instantly.  “All Time Low” is a throwback to the excellent sound of their first album “Pretty Hate Machine,” and it has the slow dance beat to match. “Find My Way” captures the real darkness the album has to offer, and you can feel the song creep inside you in the way only Nine Inch Nail’s songs can. “I Would For You” is a haunting melody, and the lyrics are a masterful telling of the dark side of love.

The album’s closer “Black Noise” is a disturbing, dark ending. It has no lyrics, but the instruments scream despair. Overall, this album is beautiful dissonance, and it’s one of Nine Inch Nails’ best.