Nine Inch Nails: Bad Witch review – an inventive, aggressive return

(Caroline)

Having spent most of the last decade concentrating on Academy award-winning film scores (2010’s The Social Network) and his How to Destroy Angels project, Trent Reznor rebooted Nine Inch Nails in December 2016 with Not the Actual Events, the first in a series of three EPs. After last year’s Add Violence, Bad Witch completes the cycle, its three distinct moods suggesting a triptych within a triptych.

Opener Shit Mirror reprises some of the aggression of the first two EPs, is distorted of guitar and vocal, and recalls nothing so much as 1999’s Starfuckers Inc stripped of its quieter interludes; Ahead of Ourselves follows in a similar vein. But Play the Goddamned Part changes tack, its insistent yet discordant sax riff backed by a thundering bass line and beats that sound like detonations. There are echoes of If They Move, Kill ’Em-era Primal Scream given an industrial makeover and God Break Down the Door adds skittering rhythms to that template. The final two tracks are more sombre, particularly closer Over and Out, Reznor repeatedly crooning “time is running out” against a building storm of noise.

Watch the video for God Break Down the Door by Nine Inch Nails.

Contributor

Phil Mongredien

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Nine Inch Nails: Hesitation Marks – review

Nine Inch Nails' first album in five years reveals frontman Trent Reznor's new-found maturity, writes Hermione Hoby

Hermione Hoby

31, Aug, 2013 @11:06 PM

Article image
Nine Inch Nails to return with 'reinvented' lineup
Trent Reznor will be joined by members of King Crimson and Jane's Addiction for an arena tour, with some dates this year

Sean Michaels

26, Feb, 2013 @12:48 PM

Article image
Nine Inch Nails – review

Techno-goth Trent Reznor prowled like Predator but stayed remarkably human in NIN's warm-up for Reading and Leeds, writes Mark Beaumont

Mark Beaumont

21, Aug, 2013 @1:04 PM

Review: Nine Inch Nails

6 out of 10: Leeds, Friday, 7.50pm. Worse than your worse nightmare - which is a selling point for some.

Dave Simpson

25, Aug, 2007 @2:57 PM

Nine Inch Nails, Astoria, London

Astoria, London

Caroline Sullivan

01, Apr, 2005 @11:06 AM

Nine Inch Nails, Apollo, Manchester

Four stars Apollo, Manchester

Dave Simpson

28, Feb, 2007 @11:47 PM

Article image
Nine Inch Nails to 'wave goodbye' after tour with Jane's Addiction
No, you haven't been transported back to 1991. Trent Reznor's industrial metal monoliths are to embark on a farewell tour with one of their earliest gig partners

Sean Michaels

18, Feb, 2009 @11:20 AM

Article image
Lollapalooza day one review: Nine Inch Nails drive their point home

Trent Reznor's eagerly awaited return to the American stage dominated the first day of the Chicago music festival

Leonie Cooper

03, Aug, 2013 @12:58 PM

Article image
New Nine Inch Nails material 'in the works', says Trent Reznor
Industrial rockers to return after a three-year hiatus with new music and possibly a tour

Sean Michaels

08, Nov, 2012 @12:41 PM

Article image
Nine Inch Nails: Hesitation Marks – review
NIN's Trent Reznor ditches the industrial onslaught of his old days in favour of a lighter electro-pop sound, but some darkness remains, writes Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson

29, Aug, 2013 @9:31 PM