Category Archives: Industrial

The Downward Spiral #3: “Closer”

This is the third part of my The Downward Spiral Series. Here are the links to the first and second parts if you  need to get caught up.

#5 The fifth song on The Downward Spiral album, “Closer,” is probably the most known Nine Inch Nail’s song. It was played excessively in the mid-90s and was know for its explicit chorus, “I want to fuck you like an animal.” Because of this line, many people describe it as one of the sexiest songs ever. However, in the context of the album, it has a completely un-sexy meaning. As the main character goes further down the spiral of depression, anxiety, and psychosis, he turns to meaningless, animalistic sex to make him feel again–to feel anything again. But this does not work. Throughout the whole song, we can see he is going further into his depression. He talks about how his “whole existence is flawed,” how he has no “soul to sell,”  how having sex is the only time he feels good about himself since it makes him “perfect” and “helps [him] get away from [his self].” This song is anything but sexy: it is a desperate cry for help and one of the saddest songs I have ever heard.

The music video fits the theme of the of the song perfectly. The raw sexual nature comes from Trent’s overt sexuality, the S&M paraphernalia, and the numerous freudian imagery. The animalistic nature and the idea of the decay of the body comes from the rotten carcasses and heads. The feeling of desperation and despair comes from the dark atmosphere and the emotion in Trent’s voice and body language. Yes it is disturbing and  banned from MTV and youtube, but portrays the message of the song flawlessly.

This song/video is my favorite Nine Inch Nails piece and one of my favorite songs/videos of all time. Never have a heard a song with such raw emotions, such heart-rending lyrics, and such a stunning musical backdrop. Never have I seen a video with such detailed and disturbing but surprisingly beautiful imagery. Trent, you have created a masterpiece that will never age.

Also, if you have 30 minutes to spare, their is an amazing video of the making of the movie that describes the director’s processes and the numerous homages “hidden” in the video.

It may be long but it is well worth your time. Plus, The Closure DVD that this “Making of” video is from is extremely hard to find. I have been looking for a year now and have yet to see it in stores or see someone selling it on Ebay, Amazon, etc.

ll

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Filed under Closer, Industrial, NIN, The Downward Spiral, Trent Reznor

The Downward Spiral #2: “Heresy” and “The March of the Pigs”

This is the second part of my The Downward Spiral Series. So if you missed the first one, you can go back a read a little bit into the album and the its huge importance in my life.

#3. Although some of the songs on The Downward Spiral have layers of hidden meanings, “Heresy” is very forthright and clear.  Some people believe that this song represents Trent’s (Nine Inch Nail’s founder, singer, songwriter…basically the entirety of the group) views on religion aka that Trent does not believe in any god at all. However, I have a completely different view on the song. The main character of the album, as he spirals downward, slowly turns away from religion. Perhaps he was a strong believer and prayed religiously to his god to help him. As things in his life become worse and worse, he revokes his belief and lashes out at other people that believe. He finds fault in christianity, stating that it is “dreamed” up. He shows how god is not always portrayed as forgiving and loving but rather a god that rules over a kingdom of “killing suffering and pain.”

I can relate to this very well. When I was in the worst parts of my eating disorder and depression, I wanted nothing to do with god or any religion. I didn’t understand why god would prevent me from living a normal life and seemingly place obstacle after obstacle in my way. To this day, I still have a rocky relationship with religion. I believe in some higher power but still do not believe in a god that seemingly controls and doles out horrible hardships to his “followers.” I could go on, but I have probably made everyone mad at me and no one will ever read my blog again. But, I really just wanted to show how extreme depression or hardships, similar to the problems faced by the character in the album, makes people question their faith and potentially lash out in despair as demonstrated in the poignant song “Heresy”.

#4 The forth song, “March of the Pigs” is the hardest song on the album for me to understand. From listening to it countless times and discussing it with others, I now interpret it as Trent’s (and the album’s character) way of saying, “Fuck you society and conformity”. The pigs discussed in the song are people lining up with everyone else, conforming to the current society. Consumerism (“Feed/”Greed) and corruption (“lies”) are huge parts of the conforming society that the character rebels against. But only when people “take the skin and pull in back” (aka deshilding their eyes from the conformity) can they actually live life (“feel better”). Lyrics can be found here.

I also really enjoyed this video because it is so raw and filled with emotion. (Plus it has Trent in it so how could I not love it).

Same sort “question” as yesterday: What are your thoughts on the album and the concept? And more specifically, has your faith in something (god, deity, spirit, entity etc) wavered or completely disappeared because of hardships you had to face?

ll

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Filed under Industrial, NIN, Rock, The Downward Spiral

The Downward Spiral #1 (The Series I Have Been Dying to Write)

For anyone that is keeping track, this is my 50th post on this blog. As I said before, I made a rule that I couldn’t feature an artist twice before I got to this 50th post. And I did–no repeats. So now I am free to post whatever! Of course I will still feature new groups, but I have been dying to re-feature my favorite “group” of all time, Nine Inch Nails.

I am serious when I say that Nine Inch Nails changed my life–not just my taste in music but my life. This change mostly occurred from discovering the extremely powerful album The Downward Spiral. I argue that it is the best concept album in existence, but I might be a little bias. (If you have other contenders for that honor, please tell me about them!)

I knew I wanted to feature the entire album because each song is an essential part of the unfolding story, so featuring one song would not adequately describe the meaning and emotion behind the song. But I knew that no one would sit through an entire post about 14 songs. So over the next week I plan to discuss 1-3 songs in each post, detailing the overall concept of the album and how each song adds to the elaborate and deeply emotional story. I hope you tune in for all of them, or at least listen to some of them, since this album speaks to so many people on so many different levels. A word of warning though, this album is not a pop or even “normal” rock album. The Downward Spiral explores some of the deepest, most  unpleasant areas of the human psyche. However, it has helped me understand parts about myself that 8+ years of therapy could never do.

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A little background before I get into the actual music (sorry! hang on a little longer, it will be worth it): The Downward Spiral was released in 1993 and was Nine Inch Nails’ third album. The main concept of the album is a man’s downward spiral of self-destruction. Yes, it seems unhappy and perhaps not even worth listening to, but believe me (from someone who has exprienced the lowest of low in her life) this song really resonates and actually helps one understand one’s self better.

#1. The first song, “Mr. Self Destruction,” introduces the listener to the main “character–a man that has many self destructive vices that are personified by “Mr. Self Destruction” Mr. SD is many different vices such as drugs (I’m the needle in your vein) and sex (I’m a whore). But Mr. SD also provides hatred, guilt, lies, addiction, and loneliness. Thus, Mr. SD is the man–the man is his worst enemy. One that he can never escape. One that controls him.

I picked a video with the lyrics since it is a little hard to understand Trent at first. But through the noise, comes this voice filled with so much emotion. Emotions of self-hatred, self-judgement. And who can truthfully state that these or similar thoughts haven’t clouded his or her head. How many can say they never have times when they felt inadequate and used something–alcohol, drugs, food, lack of food–to combat or dull those feelings of unworthiness. But, this behavior creates an endless cycle of guilt, judgement, and self doubt–a downward spiral.

#2. “Piggy” is the next song on the album. The song documents another step downward for the man. Although he was in a relationship, it ended in “broken bones” and him becoming increasingly alone. The man directs his anger at his former girlfriend, saying that finally he is alone now and no one can stop him, covering up his emotions of sadness and betrayal. This song is crucial in setting up his broken relationship with this women, a relationship that increases his descent.

The next post will feature 2 subsequent songs from the album. In the mean time, feel free to tell me your opinion on this album or other interpretations of the songs/album.

ll

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Filed under Industrial, NIN, Rock, The Downward Spiral, Trent Reznor

“Counting Bodies Like Sheep”- A Perfect Circle

Warning, the song of the day is pretty graphic, political, and some people might totally hate it. But I am really liking it lately so I’m going to feature it. I found A Perfect Circle after my love affair started with Nine Inch Nails (don’t worry, our relationship is still very hot). It turns out that the lead singer in A Perfect Circle was actually a member of Tool. And though I am not a fan of Tool, I love many Perfect Circle songs.

“Counting Bodies Like Sheep” is one of the bands most well-known songs and I think it even got air time, though I was too young to remember it. Although I could describe the song and its meaning, the video really speaks for its self.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5924746289065671707

I like the message, however depressing it is. And Maynard, the lead singer, has a great voice even when he is screaming. Check him out in his cover of “Imagine” (originally by John Lennon). His voice is mesmerizing.

I don’t really have a question for this post. Nor does anyone really comment (which I am totally fine with, I just want people to hopefully enjoy the music).

ll

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Filed under A Perfect Circle, Industrial, Rock

“Save Yourself”- Stabbing Westward

I was going to have a song by Jessie J for today’s song but I realized that I had featured british artists for the past couple days so I decided “jump the pond” (sorry, that was really lame).

I found Stabbing Westward after I fell in love with Nine Inch Nails and was looking for similar artists. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a industrial rock/metal band that consistently produces amazing songs like NIN does. Oh well. But I did find some artists that have some pretty good singles including Prick, Tool, and Stabbing Westward. My favorite song by the latter is “Save Yourself.”

It is so angry but yet has a catchy, almost pop beat that it is unlike some really angry songs with lots of screaming (those have their place, this one is just more “mild”). I also like it because I can connect with it. I sometimes feel that I just help others with their problems and never “save” myself. I have shit going on in my life, we all have shit. And normally I am great at helping people since I cherish my friends and family and want them to be happy. Unfortunately, there are those days that I just want deal with myself and no one else and thus I listen to this song so I don’t yell curse at real people (I would never do that, I swear).
Sorry, that was more of a rant than a review. But that is what happens when I feel overwhelmed and it has been raining for the past 5,000 days (I sometimes exaggerate a bit). I promise I will pick an uplifting song tomorrow.


Yeah, the music video is a little lackluster, just a random collection of scenes but it is interesting to watch. No where near NIN’s videos (“Closer”, you will always be my favorite song and video) but I really do like this song.

Has anyone found any industrial rock/metal bands similar to NIN? Or if you hate this type of music, what should I feature in future posts?

ll

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Filed under Industrial, Stabbing Westward