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Last modified 04.03.02018

The Downward Spiral Nine Inch Nails

Album review by André Dack, Frederick O'Brien, and Andrew Bridge


The Downward Spiral serves as a reminder that music can often be the purest form of human expression. As a work of art, Reznor takes us into the deepest and darkest places of the human psyche, questioning the importance of control and the relevance of religion; all the while depicting the bleak dehumanization of society and its effect on ones individuality.

Reznor set a benchmark in the industrial rock genre, whilst simultaneously providing a form of therapy for millions of angst-filled listeners who inevitably soaked up his devastating portrayal of nihilism. In hindsight the record was truly ahead of its time - even today it feels only the slightest bit aged - and the innovative production techniques used across the album are still mimicked to this day.

The Downward Spiral is a masterpiece, a work of art that has changed my life and will most likely stay with me forever. Who knew despair was so alluring?

10 out of 10

Favourite tracks // Closer ­Ruiner ­Heresy


It was a horrible experience. I haven’t slept soundly since.

9 out of 10

Favourite tracks // A Warm Place ­Closer ­Reptile


There’s so much emotion in this album, the themes are pretty dark to begin with and powerful instrumentation and the intricate composition really produces, at least from me, a huge amount of empathy. While I always rush over lyrics, some of the lyrics in the album are intense, veiled, and simply striking. It’s been a slow burner though, it’s certainly not a ‘happy’ album, but one that I’ve really grown to love.

9 out of 10

Favourite tracks // Eraser ­The Downward Spiral ­Ruiner