Nine Inch Nails bite back ‘With Teeth’

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Artist: Nine Inch Nails Album: With TeethAlbum Highlights : “The Hand That Feeds,” “Getting Smaller” and “Only”

Since 1999, Nine Inch Nails fans have been waiting for new material to follow up the double disc release “The Fragile.” Well folks, the wait is over!

During the first week of May, Trent Reznor, front man and composer of NIN, released his fifth full-length album, “With Teeth”.

This new album is a fresh and diverse display of Reznor’s unique talent. It is driven along by a solid backbone of instrumentation. Less synthesized than many of his previous releases, Reznor shows his firm knowledge and performance of various instruments. He still knows how to add an industrial flavor with synth drums, rhythms and melodies.

The first track, “All the Love in the World,” has a simple synth drum pattern at the beginning, with a layer of desperate vocals complimenting the ambient harmony and classical piano. It then breaks into a thick house dance beat, worthy of anthem status. The album immediately turns full circle, revealing Reznor’s truly jagged musical persona. This heavier groove leads into the albums first single, “The Hand That Feeds,” which also has a dancey rhythm.

This album is dragged on a musical roller coaster through sludgy bass riffs and hazy synth melody. The title track makes its mark with a slow and heavy, almost hip-hop drum beat, accompanied by fuzzing bass and wailing guitars. In the middle, it breaks into quiet piano and whispering, only to smash back into the grinding chorus.

He continues to bounce back to the retro techno dance beats with the song “Only,” which sounds like a nod to his original release “Pretty Hate Machine.” But then, it’s followed by the almost-punk anthem “Getting Smaller.” This album is erratic, and as it progresses into the deep recesses of Reznor’s twisted soul, the songs get darker and more desperate.

It’s the album’s closer that really tears at the heart: a tragically beautiful piece of musical composure with lyrics which could rival the message of his song “Hurt,” this song forces you to stop and really ponder the world around you.

Reznor had said in a newsletter that this album was to be predominately lyrically and vocally based, and after listening to it, I completely know why. Though a lot of the themes addressed are much the same as previous releases, the specific words used show a fresh reflection and new point of view. His vocal patterning improved greatly, and serve as much of the rhythm and melody.

The album also features a DVD side with a remastered playlist, complete discography, and the video for “The Hand That Feeds.” For more information, visit www.nin.com/with_teeth.

All together, this album is a fantastic release and a noble follow up to 1999’s “The Fragile.”