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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 17, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Accent

Review: Industrial rock performer returns to familiar territory

Nine Inch Nails "Hesitation Marks"

In the four years since the release of “The Slip,” Nine Inch Nails frontman — and the only official member of the band — Trent Reznor has kept busy. He has scored the films “The Social Network” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” won a Grammy for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for his cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” and released an album with his second band, How To Destroy Angels. Now the hardcore king is back with Nine Inch Nails for its eighth studio album, “Hesitation Marks.” The latest record brings new flavors of sound, while harkening back to the traditional, industrial rock sound that fans expect from the band.

“Hesitation Marks” sounds like a conventional Nine Inch Nails album, but with a twist. The track “Copy of A” carries an industrial soundscape that delivers various abrasive electronic keys and aggressive drum beats typical of the group. While the track “Everything” deviates the most from Nine Inch Nails’ traditional sound, it brings a happy and upbeat pop sound completely unexpected of Reznor.

The album still has Nine Inch Nails’ usual dark beats, but these ominous tones contrast with more hopeful songs like “I Would for You.” In this song, Reznor produces chaotic beats and sings with a calming voice that contrasts with the distorted guitars in the background.

“Hesitation Marks” is a great revival for Nine Inch Nails. This album delivers new sounds that may not draw a hardcore audience, but still brings back the expected synthesized layers and angsty tones for the devoted Nine Inch Nails fans.