The Downward Spiral album is Nine Inch Nails’ most consistent, unified piece of music and remains one of the most artistically and culturally significant albums of the 1990s, with an influence that reaches well into the present day.
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NINE INCH NAILS AND THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN VIOLENCE: BEFORE AND AFTER COLUMBINE [1994-1999-20??]
Nine Inch Nails “Big Man With A Gun” portrays a negative character in order to question the media-saturation and gangsta-rap glamorization of gun violence and straight, white violent masculinity, highlighting the use and abuse of firearms in America. In spite of this, the song and Nine Inch Nails’ music in general, would stand accused of directly inspiring and causing gun violence in the form of the Columbine High School shooting of April 20, 1999.
BIG MAN WITH A GUN– How Nine Inch Nails Took On Censorship and US Gun Culture – And Lost – Pt I
On Big Man With A Gun Nine Inch Nails presented the negative side of guns in America — gross and grotesque, violent and vulgar — another painful reality which some of its citizens prefer not to see. As the narrative voice behind The Downward Spiral album Trent Reznor is forever torn between running away and confronting the issue head-on.
[Breaking The Spiral] – Netflix Documentary Reveals How Trent Reznor wrote ‘Hurt’ and The Downward Spiral Broke Into The Mainstream
Reznor had his doubts about Hurt, conscious that even though it is not explicitly about suicide, perhaps a death revisited, it might still allow people to wallow in its mood long enough to fantasise about their own passing. Even though Hurt perhaps offers a glimpse of hope, it remains mired in realisation perhaps too late, and this distanced perspective can become appealing if it is allowed to be romanticised into the idea of being ‘in a better place’.
[RUINER] – REZNOR LEARNS TO LIVE THE LIE
So much of The Downward Spiral deals with things falling apart. Across the album we witness the narrator’s decline in slow-motion, powerless to stop the downward trend. As he loses control the songs become darker in tone but also more broken and diffracted in style and substance, this kaleidoscopic effect presenting the various aspects ofContinue reading “[RUINER] – REZNOR LEARNS TO LIVE THE LIE”