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Nine Inch Nails - Ghosts I-IV CD (album) cover

GHOSTS I-IV

Nine Inch Nails

 

Crossover Prog

3.96 | 83 ratings

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TCat
Prog Reviewer
5 stars What kind of album do you expect to have when Nine Inch Nails releases a double album of all instrumental music? Is it going to all be like soft new age music? Is it going to be experimental? Is it going to be loud and noisy? Well, I wasn't sure what to expect, but with Trent Reznor's work with soundtracks, I kind of expected mostly soft, atmospheric music not unlike new age style music. Well, you do get some atmospheric beauty here. But you get so much more than that too. There is some harsh music, some industrial sounding music, some electronic, some experimental music....really there is a lot of everything here, and it is all some of the best and most progressive music ever put out by Nine Inch Nails.

Reznor's contract with the music labels had ended and he finally had the freedom to do the type of album he had been dreaming about for a long time. The music is still surprisingly very NINs-like and there are times when you know who you are listening to. But, in most cases, the music is so much more deeper than this. And you never know what's coming next. Beautiful soundscapes with a lot of the slightly muted piano, piano that sounds like the brightness has been toned down and there is that slight feel of uneasiness, even in the most relaxing tracks.

Other times, you get jolts of tense textures, very often similar to other NINs music, sometimes repetitive as you would expect from industrial music, and other times very innovative and experimental. I did not expect this much variety from this album, and that is a very pleasant surprise that so many styles and sounds are explored here. Sometimes keyboards take the lead and other times guitar leads the soundscapes, helped along many times by none other than King Crimson frontman Adrian Belew, who at times even brings echoes of the ProjeKcts. Other times you get the experimental electronic sounds that echo the sounds of Eno or other greats. Many times the music is simple and beautiful, other times it is complex or harsh.

Those who really explored this music discovered that there were pictures that accompany the tracks here. Many of these pictures were what inspired the sounds of these tracks and they are available at the NIN wiki site with a track by track description of the music for those who are interested. It doesn't really do any service to you however for me to analyze and evaluate the music on a track by track basis here, because there is so much going on here that is beyond words. Just know that this is an amazing collection of inspiration and art. This album is also the reason why NIN belongs in the Archives. This is definitely a masterpiece of instrumental neo-prog and is an essential work for those who are not satisfied with only listening to progressive music of the past. 5 stars.

TCat | 5/5 |

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