Industrial for the people

With Teeth (4 out of 6)

By Stig Henning Morken for Neste Klikk on May 3, 2005

Dark and heavy rock hasn’t been the same since nu-metal entered the scene in the late nineties. Evanescence’s semi-dabbling with the goth genre didn’t improve matters, nor the fact that the comedians of Rammstein all of sudden were seen as the hardest rockers in the business! Image sells, no doubt about it, but then it’s also good to know that someone always stays true to their own (and the genre’s) ideals.

Although many only know Trent Reznor as the guy-who-made-the-cool-Johnny-Cash-song-that-played-on-MTV, Reznor and Nine Inch Nails is so much more than the song “Hurt” or [Norwegian] Idol (Erik Flaa sang it during country evening a few weeks ago).

This is the king of pitch-dark industrial rock who once in a while surfaces to give his fans something to scream about!

Nine Inch Nails (Reznor is NIN, and NIN is Reznor) broke through with “The Downward Spiral” (1994), which for many is the masterpiece of industrial rock.

In many ways, you can say that Reznor with that album rediscovered the youthful and melodramatic angst that grunge was about to destroy in the early nineties.

The album sold five million copies, and in addition to his own musical career, Reznor worked, among other things, as Marilyn Manson’s producer (“Smells Like Children”, “Antichrist Superstar”).

In other words, Reznor captured the mid-nineties Zeitgeist, and since then he has released albums more or less when he himself wanted to.

With Teeth

Now he’s here with his first big release since “The Fragile” (1999), and on his team this time is super-producer Rick Rubin (Mars Volta, System of a Down, Slipknot, Johnny Cash, Red Hot Chili Peppers) and über-drummer Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters).

Musically speaking are these 14 songs moving in the landscape of cold, electronic and melodic rock. In other words, classic industrial rock, where Reznor first and foremost impresses as a vocalist. In many ways, Reznor resembles a cold, cynical and less polished version of Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Audioslave).

The hardest rockers are songs like “The Collector”, “The Hand That Feeds”, “Love is Not Enough”, “Every Day is Exactly the Same” and “With Teeth”, and it’s easy to understand why this man is so respected.

It’s bone-hard, gloomy, melodic, prompt and no less than splendid industrial rock. It should also be said that the record contains to very competent “ballads”: “All the Love in the World” and “Right Where it Belongs.”


Reznor doesn’t keep our attention all that way towards the end of the record, and it could have cut by four or five tracks.

If that were the case, the jubilation and applause from yours truly would probably be about as loud as the cheers the band gets from its more fanatical fans.

Translated by Sveinung Mikkelsen

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