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Nine Inch Nails [reviews]
Ghosts I-IV |The Null Corporation, 2008, {halo 26}|

Ghosts I: 01. 1 Ghosts I, 02. 2 Ghosts I, 03. 3 Ghosts I, 04. 4 Ghosts I, 05. 5 Ghosts I, 06. 6 Ghosts I, 07. 7 Ghosts I, 08. 8 Ghosts I, 09. 9 Ghosts I
Ghosts II: 10. 10 Ghosts II, 11. 11 Ghosts II, 12. 12 Ghosts II, 13. 13 Ghosts II, 14. 14 Ghosts II, 15. 15 Ghosts II, 16. 16 Ghosts II, 17. 17 Ghosts II, 18. 18 Ghosts II
Ghosts III: 19. 19 Ghosts III, 20. 20 Ghosts III, 21. 21 Ghosts III, 22. 22 Ghosts III, 23. 23 Ghosts III, 24. 24 Ghosts III, 25. 25 Ghosts III, 26. 26 Ghosts III, 27. 27 Ghosts III
Ghosts IV: 28. 28 Ghosts IV, 29. 29 Ghosts IV, 30. 30 Ghosts IV, 31. 31 Ghosts IV, 32. 32 Ghosts IV, 33. 33 Ghosts IV, 34. 34 Ghosts IV, 35. 35 Ghosts IV, 36. 36 Ghosts IV

The newest Nine Inch Nails 4 CD set came out unexpected with no greater promotion opposite to With Teeth released in 2006 and supported by an interactive, mysterious conspiracy-like promotional acts. The difference to that record is even more significiant as all of the new songs are only instrumental, featuring Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Alan Moulder, Alessandro Cortini, Adrian Belew and Brian Viglione, all mastered by Tom Baker who worked with NIN in the 90s.

First of all, the album has been offered in pre-sale under Creative Commons license, what means sharing and remixing possibilities with a limited use but still leaving a lot of opportunities to manipulate the files. Secondary, Ghosts I-IV has been available in a few purchase options, also as downloadable files (from NIN server which actually came across an overloading and was shut down for a few minutes) and from ...The Pirate Bay torrent server. The limited, printed and signed by Reznor 4CD version of 2500 CDs was sold during the 2 days, being sold a day after for a price of $1500-2000 on eBay (a price on nin.com was $300 per CD set) tho the auctions were removed from the service quickly.

Those 36 songs were recorded during 10 weeks, as the band say, with no scheduled concept and preparations. Other than that I like when the musicians improvise, what seemingly turns out the best in jazz music, but here we have ambient, electronic music cut with rock vibes thanks to Adrian Belew, King Crimson guitar player, who worked with NIN on their The Downward Spiral and The Fragile albums. In fact his guitar improvisations drew my attention the fastest with all those contrasts and changes of the tones, both intriguing and innovative, while his guitar sound flows limitless.

The names of the tracks look confusing. The pattern looks like 1 Ghosts I, 23 Ghosts III, for all 36 songs tracks on all 4 CDs but as Trent Reznor's satirist and commentator Meathead noticed correctly, it would be kind of ridiculous to shout out during the show a request for playing f.e. "9 Ghosts II". But NIN isn't into fulfilling the requests so we can omit this issue now I guess.
Ghosts I-IV is a set of songs which demand a full concentration. Those songs may not touch ones while the others can sink into the alpha state of dreaming and sail along with the tunes far away. The musicians used a whole spectrum of instruments, having dulcimer and marimba (a kind of a xylophone used in f.e. traditional African music) amongst all. This mixture turns out really interesting, tho music magazines and stores will have a problem where to put new NIN CDs to. To me they sound more ambient then any time before.

The NIN fans consider how far Trent can go once being very aggressive, demolishing gears on the stage like in the 90s, then letting other people have an input in less and less aggressive music to lead to a mellow, almost pop music in the name of With Teeth made by a bald guy seemingly pumped out with steroids. And this guy doesn't care of what they say but walks firmly straight ahead along his path and releases his ideas indisputable.

The album will be officially released on April 8th in stores. I don't know how to review separated songs as it's way difficult to review blurred patches of sounds with often ambient or ballad background, cut with guitars, with a sound of exotic instruments and sometimes drum'n'bass rhythms too, but it's one of the best NIN albums amongst The Downward Spiral or The Fragile, undoubtedly linked to that one. Personally I do like compositions from Ghosts II and III but also tracks numbered as 3, 7, 12, 14, 18, 20 (very industrial), 21 (amazing Belew's riffs), 23, 31, 32, 33 i 35 (more industrial tunes in those, TDS-like stuff), 26 (the only one rock track on Ghosts) and 29 (for bass). However if anyone asks me which singular track I liked the most I won't give any answer as I won't remember any of those.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, 03/30/2008. Must not be used for promotional or commercial purposes. See a Legal Note for the copyrights below)

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