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Nine Inch Nails Releasing Hesitation Marks with Four Different Covers


The Many Faces of Trent Reznor

I can’t decide if this a really cool thing to do at a time when album art is being drastically undervalued, or a complete waste of time. But since Nine Inch Nails’ new album, Hesitation Marks, is going to be released in four formats — digitally, on vinyl, on CD, and on “deluxe CD” (it comes with a love seat and a large hamburger with the works) — Trent Reznor has decided to go ahead and release four different versions of the album’s cover, one for each separate format. Now see here:

If you’re thinking “Gee, that looks kinda similar to the style of the Downward Spiral cover,” well, there’s a reason why that’s the case: these pieces were created by Russell Mills, the same artist who did Spiral. Says Mills of the work via NIN’s Tumblr, where they don’t believe in a clear separation of paragraphs:

The artworks, (30 mixed media pieces) that I eventually produced towards uses in the Hesitation Marks releases, evolved out of lengthy exchanges between myself and Trent and in response to the conceptual ideas that thread through the tracks and to the sonic territory that the album explores. I’ve tried to lock into the album’s prevailing mood and echo the album’s essence. The ideas are not communicated in a literal or easily digested form, as this would be boring for me and would insult the intelligence of a potential audience. I’ve tried to make works that obliquely allude to the essence of the subject matter, to its emotional core.
As with my self-initiated works – the paintings, assemblages, collages and multimedia installations – personal ideas and obsessions seep into these works. The organic, the natural, prevailing over or feeding into the industrial, the man made, is a common theme in my work generally and in this instance was particularly apt for the art required.
The works explore ideas of catharsis, of being into dissolution into being, both on a personal and sociological level. They allude to ideas about chaos and order. They deal with ways of suggesting presence in absence. They are a cross between the forensic and a pathology of the personal in which only fragments remain, in which minimal clues can suggest events that may have occurred. They attempt to harness the chaos of a situation, of now, of the personal trauma, of the human condition, into a form that is coherent, a form that accommodates the mess without disguising it as something else. It attempts to capture the essence of these ideas by implication and exclusion. Beneath the form lies the uncertainty and ceaseless flux of the mess, of the chaos.
An amalgam of the contextually-anchored and the process-driven, they are hopefully powerful, arresting, seductive, suggestive and resonant. I hope that they will invite multiple readings.

I stopped reading around the phrase “sonic territory,” but hopefully you found that interesting and way profound.

Hesitation Marks comes out September 3. Reznor and company kick off a North American tour at the end of that same month; get dates here.

[via Metal Insider]

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