It seems like the main issue some people have with Bad Witch is the fact that it’s classified as an album. Yeah, at 6 tracks and just over 30 minutes, you can make the argument that it’s more like an EP, but does that really matter? Let’s just focus on the musical ingredients, cause there’e plenty happening there.
It’s a quite eclectic set of songs, and while the album starts out with a pretty typical industrial vibe you’d expect from Trent Reznor, elements of jazz and ambient are introduced deeper into the tracklist, and it makes for a few seriously surprising moments. But as I said, it starts off pretty normal: Shit Mirror features a great, motoric riff and some really catchy melodies buried underneath the sinister, industrial mood. The following Ahead of Ourselves combines hypnotic verses with sudden outbursts of noise and screams, drowned in distortion and reverb.
After these two, typical NIN songs, we get an instrumental, dark, jazzy Play The Goddamned Part. As weird as it may be, it actually fits very nice in the tracklisting, and serves as a good introduction to God Break Down The Door. Now, this song is the undisputable highlight. It obviously is hugely influenced by the sound of David Bowie’s Blackstar (even Reznor’s vocals here feel like they were inspired by the late star), but given an uniqe NIN industrial twist, which results in one of the most stunning tracks I’ve heard this year – the outro is just magical.
The two last tracks continue with the jazzy flavour, but they’re much more stretched and feel like borderline ambient sometimes (especially I’m Not From This World). The hypnotic bassline and repetitve vocals of Over and Out bring this album to a close in a spectacular fashion.
So while it’s extremely fresh and exciting, Bad Witch is also a record that leaves you with a sense of hunger, and that’s my main problem with it. Sure, it’s more cohesive that way, but it just makes you want MORE. So please, Mr. Reznor, give us more of the same. Hopefully very soon.