Into The Never – Adam Steiner (Backbeat Books)

Love them or hate them, there’s no doubting the creative genius that is Trent Reznor- the groundbreaking frontman of Nine Inch Nails. In 1993, when he decided to move into the Charles Manson murder house, he was getting himself into a mindset that would change the musical landscape forever. This was the dark place that Reznor craved to create an album that would cause a seismic shift in alternative rock that still resonates even now. That album was The Downward Spiral and it stands as one of the definitive albums of the nineties. In producing a book about the creation of this masterpiece, you would expect the same sort of fanatical commitment from its author and that’s exactly what author Adam Steiner has delivered.

Into The Never, is the definitive book about this album and may even stand as the most definitive book about any album, because the depth of knowledge in these pages is absolutely staggering. This is clearly a labour of love for Steiner, who investigates every part of every song down to the minutest detail. From the THX1138 sample at the very beginning to the sound of apocalyptic landscapes that play out Hurt, absolutely no stone is left unturned. Steiner has spent time examining the sentiments behind every track and giving them a thorough assessment, giving you an all-access pass to Reznor’s headspace while writing the album, as well as a political view of the world in which it was created. The painstaking practicalities of writing actual riffs and creating the perfect sounds are given the once over by Steiner, in such a way that you’d think he was sat in Charlie’s old gaff, while Trent waved his magic wand.

If you are reading this, then you already know that The Downward Spiral is one of the most perfectly formed albums of all time, betraying the time period it was made in. Bear in mind this was when analogue recording was still a thing and samples and noises had to be created authentically, so Steiner also delves into the technological side of things and how Reznor was forced to push musical and technological boundaries in order to achieve the sound he wanted

Into The Never is as painstakingly crafted as The Downward Spiral itself was and what Adam Steiner has essentially created here is the ultimate accompaniment to a timeless album, to the point that it should be sold with the album….Chris Andrews

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