Noise metal band Health has teamed up with industrial metal gods Nine Inch Nails for one killer track. The last fully lyrical studio record put out by Nine Inch Nails was Bad Witch in 2018. Health has brought them back with Isn’t Everyone, which harkens back to the industrial apocalypse that was Pretty Hate Machine in 1989. Health’s dark synth electro metal takes a lot from Nine Inch Nails late 80s – 90s work, which is what makes this collaboration so perfect.
The low bass dirge mixed with insect like beeps and screaming metal shrieks is both mesmerising and terrifying. This dark and foreboding sonic landscape is the hallmark of industrial metal made famous by bands like NIN and KMFDM. You feel like you are trapped in some digital hell descending into Dante’s Inferno. However, there is a beauty in its construction that you can’t avoid. Health has found a way to sonically go right past all of your defences and reach into your soul. Having said that, like all good metal the terror is what makes the track so exhilarating. Much like a good haunted house or watching Malignant in the dark, there is a fine line between fear and pleasure. Health seamlessly dances on this line throughout the track, which creates an emotional journey unlike other metal tracks out there.
Trent Reznor is in classic NIN form with his sharp vocals and lyrical horror. His vocals have always had this steely dentist drill quality, which was a perfect fit for Nine Inch Nails’ industrial take on metal. He sings about depravity, spirituality, self – loathing and pigs in the trough…which are all classic Reznor themes. Much of this song feels like a lost track off of Pretty Hate Machine, until Health’s Jake Duzsik’s etherial vocal comes in to freshen up the entire track. Duzsik’s vocal is beautiful and fragile, which acts as an excellent foil for the dark synth surrounding him.
The best collaborations highlight each artist’s strengths, while also bringing you something new. Isn’t Everyone is a great example of what made Nine Inch Nails such a force in the 90s, while also showcasing Health’s ability to breathe new life into metal. What makes this track so captivating is how it is a tale of contrasts. You have a classic 90s throwback NIN track within a modern metal context, while Duzsik’s fragile vocal resembles a rose blooming within a desolate hellscape. Incredible.
Listen to Isn’t Everyone