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Nine Inch Nails’ forthcoming new album, Hesitation Marks, will feature four different covers. The band revealed the album art, which was created by artist Russell Mills, earlier today. Mills has previously collaborated with the Trent Reznor-led group — he created the artwork for 1994’s The Downward Spiral as well as several other Nine Inch Nails releases from that period.
The four covers correspond to the four formats in which the album will be released on Sept. 3. Each also boasts its own title: Turn And Burn (digital), Time and Again (standard CD), Cargo in the Blood (Deluxe CD) and Other Murmurs (vinyl). To create the artwork, Mills combined traditional materials like oil and acrylic paints with sundry objects that he subjected to a variety of chemical processes, including burning, bleaching, calcification and erosion. Some of the objects used in the art include blood, copper wire and rusted linen.
“This renewed collaboration very quickly suggested massive potential for the strange and the familiar to collide and collude in works that I hoped would encapsulate, by allusion, suggestion, metaphor and association, the conceptual ideas imbued in the album as well as in the undertow of its sonic world,” Mills said in a press release. “I’ve tried to make works that obliquely allude to the essence of the subject matter, to its emotional core. I hope that they will invite multiple readings.”
He added further explanation on NIN’s Tumblr page. “The works explore ideas of catharsis, of being into dissolution into being, both on a personal and sociological level,” Mills wrote. “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.”
Mills has previously produced artwork for albums by such artists as Brian Eno, David Sylvian and Peter Gabriel, and for books by Samuel Beckett and Ian McEwan. His artwork, just a few of 30 pieces he created for the album’s packaging, joins the recent David Lynch-directed video for Hesitation Marks’ first single, “Came Back Haunted.”
Hesitation Marks marks Nine Inch Nails’ first album for Columbia Records. The band will be headlining Lollapalooza and Outside Lands in August before embarking on a North American tour this fall.
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