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Review: Nine Inch Nails, SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Five stars

THERE'S more to Trent Reznor than this menacingly maniacal monster before me, spitting out, "I'd rather die than give you control", with all manner of melodious malice. Much more.

For a start the growl at it's most frenzied, is underpinned with the crunchiest of crunching power chords, and the synth lines are as compelling as anything his contemporaries such as Gary Numan or Depeche Mode have programmed.

As the seemingly tortured industrial rocker who turned 49 on Saturday stalks the stage like a lion impatient for a bite of bloody animal flesh, it is hard to fathom there is actually a soft side.

Then I recall this is the man who became a score composer to create the award-winning mood music of the David Fincher films The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

It's been 25 years since Reznor's breathtaking debut album Pretty Hate Machine and LP cuts Head Like A Hole and Terrible Lie remain irresistible cornerstones of Reznor's live Glasgow romp.

Since then, Nine Inch Nails were transformed into one of the most ferocious sonic forces in rock as reflected here in an insurrectionary run-through of March of the Pigs and a riotous Wish.

The less abrasive new long-player Hesitation Marks provides the sweaty bodies with the fidgetingly trippy Copy of A and the nearest thing Reznor comes to pop, the glorious Came Back Haunted.

We close with the ugly beautiful Hurt; as eerie and loathesome an ode about regret and alienation as there is and while it glides and broods against fleeting incisions of murderous guitar as the blindly faithful crowd chant, "I will make you hurt", it is clear this is as close as he comes to his more contemplative classical muse.

Which begs the question is the beast now a convincing act, or was I witness to the symphonic suffering of a tormented soul? It's a question, that does not need an answer.

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