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Soundgarden vs. Nine Inch Nails – Classic Cage Match

Soundgarden vs Nine Inch Nails
A&M / Nothing/Interscope

First off, congrats are in order for Iron Maiden‘s ‘Phantom of the Opera,’ which just concluded its Classic Cage Match Hall of Fame run by defeating four other tracks from the year 1980 over the past month. With the Iron Maiden tune retired to the Hall of Fame, that makes room for two new competitors in the Classic Cage Match.

Our new battle takes us to 1994, a great year for hard rock! And one of the band’s leading the way was Soundgarden. The band released their ‘Superunknown’ album to great acclaim and the single ‘Black Hole Sun’ was virtually inescapable during the summer of ’94. The wicked guitar licks, Chris Cornell’s voice and a sinister vibe has made this a song that has stood the test of time.

Their opponent is another band that left their mark on 1994 — Nine Inch Nails! Trent Reznor and company’s angsty yet brutal album ‘The Downward Spiral’ was a huge presence in 1994, due in part to the breakout single ‘Closer.’ The fact that a few curse words were in the song didn’t diminish its impact, as an edited version kept this animalistic industrial-funk standout on the airwaves.

It’s a tough battle of two amazing rock songs that dominated 1994, and by the way, both acts will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of their respective albums this year on a co-headlining tour. So which one do you choose? Listen to both Soundgarden’s ‘Black Hole Sun’ and ‘Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Closer’ at full volume in the players below, then vote for your favorite in the Classic Cage Match Poll.

(This Classic Cage Match will run until Friday, May 16, at 2PM ET. Fans can vote once per hour! So come back and vote often to make sure your favorite song wins!)

Soundgarden, ‘Black Hole Sun’

Nine Inch Nails, ‘Closer’

Rules of Classic Cage Match:


Classic Cage Match songs must be at least 10 years old. Fans can vote once per hour for their favorite song. If a band remains the reigning champ for four straight cage matches, they are entered into the Loudwire Classic Cage Match Hall of Fame. With so many great songs out there, we have to give other bands a chance!

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