Nine Inch Nails / Not The Actual Events

Not The Actual Events

Nine Inch Nails is the name of a music project by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, as well as the name of the band hired by them to perform songs while on tour. It is an industrial rock band, and the most recognized one since the genre was introduced. Before Ross’s inclusion in 2016, Nine Inch Nails was solely under the creative direction of Trent Reznor.

Nine Inch Nails (commonly abbreviated as NIN) was formed in Cleveland, Ohio, circa 1988, and has so far released eight full-length studio albums, twenty singles and EPs, a number of remix albums, and some live material. Reznor is the only official member and has always been solely responsible for the musical direction of the band. His lyrics are largely concerned with the exploration of the self, but with albums such as Year Zero and The Slip, the lyrical focus shifted somewhat to extrospection. Earlier NIN material was created almost entirely by Reznor, but starting with The Fragile, he began to allow for a more collaborative writing process involving other players.

After recording a new album, the assembly of a new band usually follows, along with extensive touring; the live component of Nine Inch Nails is largely considered a separate entity from NIN in the recording studio. NIN’s live shows often involve visually spectacular elements such as screens and lighting rigs, which have been used on the Self Destruct, Fragility, With Teeth Arena Tours (Fall & Spring), Performance 2007, Lights In The Sky and NIN 2013-2014 tours, and would sometimes culminate with the destruction of musical instruments.

Not The Actual Events (also known as Halo 29) is the second proper EP from Nine Inch Nails. It was released digitally on December 23, 2016, though pre-orders through nin.com allowed for a download one day early. This is the first release to include Atticus Ross as an official member of NIN.

The Analysis—-

Branches/Bones—-Beautifully noisy, it is a welcome joy to hear Trent back and sounding so driven. The music is layered upon layer, at times dissolving into just the bass synth that drives the track. Trent sounds more pissed off than I have heard him in a long tome….I can only imagine how this will play live with the visuals the band is famous for. Just brilliant….and the track quickly dissolves into…..

Dear World,—-Kicking off with a huge and familiar bass line, this has classic NIN all over it. The vocal….if it can be construed as such is mostly a spoken word rant that seems a bit nonsensical to me. It is the music and the intermittent sing song vocal from Trent that makes this a classic track that is quickly becoming a favorite track of mine. This is fantastic….abrasive yet beautiful.

She’s Gone Away—-Fully engaged in a apocalyptic musical delivery, this track is muddled and ugly. I love it. The deep intonation of Reznor’s vocal is broken by a melodic sense at times making you hurt, feel angry and impossibly alive inside. This is remarkable…I could not ask for more from this mini-offering…..giving me so much hope and joy when contemplating the future of a band I thought had lost the drive to continue. The layers and layers of sound combine to create a huge desolate, gray landscape that makes me feel incredibly comfortable.

The Idea Of You—-You can literally feel the static and anger burst through your headphones when this track begins. again with the odd spoken word ravings of a pissed off baby boomer, perhaps Trent has once again tapped into the feeling of a nation. when the ‘chorus’ kicks in. i can feel the mosh pit going berserk and bursting apart with kept up energy. Leaving me feeling energized and hopeful despite the darkness….I can’t wait for more.

Burning Bright [Field On Fire]—-Crashing keyboards and layers upon layers of dark noise, this is pure beautiful static. Trent is way at the back of the mix of things…allowing the huge aggressive sounds to literally trample him into the ground. This is energy……that needed to be let out of the bag. Remarkably ugly…..but exquisite in beauty, when Trent allows for a ‘clean’ vocal, it is as if he re-captures that idealistic energy he found when he first began. This is just brilliant.

***** out of 5

 

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