Not The Actual Events, the first new Nine Inch Nails music for 3 years, is an EP that needs play after play to take all of it in. As a band, NIN have always looked to break down barriers & deliver sensory music that draws from all areas.
While their recent output hasn’t quite hit the heights of The Downward Spiral/The Fragile/With Teeth trio this EP is a return to form that leaves you gasping for more.
This is a return to a darker, harder sound while retaining the effects that makes Nine Inch Nails such a unique band. The short opener Branches/Bones deliberately tries to unseat you with its buzz-like bass sounds. Trent Reznor sounds great & it’s fantastic to hear him really throw his all into the sudden spikes in volume.
The drum intro of She’s Gone Away that gets backed up by a haunting effect before the vocals come in is one of the high points of an EP that has very few lows! Dear World, is the weakest song on the EP dialling up the electronica a bit too much. It’s got a nice beat but it’s really repetitive & gets old very quickly.
The use of electronica may put some people off at first but songs like The Idea of You have more then enough to please ardent rock & metal fans. It’s got a real classic NIN feel about it & the drum/guitar combo is utterly fantastic.
The best is saved till last though, Burning Bright (Field on Fire) is up there with some of the best work NIN has done. You want dark & heavy? This is it. Mind-numbingly black it’s beat is all doom & gloom with only the occasional lift as Trent sings “break through the surface”.
It’s a fantastic finish to an EP that is a welcome relief. You never know what you’re going to get with NIN but they’ve delivered a killer piece of music. If this is a sign of things to come on a future album… well, we are in for a hell of a time.
Overall Track Listing:
2. Dear World,
3. She’s Gone Away
4. The Idea of You
5. Burning Bright (Field on Fire)
Nine Inch Nails - Not The Actual Events (The Null Corporation)
The Final Score - 8/10