Trent Reznor promised new Nine Inch Nails before the end of 2016 and he delivered. Not The Actual Events, the new EP (and first EP since 1992’s Broken) finds Trent and now full time member Atticus Ross, delving deep into the industrial landscape with a bit of shoegaze, and erratic sensibilities. There are moments among the 5 songs that hark back to the Broken days along with bits of The Downward Spiral. I can say this about the EP, if you’ve been wanting Nine Inch Nails to go back to their heavier days, then you are going to really enjoy this.
Starting off with “Branches/Bones” you know that this is Nine Inch Nails. “Dear World” is a song that take a right turn, but doesn’t lose the identity of it being a part of this EP. “She’s Gone Away” is a song that takes you on a journey all on its own. There is a real epic feel to this song. I could really see this one becoming a fan favorite like “Reptile.” “The Idea Of You” is absolute classic Nine Inch Nails from the Broken era. The distorted guitars and thrashy drums (courtesy of Dave Grohl) really make this a true stand out. This song is the type of Nine Inch Nails song, the “old school” fans have been clamoring for. “Burning Bright (Field On Fire)” is dark, heavy and deeply poetic. The screaming guitars are plyed by Dave Navarro (This marks the first time he’s played on a NIN track since the Further Down The Spiral remix album) I could see why Trent decided to put this out first.
There is a real darkness to this collection, all the while providing a sense of life, hope and relief. Trent and Atticus aren’t afraid to reach back into what Nine Inch Nails has done before, but they do it in a way that makes it feel fresh and not rehashed. Not The Acutal Events is short and sweet but, it does leave you wanting more. Either way, there is new Nine Inch Nails out there, and that makes me happy.
Overall Rating: A
Burning Bright (Field On Fire):