Nine Inch Nails
Year Zero



by eggsvonsatan USER (8 Reviews)
December 4th, 2007 | 20 replies

Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Message to Trent: Anyone is capable of writing a politically inspired album. You are capable of writing beautiful music. Stick to what you do best!

NIN- Year Zero

Now before I begin, I should let you know that NIN has been one of my favorite bands since the age of 13, so I definitely have some bias writing this review. However, it shouldn’t stop me from tearing this album apart.

When I think of Nine Inch Nails, a few key words come to mind: angst, emotion, intensity, passion, to name a few. I see absolutely none of those on this album. I have absolutely no problem with bands adjusting their style, so long as it’s some kind of creative and musical evolution. When listening to the NIN discography between Pretty Hate Machine and The Fragile (Trent Reznor’s masterpiece IMO), one can see a definite forward progression. With each step, he takes something from the old and incorporates it into his new material, while adding new elements along the way to create his own signature style. Between 2000 and 2005 however, the progression made by Trent isn’t like anything we’ve seen in the past. Where’s the feeling? Where are the instrumental epics that Trent is known for? Where are the sound-scapes that can drive you into a schizophrenic rage or carry you into a serene dreamland? These days NIN sounds terribly uninspired.

The whole composition of this album is a complete mess. Rather than creating an album, it seems that Trent wrote a handful of songs and threw them on a CD (after all, he did write most of this CD while on tour). On The Fragile and The Downward Spiral, there are almost no silent moments. Each song carried in and out by Trent’s gift to create ambient noise.

The first track, “The Beginning of the End” doesn’t seem to really go anywhere. It starts off with some incoherent chords and a monotonous drum beat that carry it through the entirety of the track. At this point, I’m not convinced that this album is worth the hype Trent tried to stir up. By track three, “Survivalism” Trent brings back some sounds that sound like they would fit more appropriately on 1989’s Pretty Hate Machine. Unfortunately, any potential once held by this song is ruined by the incredibly annoying electric drum kit. I realize that I am a drummer, and most percussionists have an opposition to electric kits, but I really feel like it pulls away from the intensity that Reznor is known for

Another thing that bothers be about this album is the songwriting. Nearly every song follows a traditional “intro, verse, course, verse, course, outro” formula. Anyone who known anything about NIN knows that Trent is capable of writing amazing compositions, but this time around he has a blueprint that’s been duplicated for nearly every song on the album.

Now, let me give credit where credit is due. The lyrics here are well thought out.
She gave us all she had but
We went and took some more
Can't seem to shut her legs
Our mother nature is a whore
This reminds us that although, Trent has abandoned his deeply personal writing, and taken on more of a political subject matter, it’s still the same guy behind the microphone. His vocals on the other hand, although they aren’t horrible, just sound uninspiring.

My favorite track on Year Zero is by far Zero Sum. The eerie keyboards and muddled vocals at be beginning of this track really capture what Trent is capable of. When the course kicks in, one feels this kind of apocalyptic wave rolling over them. The end of this album reminds us that we’re all going to burn in hell, but for some reason there’s some light at the end of the tunnel. Classic Reznor!

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user ratings (1742)
other reviews of this album
1 of
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    got tool? (4.5)
    The best NIN release since "The Downward Spiral". Both frightening and touching, the album...

  • Ben (4.5)
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    Something left in NIN? You better believe it....

    Porter W. Richards (5)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
December 4th 2007


Album Rating: 2.5

My First review! Any criticism is appreciated!

December 4th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

First of all, welcome. Second... might want to do some re-reading and editing. I highly doubt you intended to say "furry of rage" in the second paragraph. Also I know that you mean "When the chorus kicks in" when you say "When the course kicks in" in regards to Zero Sum, but it doesn't hurt to clean it up.

Otherwise this is an okay review. The structure could use a little work... and given that this is the only review under a 4, I think you should have taken more care to defend why you think it is an average album. For example, don't just tell us the album is a complete mess, give us instances that made you feel this way while listening to the album or some such.

Differences in personal opinion aside, I do think you could make a valid argument if you sharpened the review up so don't hesitate to do so. And again, welcome to the site.

December 4th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

The conclusion seemed pretty abrupt, as you didn't really restate anything from the beginning. The Beginning of The End is track 2, not track 1. Track 1 is Hyperpower.

You didn't mention anything from the entire meaty center of this cd. Capitol G, My Violent Heart, and The Great Destroyer at least deserve some mention.

Also, a few typos here and there.

Pretty good review though. It's nice to have a review that's mostly negative, even though I disagree.

It seems like you would have liked this more if it was by someone else.

December 4th 2007


moar examples plz. kthxbai.

December 4th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

not a bad review, but i do completely disagree. imo this album is up there with the fragile and TDS

December 4th 2007


mhm, aim to go with some more detail. It's a little short. But other than that, it's a decent effort This Message Edited On 12.04.07

Two-Headed Boy
December 4th 2007


Album Rating: 2.5

To be honest, this gets more boring with every listen. Good first review.

December 4th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

This didn't deserve the neg that someone gave it, so I'll vote.

December 4th 2007


Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks for the comments. I'll deffinitely take some of this stuff into consideration, and tweak my review a little bit.

December 4th 2007


I agree with the review's problems with the album, but not enough of the hate.

NIN blows

December 4th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

What an over-rated album, NIN are pretty bad. Great first review

December 4th 2007


Oh, and have a vote.

December 5th 2007


Album Rating: 2.0

Great review, a little editing here and there should help touch it up a bit. Other than that, this is the most accurate review for this album so far.

The whole composition of this album is a complete mess. Rather than creating an album, it seems that Trent wrote a handful of songs and threw them on a CD

You nailed that point on the head!

Digging: Neurosis - Fires Within Fires

December 19th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

well u know how to prove your points, and u can talk music very well, but ur being pretty harsh. Calling the album not intense isnt fair, Hyperpower!? No angst: My Violent Heart? No emotion: In This Twilight? No passion: Capital G?

Now I do agree political albums are getting stale, thanks to Green Day, but Trent did a nice job with it and as a whole its not perfect but its well done in alot of ways.

December 19th 2007


Album Rating: 2.0

Trent took a concept that has been done numerous times before and just rehashed it. Sorry, this album is by far his worst.

December 20th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

well he put an interesting twist on it, but it has been done before. Musically it's brilliant though, with teeth is the worst though.

January 24th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

I didn't read the review. Too angry that you gave it a 2.5. I hate you. As a reviewer not as a person. Your probably very nice.

June 20th 2008


Album Rating: 1.0

Boring Concept, really boring music, and bland vocals= bluh.

June 20th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

though i feel this is NIN' s weakest effort, it's still a good listen

November 5th 2012


Hahaha "Furry If Rage" Love It

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