Nine Inch Nails
Year Zero


5.0
classic

Review

by Porter W. Richards USER (18 Reviews)
January 16th, 2008 | 23 replies | 5,521 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The most disturbing, uneasy album released in years keeps Nine Inch Nails a relevant band as proves them as one of the best rock acts of all time with perhaps, their best release yet.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

The staying power of Nine Inch Nails is massive. There’s an allure in his dark, nihilistic music and lyrics that attracts the youth of every generation and wraps them in this ever-addicting music that Trent Reznor has been creating for nearly three decades. There is only a few bands that have consistently created revolutionary music for as long as Reznor has-now pushing twenty years in the business, each one of his albums has been released to large amounts of radio play, critical acclaim, and commercial fame. Teenagers coming out of the New Wave era became Nine Inch Nails fans, people during the Grunge years became addicted to Reznor’s music, the nu-metal fans of the early 2000s became addicted to Nails’ allure, and the hip-hop addicts of the late 2000s have all been entranced in Reznor’s sound; that impeccable ability Reznor has to make new fans in every generation. Where With Teeth introduced them to the dance-floor mainstream side of Nine Inch Nails, Reznor challenges his listeners with Year Zero, an epic, grandiose orgy of electronic industrial rock.

There’s no denying it, Nine Inch Nails will be remembered for years as one of the greatest bands ever; right up there with bands like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Who, Rolling Stones, Nirvana, etc. Nine Inch Nails’ music has already been noted as a major influence for a influx of bands around today, and they’ve received numerous awards for being one of the most influential artists in rock music. Most rock acts pack up the camper right now; Reznor’s aged at a crisp 42, had a last hurrah on the radio with the multitude of hits in The Hand That Feeds, Every Day is Exactly the Same, and Only; so as most bands do, it’s time to go self-indulgent, release a couple of albums every decade and tour for all the reunion glory that bands like Rolling Stones have done for years. But if your Trent Reznor, you break apart that sound you created with With Teeth, keep certain electronic influences, and re-build it from the ground up, adding a bit of the paranoia and aggressive tones that The Downward Spiral had mastered in the process. Instead of riding the success With Teeth garnered, you challenge the listeners and release, perhaps, your best album ever. But, this time, you add an epic story that challenges dystopian novels like Anthem or 1984 with true precision; and make your music an art form, not just music…something more. That’s what Year Zero does-it’s chock-full of aggressive, paranoid industrial anthems with a shot of electronic and wrap it all up with a perfected, artistic storyline.

Year Zero is absolutely one of Reznor’s best releases, as it’s a well return to the cryptic style of albums like The Fragile and The Downward Spiral, with much success. It’s quite a challenging, dark, and disturbing release recounting the events leading up to the end of all things. Where we saw Reznor’s ability slip a little with With Teeth, he’s put it back together with Year Zero. Year Zero may just be Reznor’s The Wall, it’s a crazed, addicting storyline that may very well be turned into a movie, held together by the dark undertones of the album’s music. Tracks scream complete paranoid aggression like Survivalism, when Reznor roars I got my violence in high-def ultra-realism. above blistering bass and thundering electronics. Or The Great Destroyer, in which Reznor wails about I hope they cannot see, I am the great destroyer! before the song slides down a pit into nothingness, above the most crazed, insane, and completely chaotic song ending of all time; as electronic sounds of all sorts roar over a constant beat, which Reznor declares symbolizes “the end of the world.” This is the aggression and panic we’ve solely missed since The Downward Spiral, and Reznor brings it back, like a shot of adrenaline.

The album’s ability to tell a story is well-done as well, many songs are dedicated to tell the story and keep it moving like The Good Solider, which tells the story of a solider doubting his country, The Warning which tells the story of a man who sees ‘The Presence’, a ghostly figure in the shape of hand that is featured on the cover. Another Version of the Truth captures the essence of walking out your front door into a bleak, dark atmosphere of chaos and the end of the world perfectly, until The Great Destroyer ends it all, and just like every Nine Inch Nails’ album, it ends on a high-note with the last two tracks, which reflect on the album’s happenings. Where the album begins a bit poppy and easily digestible, it continuously gets harder to follow, more cryptic, and more disturbing as the tracks click on. One slowly falls into another, and by the end, it’s over, and you’ve just witnessed the end of the world.

Year Zero is one of those albums that you stumble onto, much like Reznor stumbled onto the idea. It's the most electronic release of Nails' discography since their debut, but has a strangely modern yet retrospective feel to it. There was no way I would have thought that Nine Inch Nails would still be a relevant force in today’s music back in the day of Pretty Hate Machine. There’s something timeless and addicting about his music, perhaps it’s unique style, or the fact that only six Nine Inch Nails albums have been released in almost twenty years. Something keeps me here, something keeps me listening and keeps Reznor relevant. Year Zero is the eptiome of everything Reznor’s done right over the years, and proves that not everybody loses their musical talent when they age. Reznor’s just getting started, and Year Zero proves this with perhaps, the best Nails albums to date.



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user ratings (1506)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Scott M. Baldwin (2)
    For the first time in his long and illustrious career, Reznor cares more about spectacle t...

    Edmund Blackadder (4.5)
    The Nine Inch Nails vision of the future; bleak and cold, yet catchy and all around brilli...

    eggsvonsatan (2.5)
    Message to Trent: Anyone is capable of writing a politically inspired album. You are capab...

    Ben (4.5)
    Trent Reznor releases his noisiest, most coherent album since 1994's "The Downward Spiral....

  • montague (4)
    Something left in NIN? You better believe it....

    got tool? (4.5)
    The best NIN release since "The Downward Spiral". Both frightening and touching, the album...

    Matt Conrad (4.5)
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    John Cruz (4)
    Trent Reznor makes an easily digestible album with hooks galore, heart, and loads of what ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
rasputin
January 16th 2008



14538 Comments


Nine Inch Nails are a hit or miss for me, more often miss than hit. The Downward Spiral was good, but nothing else I've heard has been anything special.

rasputin
January 16th 2008



14538 Comments


Good review though. I haven't heard the album, but I don't think it'd be a 5 for me.

Wizard
January 16th 2008



19307 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

God you love new NIN more than any fan I've ever met. Well written and a nicely worded review. Album sucks alot though. I just hate the direction he's gone, but thats just my opinion on the matter. It will never compare to Broken, Downward Spiral, and The Fragile.

Digging: Downer - Downer

stoopkid
January 16th 2008



326 Comments


I have like 5 NIN albums and I've listened to none of them. I should probably get on that.

MoonlightBleeding
January 16th 2008



452 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album kicks ass. What direction has he gone? He doesn't scream "YOU'RE GOD IS DEAD! AND NO ONE CARES! IF THERE IS A HELL, I'LL SEE YOU THERE!". This isn't 1994 anymore...for god sakes, the intro to Heresy sounds so outdated...I can understand With Teeth, but this was almost retro!

I love NIN.

Omg...I got Contributing status!This Message Edited On 01.16.08

Wizard
January 16th 2008



19307 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

His angst is gone to tell you the truth. It feels way more forced now. Sure he had some cynical lyrics back in the day and I rather enjoyed his blunt approach. His metal edge is gone and I just simply find this album boring. Thats just how I feel. I'm glad you found something in this album. How long have you been listening to the Nails, not to sound like an elitist or anything. You seem like a newer fan.

Wizard
January 16th 2008



19307 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Hahahahh my opinion might be right to you, but I know alot people who absolutely adore everything Reznor touches. My opinion feels void on this album because of the many legions of NIN fans these days that will rip my head off for speaking poorly of this album. I will admit there are a few impressive tracks on here, hence why my rating isnt lower than average. This Message Edited On 01.16.08

MoonlightBleeding
January 16th 2008



452 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I've been a Nails fan since The Fragile.

MoonlightBleeding
January 16th 2008



452 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I wasn't much of a fan of PHM...kind of outdated.This Message Edited On 01.16.08

Willie
Moderator
January 16th 2008



15900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

PHM is the only album of NIN's that I really like. In my opinion, there is much better Industrial/Electronic music out there.

EyesWideShut
January 16th 2008



3120 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yea I love pretty much all NIN, but this isnt a classic and cant come close to The Spiral or Fragile. but to each his own. On the "angst" conversation, Trent is almost 40 or atleast late 30's and it wouldnt sound that convincing anymore.

Wizard
January 17th 2008



19307 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

In my opinion, there is much better Industrial/Electronic music out there.

I don't think Reznor cares to be pigeon-holed into that genre necessarily, or so he says in interviews. He's all over the place with his styles. Broken is one the best industrial records out there IMO.

eggsvonsatan
January 18th 2008



1087 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

NIN is my favorite band of all time, and i absolutely hate this album. I would probably give it a lower rating if it didn't have the name NIN on it.
Completely uninspired, musically lacking, all elements of Trent Reznor are nowhere to be found.

Chewie
January 21st 2008



4531 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

idiot^ good review and very good album. great to listen to when your pissed about the government or realize the whole December 21st 2012 stuff. Downward Spiral is better, but not by much.

Wizard
January 21st 2008



19307 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I would probably give it a lower rating if it didn't have the name NIN on it.

Some of the shit I see on here sometimes...................hahaha!


MoonlightBleeding
January 21st 2008



452 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

[quote=eggsvonsatan]I would probably give it a lower rating if it didn't have the name NIN on it.[/quote]

Wow...this is the best post of 2008.

Already.

crazyblinddude
March 13th 2010



3389 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

there's a typo on the line that reads: "But if your Trent Reznor, you break apart..."
should be you're*
but its a truly excellent review
i pos'd regardless

bloc
March 13th 2010



34740 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

As much as we appreciate the constructive criticism, the writer of this review was last active in 2008 man.

Digging: Royal Blood - Royal Blood

crazyblinddude
March 13th 2010



3389 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

haha sorry
i just noticed it and pointed it out
youre totally right

Slipping Away
March 13th 2010



1261 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Easily one of my faorite albums of the last 10 years



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