Nine Inch Nails
Not the Actual Events


4.5
superb

Review

by Rowan5215 STAFF
December 23rd, 2016 | 37 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Not the actual sequel to the Fragile we're waiting for, but it's close enough for comfort.

Of all the things I had on my shortlist for Christmas this year, I can't say an exhaustive Nine Inch Nails discography re-issue accompanied by a new EP cracked the top 10. Yet, even with the off-beige, dreary, who-invited-this-guy spectre of Hesitation Marks just over the horizon, the promise of an impenetrable, left-field release was just too much to resist.

It was a good thing I didn't, because Not the Actual Events is one of the greatest Nine Inch Nails releases ever. "Branches/Bones" roars out of the gate with more energy than we've heard from Trent since "You Know What You Are?". The furious drumming calls back to the days of Broken, while the explosion into a massive chorus sounds like the dynamic songwriting of The Slip finally taken to its rightful limits. "Dear World,"'s mumbling, ghostly spoken word recalls career highlight "My Violent Heart", but with a subdued chorus in place of that song's eruption. "The Idea of You" occupies a halfway point between the savage rock and talking vocals of the first two songs, finishing up as the most moshable Nine Inch Nails track since "Wish". Easily the high point is "She's Gone Away", which ventures far from anything Trent has attempted before; my best estimation would be that it sounds like a Pearl Jam ballad remixed for the Underworld soundtrack. While the rest of the EP largely leaves Trent in the background suffocating in a sea of noise (a godsend for those longtime listeners who've never been impressed with his lyrics), "She's Gone Away" has him front and centre, hypnotically repeating the chorus line like some digital-age grungey shaman.

There was a time I would swear that without either the rocket fuelled-anger of his early work or the extensive concepts of With Teeth and Year Zero, there was no Nine Inch Nails; just some dude tinkering with his synthesiser with no direction or the purpose. I may have been a little harsh, but I don't think that's necessarily false even now; somewhere along the line, Trent Reznor's fury just got buried in meandering electronics and bloated album runtimes. But there's been a tiny, angsty coal burning somewhere inside that whole time; with jet-black hair, a drug problem and a bunch of Depeche Mode CDs. Not the Actual Events is the sound of Trent digging that coal up, fanning it into a flame and then letting it go to town on every-***ing-thing you've ever loved.



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user ratings (292)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Raul Stanciu STAFF (4)
A striking meld of old and new......


Comments:Add a Comment 
Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2016


38679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

basically a tbt lol

Digging: Lorde - Melodrama

theBoneyKing
December 23rd 2016


9677 Comments


Great review rowbro, never heard any Nine Inch Nails though so will pass on this.

Digging: Guy Clark - Old No. 1

ArsMoriendi
December 23rd 2016


20778 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

As if The Fragile needs a sequel lol



We need more thematic stuff like Year Zero honestly.

Digging: R.E.M. - Murmur

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2016


38679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I mean the Fragile is far better, soooooooooo

ArsMoriendi
December 23rd 2016


20778 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nah it's too long and has a lot of meh tracks interlaced with the great ones





Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2016


38679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

the actual events that were worth half its double, literally

TVC15
December 23rd 2016


8054 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

The Fragile is like a Jackson Pollock painting, just throwing everything at the canvas and creating something making use of all the little things to make it something even bigger and more beautiful

Digging: Murmuure - Murmuure

SowingSeason
Moderator
December 23rd 2016


23876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3 | Sound Off

Shit didn't know this was out

Digging: Lorde - Melodrama

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2016


38679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

pre-orderers got it in their email yesterday, not sure if it's commercially available yet

TheSpaceMan
December 23rd 2016


8518 Comments


admission: i've never owned/heard a full NiN alb

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2016


38679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I'd recommend the Downward Spiral as something everyone should probly listen to at some point

LordePots
December 23rd 2016


37189 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

assuming you guys are over the age of 12 literally how have you not heard a nin album

Digging: Lambsbreath - MANFEELINGS

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2016


38679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

lol yea I grew up with nin

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2016


4284 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's nice to see how varied our opinions are on how this sounds like haha. Definitely some Broken vibes there. Great review, I really dig this.



God, i'd buy the Fragile reissue, but at 45 dollars and 11 for transport it's a bit too much... Dammit!!

Digging: Sasquatch - Maneuvers

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2016


38679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I almost didn't post this after your review but eh here we are. and agreed I'm dying to hear Deviations but I don't have the money or a good enough vinyl player... p keen for With Teeth definitive as well

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2016


4284 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I didn't plan to review it, but as I was listening I just started to write random stuff about it.



I'll save the money for Year Zero. That's the record that got me into them and I was fully immersed in that online alternate reality game.

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2016


38679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I guess I'm a weirdo for thinking With Teeth is top 3 NIN, I fucking love that album. Year Zero is really great too ofc

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
December 23rd 2016


11123 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lovely write up Rowan :]

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
December 23rd 2016


24269 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice work, rowan. mental pos. NIN continues to be awesome

Digging: Rise Against - Revolutions per Minute

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2016


38679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks dudes. She's Gone Away is exceptional, Danny I think you'll love that one



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