UPDATED: Nine Inch Nails’ self-released EP Not The Actual Events arrived Friday (streaming via Apple Music), one day after the band released the EP’s final track, “Burning Bright (Field On Fire).”
Frontman Trent Reznor described the collection as “an unfriendly, friendly impenetrable record that we needed to make.” With an ocean of feedback and crashing drums lining paranoid, accusatory lyrics in “Burning Bright (Field On Fire),” the frontman makes good on his promise.
NIN’s last release came in 2013 with their stripped-back eighth album, Hesitation Marks. If “Burning Bright” is any indication, the new set is returning to the adrenalized aggression that drove the first seven Nine Inch Nails LPs. Not The Actual Events is an abbreviated length, Reznor explained in a statement, saying, “It’s an EP because that ended up being the proper length to tell that story.”
The group also recently announced a quadruple-vinyl re-issue of their 1999 collection, The Fragile. On the NIN website, it’s described as a “unique version of Nine Inch Nails’ record… created by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross” (Ross was not involved in the original release) which “features 37 instrumental, alternate and unreleased tracks, many of which have never been heard before anywhere.” The set will be available next spring.
“The Fragile occupies a very interesting and intimate place in my heart,” Reznor said of the project in a statement. “I was going through a turbulent time in my life when making it and revisiting it has become a form of therapy for me. As an experiment, I removed all the vocals from the record and found it became a truly changed experience that worked on a different yet compelling level. The Fragile: Deviations 1 represents Atticus and I embellishing the original record with a number of tracks from those sessions we didn’t use before. The result paints a complimentary but different picture we wanted to share.”
Also dropping next spring will be vinyl, “definitive edition” re-releases of all NIN albums. The first three that will be made available are Broken, The Downward Spiral, and The Fragile. They are all currently available for pre-order.
“We want to present the catalog as it was intended to be, with no compromises,” says Reznor. “That means a careful remastering of the audio from the original sources, a painstaking recreation of the artwork, pristine materials, some surprises and an insane attention to detail that you probably won’t notice… but it matters to us. No extra bulls— and gimmicks – the ‘real’ records in their truest form.”
Hear Not the Actual Events below.