Not the Actual Events

Nine Inch Nails - Not the Actual Events
Critic Score
Based on 13 reviews
User Score
Based on 94 ratings
2016 Ratings: #315
December 23, 2016 / Release Date
EP / Format
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CRITIC REVIEWS

80
Sputnikmusic

The fairly impenetrable wall of sound Nine Inch Nails created here is admirable, especially since everything is presented in just over 21 minutes.

80
Alternative Press

Not The Actual Events is everything we would expect from Reznor and Ross, offering textures we’ve never visited and contexts with conscience.

80
Drowned in Sound

It sounds like Reznor working in the studio like no one is watching, shouting to himself, punching random synthesizers. It’s an artist free of any unnecessary expectations. In that way it’s very reminiscent The Fragile, perhaps the most creative body of work by the project.

80
DIY

It asks more questions and takes more risks than any welcome back should. It’s not a postcard of a legendary past, its a battlecry for something truly epic to come.

80
The Line of Best Fit

In five tracks and just over 20 minutes, Not The Actual Events manages to build on Nine Inch Nails' past while stepping resolutely into their future. 

80
The Needle Drop

Nine Inch Nails brings industrial rock back with a vengeance with this new EP.

67
Pretty Much Amazing

Better than 2013’s Hesitation Marks I think, mostly ‘cuz it’s shorter.

67
A.V. Club

Even with its moments of flawed excess, Not The Actual Events is so full of new ideas compared to the relatively “this again?” nature of Hesitation Marks or The Slip that it deserves its place in the NIN catalog.

63
Pitchfork

Nine Inch Nails’ surprise-release new EP Not the Actual Events is slight, but at moments it delivers the kind of visceral fury that NIN hasn’t recreated since its mid-’90s Downward Spiral heyday.

60
Exclaim!

Rather than offering a bold new step in Reznor's long, winding career, Not the Actual Events feels more like tentative first steps towards something bigger.

60
NOW Magazine

The burst of primal aggression is welcome (especially in today's political climate), but this EP is too meandering and amorphous to hit as hard as the band’s best stuff.

50
Consequence of Sound

No matter how urgent its creators’ intent, no matter how explosive its highlights, Not the Actual Events stands, alas, as a pyre dependent on the kindling of nostalgia, as opposed to innovation.

scott96k
70
Man, Branches / Bones is so fucking great just wish it was longer
90
Great stuff
Audiohype
80
Increased vocal dissonance and noise scatters over these songs in a way Trent hasn't attempted since Broken/TDS.

The Idea of You feels like A March of the Pigs reincarnated yet without ever sounding like a rehash of his other stuff. Dear World, is an electronic juggernaut that sounds like its straight out of Year Zero except with better mixing and a more layered and textured sound. Equally Branches/Bones is what Hyperpower could have been on the very same record. An intro that builds momentum ... read more
Brendo
80
This EP is supposed to be "impenetrable", but all I think is that it's really good. I love the ambient/industrial mixture.
Plats
91
Trent Reznor and new member Atticus Ross deliver some of Nine Inch Nails' best material in a while! "Not the Actual Events" contains darker Industrial Rock sounds that Trent hasn't been able to return to since the 90's!

Branches / Bones: 9.5
Dear World,: 8.5
She's Gone Away: 9
The Idea of You: 10
Burning Bright (Field on Fire): 8.5

Score:
9.1
Outstanding
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END OF YEAR LISTS

#15/Treble

Track List

  1. Branches / Bones
  2. Dear World,
  3. She’s Gone Away
  4. The Idea of You
  5. Burning Bright (Field on Fire)
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Added on: December 16, 2016