With his long-time collaborator and film-scoring partner Atticus Ross officially a member of Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor explores even more skin-crawling, drama-escalating atmospherics. Not the Actual Events is a five-song EP that plunges deep into the murky abyss—lyrics of despair, confusion, and discontent grind against a wall of buzzsaw guitars, electronic effects, and apocalyptic textures. Palpable intensity spills out of “Dear World,” the lamenting “She’s Gone Away,” and the dystopian “Burning Bright (Field on Fire).” “The Idea of You” recalls With Teeth with its live drums and pummeling guitar balled into a tight fist that wildly expands and contracts in classic NIN style.
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