Stand Out Albums has been a showcase for my favorite albums across the vast performers that I love. Covering a little bit of everything from classic rock to country hits, much like Key Movies of My Life, it has been the albums that shaped me.
After covering the works of The Posies and Guster I figured it was time for a tonal shift into my rather eclectic taste in music so I though, what could be more of a change than a band I have loved since the early 90’s, Nine Inch Nails.
This next one is interesting as it was released as a series of EP’s but is, in and of itself, a single album. For the purpose of this blog, we will refer to this one as The Trilogy, but it consists of the EP’s Not the Actual events, Add Violence and Bad Witch, release over the course of three years.
Why This Album?
After the tremendous release that was Hesitation Marks, many wondered what could Nine Inch Nails do next? It seemed that the band was moving back to something more akin to their Downward Spiral sound, but, knowing Reznor and team, we would end up with something all together different. How right we would be, but not in the way we thought. Broken up over three EP’s, the Trilogy is a deep and very reminiscent of the bands Nineties sound. Not the Actual Events begins Raw, dark and full of intricate sounds and tones, the almost like a painful lament of things past. This, leads to the shortest of the three, Add Violence, that shifts into the more textured and full sound we saw in albums such as Year Zero and With Teeth. While Events was full of anger and frustration, Violence is more introspective transitioning between upbeat, empowering songs to thought provoking tonal inclusions. However, the final track, The Background world, ends in a chaotic noise that…well…appears to be the indication of everything crashing. Then, there is Bad Witch.
Bad Witch is technically the only one of the three to be ‘officially’ considered an album, a decision that Reznor apparently made after the first EP’s were generally ignored. In a way, this is really more fitting this way as the previous EPs leading up to Bad Witch almost felt like a retrospective of the band Nine Inch Nails before introducing us to the next evolution of the band. Bad Witch jumps in with both feet picking up almost exactly where the chaotic noise of the final track of Violence left off with Reznor letting it all loose. He is energized, seemingly ready for whatever comes next. The six tracks that play out over thirty minutes feels like a transition to something new, something exciting and certainly something that only NIN can bring. Blending bits of Jazz, rock, chaos and certainly influenced by the Reznor/Ross film scores, this is clearly a movement, but what, well, seems we will have to wait a little longer, as the next releases would be more…ghosts….
Overall, The Trilogy is a wonderful blend of what makes Nine Inch Nails the tremendous force of nature that they have become. Each EP can be listened to individually but really shine when presented together, which is honestly a really cool way to release an album over time. I can’t wait for Nine Inch Nails next major release as I know, it will be something spectacular.
Not the Actual Events: The Idea Of You. This feels soooo much like a song that was made during the early days and is just full of anger and passion. Its just awesome.
Add Violence: This Isn’t The Place. This one feels very personal and I love every minute of it.
Bad Witch: God Break Down the Door: Almost a demented lounge act with the most chaotic jazz band in the universe. This feels like a song that would be played in the waiting room of purgatory but, is rather fun if you really listen to it.
Ok, Where do I get it?
The Trilogy really should be listened to as a single album and to make that easier, I created a Spotify playlist with them together as one. You can find it here and I hope you also go and buy copies of these…if you can find them that is.
Late to the Game 11/4/2021
Thanks for reading, If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and also check out some retro tv goodness with the ongoing series Retro TV Reviews here. You can also find a few of my other Music Reviews Here.
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