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Year Zero

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In Trent Reznor’s world 2022 is Year Zero, not the year Social Security comes crashing down, but something more paranoid, angry and ominous, when drugs are filtered into the water supply to protect against a terrorist attack and mass consciousness comes dangerously unhinged. 1984 comes 38 years late. The concept fuels Reznor’s rage, and tracks such as “Survivalism” and “Capital G” feed on the difficult events of the new millennium, but he also understands that preaching to the converted isn’t the only reason he’s held onto his audience. His adventures into sound range among the moody, atmospheric funk of “The Good Soldier” and “Vessel,” the sonically enhanced garage-rock swagger of “Capital G,” and the more expected rampages of “Survivalism” and “My Violent Heart.” Throughout, Reznor knows the value of a consistent groove and a jarring electric outburst. He seamlessly weaves these tracks into a long, continuous journey to the end of civilization.

Customer Reviews

Stark, Gritty, Harsh -- and Dead On.

If you're in the mood for militaristic, anarchistic, consistently conspiratorial paranoia beautifully wrapped in a sonically creative yet mature package, you're in the right place. Not nearly as subtle as, for example, A Perfect Circle's singular "Pet", Year Zero is a well thought-out warning of an Orwellian future that some--including Reznor, apprarently--believe isn't future but right now. On just the third listen, there's not a mediocre track in the bunch. Most tracks, while following the same general theme, have very unique personalities both lyrically and musically. I'm not a fan of early NIN which, in this case, works perfectly for me. Borrowing and building hugely upon elements of The Fragile and With Teeth--and, on occasion, an interesting pinch of Marilyn Manson (and toss in a xylophone--great stuff!), the band's truly outdone it self on Year Zero. Most fans will be pleased. If you're a fan of the Fragile, this one's right on the money with considerably more attitude. If you're of the opinion that With Teeth was too tame, Year Zero definitely deserves a listen. Headbangers might be disappointed, however.

My face is melted off,



We are unbelievably lucky that in this age where not even fractional true art and provocation can be found in music, Trent is still with us today doing what he does. Year Zero proves yet again that Trent is an Avant-garde futurist who somehow gets stronger with time while always staying relevant. Open your ears and mind just a bit and spend some time. He has much to offer and to tell – especially if you are not afraid to look around you and at what he’s pointing to about our impending state of existence. There is a consistent theme in this recording of dealing with a world way beyond repair and control, where humanity reaps what it has sown with regard to the treatment of each other and the planet. It is seemingly more outward facing than prior works, yet to me it is just as personal and passionate: The artist takes us through a simile of his last moments in which he struggles to let go and accept the possibility of complete annihilation; yet with vague hope of still being existent enough to come to a place of being “still and at peace”. Otherwise, the music is consistently astounding sonically. Boredom is just NOT possible here. Trent is a master. No one does what he does. While NIN’s music offers no upbeat romp, it’s obvious that this man could write up a storm of the catchiest music ever to make industry execs filthy rich for decades to come…If that was what he was all about. I'm entirely thrilled and always shocked how each NIN album is a departure from the last, yet each still manages to nourish me sonically, emotionally, artistically, and spiritually in different ways. Year Zero is definitely no different. An added bonus for those who love the instrumentation of Trent’s voice is that the man sangs more than he screams this time around. Take a long drive and give it a few whorls.


Formed: 1989 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Nine Inch Nails were the most popular industrial group ever and were largely responsible for bringing the music to a mass audience. It isn't really accurate to call NIN a group; the only official member is singer/producer/multi-instrumentalist Trent Reznor, who always remained solely responsible for NIN's musical direction (he was, however, supported in concert by a regular backing band). Unlike the vast majority of industrial artists, Reznor wrote melodic, traditionally structured songs where lyrics...
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