Nine Inch Nails – Came Back Haunted (2013)

Everyone’s favourite industrial godfather has come back haunted. After having triumphantly proven himself in the movie scoring arena with long-time collaborator Atticus Ros,s and having very recently suffered a few losses from his live touring band (bassist Eric Avery left on May 15, guitarist Adrian Belew left June 07), Trent Reznor comes out with a new industri-thumper guaranteed to get you long term fans salivating for the inevitable new album release, Hesitation Marks – out September 3rd 2013.

He is a smart chap, it goes without saying, when it comes to music releases. This particular single is currently available for streaming on SoundCloud and is available to download when pre-ordering the album on iTunes. He has been known to release music in various formats and this one utilises the online-powered music network to full use. By releasing his works in raw audio files he encourages his fans to remix the music. It’s an interactive fandom.

The new single, ‘Came Back Haunted‘, follows in the same cryptic release lineage as the new album which will be named Halo 2, the 28th release since 1989’s Down In It EP, or Halo 1. The track is a real hark back to the early NIN sound. A hushed Reznor opens the track by breathing the word ‘haunted’ into your head, and the subtractive durge of the verse is where the similarities of their early works comes through. The drum pattern is equally metallic, and He creates a wonderful sonic image with various electro parts building up during the verse. The chorus brings in a vocal that sounds like a pained choir, sweeping around Reznor’s biting choked vocals. Although He mainly adheres to the traditional structure of a song (verse-chorus-verse, etc) it always manages to be different in tone and quality. The breakdowns during the song steady the pace, almost like He becomes so volatile that the music needs to ground the proceedings and keep the beat strong. The extended outro includes two choruses and the stammered outro building up with a crescendo of techno-lust, and the listener is left with a want of more. A repeat of the track, or maybe a dig through the older NIN will satisfy for the time being until ‘Hesitation Marks’.

A good return to form from a long-awaited band, Reznor always remains stoic and prolific with his vision. Industrial may not be as big a genre as it used to be, but it enjoys remaining underground anyway and NIN may be the popular lead into the Industrial revelation. The synthetic bounce of this track will definitely leave you with a hunger for more, and the musical intricacies are subtle but lasting. Reznor has stepped back into the light with a sexy, thumping record, marking a welcome return from NIN.


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