Not the Actual Events [EP] Image
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74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 42 Ratings

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  • Summary: The five-track EP from the Trent Reznor-led band is the first with Atticus Ross as an official member.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Jul 11, 2017
    90
    Not the Actual Events is one of the greatest Nine Inch Nails releases ever.
  2. 80
    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. And after 28 years, we’re still excited to see what comes next.
  3. Jan 3, 2017
    80
    Just when you thought Reznor and his obscenely large biceps had been plugging away far too long on what was essentially a Nine Inch Nails tribute act, he sets things straight again with an original, well-produced, no-bullshit record. More of this please, and less of that other stuff.
  4. Kerrang!
    Jan 11, 2017
    80
    Throughout, NIN strike a masterful balance between drilling industrial assaults and eerie ambience. [14 Jan 2017, p.52]
  5. Jan 3, 2017
    70
    Not the Actual Events is probably the grimiest Nine Inch Nails release since The Fragile. Rather than running the gamut between overdriven steamrolling and receding, glitchy ambience as on most of the work Reznor loosed between 1994 and 2008, the EP realizes a specific, portentous mood from several equivalent angles.
  6. Jan 3, 2017
    67
    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.
  7. 50
    Between the abundant déja vu and the periodical redundancy (doldrums which would be easy enough to overlook on a full-length, but prove problematic on a brisk 21-minute listen like this), Not the Actual Events’ purported “impenetrability” manifests as a riotous retread instead.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Jan 5, 2017
    10
    I love "Hesitation Marks" and wished it would kind of continue, but it does not - "Not the Actual Events" combines the first halo-parts withI love "Hesitation Marks" and wished it would kind of continue, but it does not - "Not the Actual Events" combines the first halo-parts with the production-experience of NIN where it stands today and it rocks, steams, burns. It´s full of energy and that is why it´s very good, even that I don´t think I will listen to it as often as to other halos. Expand
  2. Jan 5, 2017
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. There's something with "Not the Actual Events" and it's something hard and strong on the lyrics, with a interesting work between Reznor and Ross. "Branches/Bones" makes something that remembers to Year Zero's Hyperpower with The Slip's 1,000,000. "The Idea of You" is an angry track with powerful energy between NIN and Dave Grohl. "Burning Bright" is the best track of the EP because is an excelent G#-tuning-industrial-metal interpretation of the new Reznor after his rehab and his new beautiful things in his life; he says here: "I came back and I'm destruction like before". "Dead World," and "She's Gone Away" are the weakest tracks of NTAE, but they have something that doesn't make them bad songs. The first one is a remind of Reznor and Ross film score work, and the second one manages to be a The Fragile's new song thanks to its depressive lyrics, and dark digital and natural sounds. It isn't one of the best NIN album, but it's a good return to rage that's part of the band's aesthetic. Expand
  3. Oct 18, 2017
    8
    It may not be light years ahead of Hesitation Marks in terms of quality, but it's head and shoulders more interesting. Let's hope this firstIt may not be light years ahead of Hesitation Marks in terms of quality, but it's head and shoulders more interesting. Let's hope this first EP of a planned trilogy marks a new renaissance for the middle-aged industrial icon. Expand
  4. Mar 1, 2018
    7
    After a three-year break, Nine Inch Nails returns. Taking a sharp turn away from the more upbeat electronics, Not The Actual Events is a punchAfter a three-year break, Nine Inch Nails returns. Taking a sharp turn away from the more upbeat electronics, Not The Actual Events is a punch to the face...and not much more. Taking the grunge and metal elements of earlier albums and combining them with the high production value of more recent albums, NTAE is an odd mix of elements from across NIN's career. Expand