Year Zero (album)

Last updated

Year Zero
Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero.png
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 17, 2007 (2007-04-17)
RecordedSeptember–December 2006
Genre
Length63:42
Label Interscope
Producer
Nine Inch Nails chronology
With Teeth
(2005)
Year Zero
(2007)
Year Zero Remixed
(2007)
Halo numbers chronology
Halo 23
(2007)
Halo 24
(2007)
Halo 25
(2007)
Singles from Year Zero
  1. "Survivalism"
    Released: March 13, 2007
  2. "Capital G"
    Released: June 11, 2007

Year Zero is the fifth studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released by Interscope Records on April 17, 2007. Conceived while touring in support of the band's previous album, With Teeth (2005), the album was recorded throughout late-2006, and was produced by frontman Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. It was the band's last album for Interscope, following Reznor's departure the same year over a dispute of overseas pricing.

Industrial rock music genre

Industrial rock is an alternative rock genre that fuses industrial music and rock music.

Nine Inch Nails American industrial rock band

Nine Inch Nails, commonly abbreviated as NIN, is an American industrial rock band formed in 1988 in Cleveland, Ohio. The band was founded by lead singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Trent Reznor, who was the band's only official member until adding English musician Atticus Ross in 2016. The band has signed with several major labels over the course of three decades, the current being Capitol Records, under the name The Null Corporation.

Interscope Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group through its Interscope Geffen A&M imprint. It was founded in late 1990 by Jimmy Iovine and Ted Field as a $20 million joint venture with Warner Music Group's Atlantic Records. At the time, it differed from most record companies by giving decision-making authority to its A&R staff and allowing artists and producers complete creative control. It had its first hit records less than a year after it was founded, and achieved profitability in 1993. Iovine served as chairman and CEO until May 2014, when he was succeeded by John Janick.

Contents

In contrast to the introspective style of songwriting featured on the band's previous work, the record is a concept album that criticizes contemporary policies of the United States government by presenting a dystopian vision of the year 2022. It was part of a larger Year Zero project, which included a remix album, an alternate reality game of the same name, as well a conceived television or film adaptation. The game expanded upon the album's storyline, using websites, pre-recorded phone messages, murals, among other media in promotion of the project. The album was promoted by two singles: "Survivalism" and "Capital G".

Concept album album with a theme

A concept album is an album in which its tracks hold a larger purpose or meaning collectively than they do individually. This is typically achieved through a single central narrative or theme, which can be instrumental, compositional, or lyrical. Sometimes the term is applied to albums considered to be of "uniform excellence" rather than an LP with an explicit musical or lyrical motif. There is no consensus among music critics as to the specific criteria for what a "concept album" is.

Federal government of the United States National government of the United States

The federal government of the United States is the national government of the United States, a federal republic in North America, composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and several island possessions. The federal government is composed of three distinct branches: legislative, executive, and judicial, whose powers are vested by the U.S. Constitution in the Congress, the president, and the federal courts, respectively. The powers and duties of these branches are further defined by acts of congress, including the creation of executive departments and courts inferior to the Supreme Court.

A dystopia is a community or society that is undesirable or frightening. It is translated as "not-good place" and is an antonym of utopia, a term that was coined by Sir Thomas More and figures as the title of his best known work, Utopia, published 1516, a blueprint for an ideal society with minimal crime, violence and poverty.

Year Zero received positive reviews from critics, who complimented its concept and production, as well as the accompanying alternate reality game. The album reached number two in the US, number six in the UK, and the top 10 in various other countries.

Recording

"This record began as an experiment with noise on a laptop in a bus on tour somewhere. That sound led to a daydream about the end of the world. That daydream stuck with me and over time revealed itself to be much more...it takes place about fifteen years in the future. Things are not good. If you imagine a world where greed and power continue to run their likely course, you'll have an idea of the backdrop. The world has reached the breaking point – politically, spiritually and ecologically. Written from various perspectives of people in this world, Year Zero examines various viewpoints set against an impending moment of truth." [1]

—Trent Reznor on Year Zero, 2007

In a 2005 interview with Kerrang! , Trent Reznor expressed his intentions to write material for a new release while on tour promoting With Teeth . He reportedly began work on the new album by September 2006. [2] Reznor devised much of the album's musical direction on his laptop. [3] Reznor told Kerrang! in a later interview, "When I was on the Live: With Teeth tour, to keep myself busy I just really hunkered down and was working on music the whole time, so this kept me in a creative mode and when I finished the tour I felt like I wasn't tired and wanted to keep at it." [4]

<i>Kerrang!</i> British magazine about rock and metal music

Kerrang! is a British weekly magazine devoted to rock music and heavy metal music, currently published by Wasted Talent. It was first published on 6 June 1981 as a one-off supplement in the Sounds newspaper. Named after the onomatopoeic word that derives from the sound made when playing a power chord on a distorted electric guitar, Kerrang! was initially devoted to the new wave of British heavy metal and the rise of hard rock acts. In the early 2000s it became the best-selling British music weekly.

<i>With Teeth</i> 2005 studio album by Nine Inch Nails

With Teeth is the fourth studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on May 3, 2005 by Nothing Records and Interscope Records. The album was produced by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and long-time collaborator Alan Moulder. It also features contributions from musician Dave Grohl.

Live: With Teeth Tour

Live: With Teeth Tour was a concert tour in support of industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails' With Teeth album, which took place in early 2005, running until mid-2006, and was broken into five legs.

The limitations of devising the album's musical direction on a tour bus forced Reznor to work differently from usual. Reznor said, "I didn't have guitars around because it was too much hassle ... It was another creative limitation ... If I were in my studio, I would have done things the way I normally do them. But not having the ability to do that forced me into trying some things that were fun to do." [5]

By the end of the tour, Reznor began work on the album's lyrical concepts, attempting to break away from his typically introspective approach. Reznor drew inspiration from his concern at the state of affairs in the United States and at what he envisioned as the country's political, spiritual, and social direction. [6] Year Zero was mixed in January 2007, [7] and Reznor stated on his blog that the album was finished as of February 5. [8] The album's budget was a reported US$2 million, but since Reznor composed most of the album himself on his laptop and in his home-studio, much of the budget instead went toward the extensive accompanying promotional campaign. [5]

Audio mixing (recorded music) audio mixing to yield recorded sound

In sound recording and reproduction, audio mixing is the process of combining multitrack recordings into a final mono, stereo or surround sound product. In the process of combining the separate tracks, their relative levels are adjusted and balanced and various processes such as equalization and compression are commonly applied to individual tracks, groups of tracks, and the overall mix. In stereo and surround sound mixing, the placement of the tracks within the stereo field are adjusted and balanced. Audio mixing techniques and approaches vary widely and have a significant influence on the final product.

A blog is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (posts). Posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent post appears first, at the top of the web page. Until 2009, blogs were usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often covered a single subject or topic. In the 2010s, "multi-author blogs" (MABs) emerged, featuring the writing of multiple authors and sometimes professionally edited. MABs from newspapers, other media outlets, universities, think tanks, advocacy groups, and similar institutions account for an increasing quantity of blog traffic. The rise of Twitter and other "microblogging" systems helps integrate MABs and single-author blogs into the news media. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

United States dollar Currency of the United States of America

The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States and its territories per the United States Constitution since 1792. In practice, the dollar is divided into 100 smaller cent (¢) units, but is occasionally divided into 1000 mills (₥) for accounting. The circulating paper money consists of Federal Reserve Notes that are denominated in United States dollars.

A song cut from the album included vocal work by Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme. The same year, Reznor contributed vocals to their song "Era Vulgaris", which was also cut from the album of the same name. [9]

Queens of the Stone Age American rock band

Queens of the Stone Age is an American rock band formed in 1996 in Palm Desert, California. The band's line-up includes founder Josh Homme, Troy Van Leeuwen, Michael Shuman, Dean Fertita, and Jon Theodore.

Josh Homme American musician

Joshua Michael Homme is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and actor. He is the founder, primary songwriter, and only continuous member of the rock band Queens of the Stone Age, which he formed in 1996 and in which he sings lead vocals and plays guitar, as well as occasionally playing bass, piano, and drums. He also co-founded Eagles of Death Metal in 1998, playing drums for their studio recordings and occasionally performing live with them.

<i>Era Vulgaris</i> (album) 2007 studio album by Queens of the Stone Age

Era Vulgaris is the fifth studio album by American rock band Queens of the Stone Age. Recorded from July 2006 to April 2007, it was released on June 11, 2007 in the United Kingdom and June 12 in the United States, having been released on June 8 in other countries. The single "Sick, Sick, Sick" was released in May, followed by second single "3's & 7's" in early June, and third single "Make It wit Chu" in October. The album debuted at No. 14 on the U.S. Billboard 200 charts, selling 52,000 copies in its first week. It reached top ten positions in other countries, such as No. 7 in the UK, No. 5 in Canada, and No. 4 in Australia.

Composition

The album's music features the styles of industrial rock, [10] electro-industrial, [11] electronic, [12] and digital hardcore. [13] Reznor called Year Zero a "shift in direction" in that it "doesn't sound like With Teeth ". [8] He also said that when he finishes a new album, he has to "go into battle with the people whose job it is to figure out how to sell the record. The only time that didn't happen was [for] With Teeth. This time, however, [he was] expecting an epic struggle. [Year Zero] is not a particularly friendly record and it certainly doesn't sound like anything else out there right now." [14]

Fifteen original tracks were considered for inclusion on the album, which Reznor described as "Highly conceptual. Quite noisy. Fucking cool." [15] Reznor also described the album as a "collage of sound type of thing", citing musical inspiration from early Public Enemy records, specifically the production techniques of The Bomb Squad. [16] [17] Most of Year Zero's musical elements were created by Reznor solely on his laptop, as opposed to the instrument-heavy With Teeth. [3] AllMusic's review described the album's laptop-mixed sound: "guitars squall against glitches, beeps, pops, and blotches of blurry sonic attacks. Percussion looms large, distorted, organic, looped, screwed, spindled and broken." [16] Many reviews of the album compared the album's electronic sound to earlier Nine Inch Nails releases such as The Downward Spiral and The Fragile , while contrasting its heavily modified sounds to the more "organic" approach of With Teeth. [18] [19] [20] Many critics also commented on the album's overall tone, including descriptions such as "lots of silver and grey ambience[ sic ]" and reference to the album's "oblique tone". [18] [20] The New York Times review described the album's sound by saying "Hard beats are softened with distortion, static cushions the tantrums, sneaky bass lines float beneath the surface." The article went on to describe individual tracks: "And as usual the music is packed with details: "Meet Your Master" goes through at least three cycles of decay and rebirth; part of the fun of "The Warning" is tracking the ever-mutating timbres." [21]

Many of the songs on the album feature an extended instrumental ending, which encompasses the entire second half of the three-minute long "The Great Destroyer". The album was co-produced by Reznor and Atticus Ross, mixed by long-time collaborator Alan Moulder, and mastered by Brian Gardner. The album features instrumental contributions by live band member Josh Freese and vocals by Saul Williams.

Themes

Nine Inch Nails' 2006 tour merchandise designs featured overt references to the United States military, which Reznor said "reflect[ed] future directions". [8] Reznor later described Year Zero as "the soundtrack to a movie that doesn't exist". [18] The album criticizes the American government's policies, and "could be about the end of the world". [8] Reznor specifically cited what he labeled as the "erosion of freedoms" and "the way that we treat the rest of the world and our own citizens". [6] Reznor had previously called the results of the 2004 US election "one step closer to the end of the world." [22]

Even though the fictional story begins in January 2007, the timeline of the album and alternate reality game mentions historical events, such as the September 11 attacks and the Iraq War. From there, fictional events lead to worldwide chaos, including bioterrorism attacks, the United States engaging in nuclear war with Iran, and the elimination of American civil liberties at the hands of the fictional government agency The Bureau of Morality. Regardless of being fictional, a columnist of the Hartford Courant commented, "What's scary is that this doesn't seem as far-fetched as it should, given recent revelations about the FBI's abuse of the Patriot Act and the dissent-equals-disloyalty double-speak coming out of Washington in recent years." [23] [24]

Artwork

The two states of the Year Zero disc: black when cooled, white when heated Nine inch nails year zero cd face.jpg
The two states of the Year Zero disc: black when cooled, white when heated

All of the artwork for Year Zero was created by Rob Sheridan, art director for Nine Inch Nails, who is also credited for artwork on With Teeth, among other Nine Inch Nails releases since 2000. The album features a thermo-chrome heat-sensitive CD face which appears black when first opened, but reveals a black binary code on a white background when heat is generated from the album being played. [25] [26] The binary sequence translates to "exterminal.net", the address of a website involved in the alternate reality game. Reznor displayed displeasure at the extra $10 added to the CD's price in Australia for the thermo-coating, saying it only cost an extra 83¢ per CD and that the extra cost came from his pocket. [27]

Included with the album is a small insert that is a warning from the fictional United States Bureau of Morality (USBM), with a phone number to report people who have "engaged in subversive acts". When the number is called, a recording from the USBM is played, claiming "By calling this number, you and your family are implicitly pleading guilty to the consumption of anti-American media and have been flagged as potential militants." [28] [23]

It was named one of the best album covers of 2007 by Rolling Stone . [29]

Promotion

An Art is Resistance flier from the Year Zero alternate reality game AIR flier.jpg
An Art is Resistance flier from the Year Zero alternate reality game
A spectrogram of the noise at the end of "My Violent Heart", one of the tracks on the USB drive found at a concert in Portugal. Spectrogram - Nine Inch Nails - My Violent Heart.png
A spectrogram of the noise at the end of "My Violent Heart", one of the tracks on the USB drive found at a concert in Portugal.
A spectrogram of "The Warning" off the CD release. Thewarningspectrogram.png
A spectrogram of "The Warning" off the CD release.

While work continued on the album, Reznor hinted in an interview that it was "part of a bigger picture of a number of things I'm working on". [4] In February 2007 fans discovered that a new Nine Inch Nails tour t-shirt contained highlighted letters that spelled out the words "I am trying to believe". [3] This phrase was registered as a website URL, and soon several related websites were also discovered in the IP range, all describing a dystopian vision of the fictional "Year 0". [3] It was later reported that 42 Entertainment had created these websites to promote Year Zero as part of an alternate reality game. [31]

The Year Zero story takes place in the United States in the year 2022; or "Year 0" according to the American government, being the year that America was reborn. The United States has suffered several major terrorist attacks, and in response the government has seized absolute control on the country and reverted to a Christian fundamentalist theocracy. The government maintains control of the populace through institutions such as the Bureau of Morality and the First Evangelical Church of Plano, as well as increased surveillance and the secret drugging of tap water with a mild sedative. In response to the increasing oppression of the government, several corporate, government, and subversive websites were transported back in time to the present by a group of scientists working clandestinely against the authoritarian government. The websites-from-the-future were sent to the year 2007 to warn the American people of the impending dystopian future and to prevent it from ever forming in the first place. [32]

The Year Zero game consisted of an expansive series of websites, phone numbers, e-mails, videos, MP3s, murals, and other media that expanded upon the fictional storyline of the album. Each new piece of media contained various hints and clues to discover the next, relying on fan participation to discover each new facet of the expanding game. Rolling Stone described the fan involvement in this promotion as the "marketing team's dream". [33] Reznor, however, argued that "marketing" was an inaccurate description of the game, and that it was "not some kind of gimmick to get you to buy a record – it IS the art form". [28]

Part of this promotional campaign involved USB drives that were left in concert venues for fans to find during Nine Inch Nails' 2007 European tour. During a concert in Lisbon, Portugal, a USB flash drive was found in a bathroom stall containing a high-quality MP3 of the track "My Violent Heart", a song from the then-unreleased album. [30] Another USB drive was found at a concert in Barcelona, Spain, containing the track "Me, I'm Not". [34] Messages found on the drives and tour clothing led to additional websites and images from the game, and the early release of several unheard songs from the album. [35] Following the discovery of the USB drives, the high-quality audio files quickly circulated the internet. Owners of websites hosting the files soon received cease and desist orders from the Recording Industry Association of America, despite Interscope having sanctioned the viral campaign and the early release of the tracks. [28] [36] Reznor told The Guardian :

On February 22, 2007 a teaser trailer was released through the official Year Zero website. It featured a quick glimpse of a blue road sign that said "I AM TRYING TO BELIEVE", as well as a distorted glimpse of "The Presence" from the album cover. One frame in the teaser led fans to a URL containing the complete album cover. [37] In March, the multitrack audio files of Year Zero's first single, "Survivalism", were released in GarageBand format for fan remixing. The multitrack files for "Capital G", "My Violent Heart" and "Me, I'm Not" were released the following month, [38] and files for "The Beginning of the End", "Vessel" and "God Given" were released on the month after that. [39] In response to an early leak of the album, the entire album became available for streaming on Nine Inch Nails' MySpace page a week before the album's official release. [40]

Tour

Nine Inch Nails during the Performance 2007 tour NIN Munich 2007.jpg
Nine Inch Nails during the Performance 2007 tour

After taking a break from touring to complete work on Year Zero, the Nine Inch Nails live band embarked on a world tour in 2007 dubbed Performance 2007. The tour included the band's first performance in China. [41] Reznor continued to tour with the same band he concluded the previous tour with: Aaron North, Jeordie White, Josh Freese, and Alessandro Cortini. The tour spanned 91 dates across Europe, Asia, Australia, and Hawaii. [42] [43]

Between tour legs Nine Inch Nails gave a performance as part of the Year Zero game. A small group of fans received fictional in-game telephone-calls that invited them to a "resistance meeting" in a Los Angeles parking lot. Those who arrived were given "resistance kits", some of which contained cellphones that would later inform the participants of further details. [44] After receiving instructions from the cellphones, fans who attended a fictional Art is Resistance meeting in Los Angeles were rewarded with an unannounced performance by Nine Inch Nails. The concert was cut short as the meeting was raided by a fictional SWAT team and the audience was rushed out of the building. [45] [46]

Release

Upon its release in April 2007, Year Zero sold over 187,000 copies in its first week. [47] The album reached number two on the Billboard 200 [48] and peaked in the top 10 in six other countries, including Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. [49] [50] [51] The album's lead single, "Survivalism" peaked at number 68 on the Billboard Hot 100, and topped the Modern Rock and Canadian singles charts. [52] [53] The second single, "Capital G", reached number six on the Modern Rock chart. [52]

In a post on the official Nine Inch Nails website, Reznor condemned Universal Music Group—the parent company of Interscope Records—for its pricing and distribution plans for Year Zero. [54] He wrote that he hated Interscope for setting the price of the album higher than usual, humorously labeling the company's retail pricing of Year Zero in Australia as "ABSURD",[ sic ] and concluding that "as a reward for being a 'true fan' you get ripped off." Reznor went on to say in later years the "climate" of record labels may have an increasingly ambivalent impact on consumers who buy music. [55] Reznor's post, specifically his criticism of the recording industry at large, elicited considerable media attention. [56] Reznor continued his attack on Universal Music Group during a September 2007 concert in Australia, where he urged fans to "steal" his music online instead of purchasing it legally. [57] Reznor went on to encourage the crowd to "steal and steal and steal some more and give it to all your friends and keep on stealin'." [58] Although Universal never replied publicly to the criticism, a spokesperson for the Australian Music Retailers Association said "It is the same price in Australia as it is in the US because of the extra packaging." [59] Due to the pricing dispute, plans to release a "Capital G" maxi-single in Europe were scrapped. The track was instead released as a limited-edition single, without a "Halo number", unlike most official Nine Inch Nails releases. [54]

Year Zero was the last Nine Inch Nails studio album released on Interscope. Reznor announced in October 2007 that Nine Inch Nails had fulfilled its contractual commitments to Interscope and could proceed "free of any recording contract with any label", effectively ending the band's relationship with its record label. [60]

Year Zero
Art Is Resistance.svg

an alternate reality game by
Nine Inch Nails
and 42 Entertainment

Campaign

Campaign timeline

Media

Year Zero album
"Survivalism" single
"Capital G" single
Beside You in Time HD DVD and BD
Year Zero Remixed album

In-game

Numbers

Characters and organizations

Drugs and devices

A remix album, titled Year Zero Remixed , was released in November 2007. Due to the expiration of his contract with Interscope Records, the album's release, marketing, and promotion were completely in Reznor's control. [61] The album features remixes from artists including The Faint, Ladytron, Bill Laswell, Saul Williams, Olof Dreijer of The Knife, and Sam Fogarino of Interpol. [62] [63] Reznor himself strongly supports fan-made remixes of songs from the album, as evidenced by his decision to upload every song in multi-track form to the then-newly launched Nine Inch Nails remix website. [64] Instrumental versions of the songs on Year Zero are available at the site for download in multiple formats, including MP3, WAV, GarageBand, and Ableton Live formats.

A planned film adaption of Year Zero became a television project in 2007. [65] Reznor met with various writers and pitched the idea to television networks. [66] The 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike affected the pre-production stage. Nevertheless, Reznor commented in 2008 that the project is "still churning along", [67] and that he had begun working with American film producer Lawrence Bender. [5] In 2010, Reznor started developing the Year Zero miniseries with HBO and BBC Worldwide Productions. Reznor and Bender collaborated with Carnivàle writer Daniel Knauf to create the science fiction epic. [68] When asked about the miniseries during an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit on November 13, 2012, Reznor said it was "currently in a holding state" and explained, "We [Reznor and Sheridan] didn't find the right match with a writer, and really have been avoiding doing what we should have done from the beginning: write it ourselves. [...] This project means a lot to me and will see the light of day in one form or another." [69] In 2017, during an interview promoting new Nine Inch Nails EP Add Violence , Reznor said that "They got so far as hiring a writer for it, but then it fell to shit because we never had the right writer. I should have just done it [myself]." [70]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic 76/100 [71]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [16]
Blender Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [72]
Entertainment Weekly B+ [73]
The Guardian Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [74]
Los Angeles Times Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [75]
MSN Music A− [76]
Pitchfork 6.7/10 [13]
Rolling Stone Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [77]
Spin Star full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [78]
USA Today Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [79]

Year Zero received generally favourable reviews from music critics, with an average rating of 76% based on 28 reviews on review aggregator Metacritic. [71] Robert Christgau described Year Zero as Reznor's "most songful album", [76] while Thomas Inskeep of Stylus magazine praised it as "one of the most forward-thinking 'rock' albums to come down the pike in some time". [80] Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone called the album Reznor's "strongest, weirdest and most complex record since The Downward Spiral ", and concluded that "he's got his bravado back." [77] Rolling Stone ranked it at number 21 on its "Top 50 Albums of 2007" list. [81]

Several reviewers also commented on the accompanying alternate reality game. Ann Powers of the Los Angeles Times , praised the album and game concept as "a total marriage of the pop and gamer aesthetics that unlocks the rusty cages of the music industry and solves some key problems facing rock music as its cultural dominance dissolves into dust." [75] In relation to the declining music industry, Joseph Jaffe of Brandweek commented that such "mysterious marketing measures [...] are what's desperately needed to gain attention in this uncertain era of distribution dilemmas and sagging sales", [82] also commending acts such as Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead for being "more innovative than marketers". [82] Entertainment Weekly gave the album a B+, comparing it to The X-Files and calling it "A sci-fi concept album whose end-of-days, paranoia-drenched storyline has been disseminated via the Internet". It also stated: "Amid its carefully calibrated sonic assaults, Year Zero has a number of tracks that will stop you in yours. Sometimes, it's a matter of dropping the volume [...] Even his use of electronics has shifted to a new level [...] Is the truth in here? Dunno, but Reznor's claim that 'I got my violence in high def ultra-realism' sounds like gospel to us." [73]

On the fictional world depicted in the album and promotional campaign, the Cleveland Free Times commented that the album's fictionalized world and characters "often seemed heavy-handed and forced", but also conceded that "its clotted claustrophobia suited its subject matter". [83] Ann Powers added, "The songs on 'Year Zero,' each from the perspective of a character or characters already existent in the ARG, draw a connection between the music fan's passionate identification with songs and the gamer's experience of becoming someone else online." [75] In 2008, 42 Entertainment won two Webby Awards for its work on the Year Zero game, in the categories of "Integrated Campaigns" and "Other Advertising: Branded Content". [84] [85]

Track listing

All tracks written by Trent Reznor.

No.TitleLength
1."Hyperpower!"1:42
2."The Beginning of the End"2:47
3."Survivalism"4:23
4."The Good Soldier"3:23
5."Vessel"4:52
6."Me, I'm Not"4:51
7."Capital G"3:50
8."My Violent Heart"4:13
9."The Warning"3:38
10."God Given"3:50
11."Meet Your Master"4:08
12."The Greater Good"4:52
13."The Great Destroyer"3:17
14."Another Version of the Truth"4:09
15."In This Twilight"3:33
16."Zero-Sum"6:14

Personnel

Charts

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American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails have released nine studio albums, one live album, three remix albums, one box set, six extended plays, 20 singles, nine promotional singles, four video albums and 31 music videos. Nine Inch Nails has also contributed to numerous film soundtracks as well as the soundtrack to the video game Quake.

Nine Inch Nails live performances band that plays Industrial rock

Nine Inch Nails, an industrial rock band fronted by Trent Reznor, has toured all over the world since its creation in 1988. While Reznor—the only official member until adding Atticus Ross in 2016—controls its creative and musical direction in the studio, the touring band performs different arrangements of the songs. In addition to regular concerts, the band has performed in both supporting and headlining roles at festivals such as Woodstock '94, Lollapalooza 1991 and 2008, and many other one-off performances including the MTV Video Music Awards. Prior to their 2013 tour, the band had played 938 gigs.

Survivalism (song) single by Nine Inch Nails

"Survivalism" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from their fifth studio album, Year Zero (2007). It was released as the album's lead single. The single was released digitally on the iTunes Store on March 13, 2007, and the CD and vinyl singles were released internationally on April 2, 2007.

Capital G single

"Capital G" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from their fifth studio album, Year Zero (2007). It was released on June 11, 2007 as a limited-edition nine-inch vinyl in the United Kingdom, serving as the album's second and final single.

<i>Year Zero Remixed</i> 2007 remix album by Nine Inch Nails

Year Zero Remixed is the third remix album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on November 20, 2007 in the United States, and on November 26, 2007 in the United Kingdom. It features remixed versions of tracks from the band's previous studio album Year Zero; these remixes were created by various producers and recording artists.

<i>Ghosts I–IV</i> 2008 studio album by Nine Inch Nails

Ghosts I–IV is the sixth studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on March 2, 2008 by The Null Corporation. It was the band's first independent release, following their split from longtime label Interscope Records the prior year. The album's production team included Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, studio collaborators Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder, and instrumental contributions from Alessandro Cortini, Adrian Belew, and Brian Viglione.

Discipline (Nine Inch Nails song) song by Nine Inch Nails

"Discipline" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from their seventh studio album, The Slip (2008). It was released on April 22, 2008 as a single from the album. It is the band's first single since severing its ties with Interscope Records and publishing music independently.

<i>The Slip</i> (album) 2008 studio album by Nine Inch Nails

The Slip is the seventh studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on July 22, 2008 by The Null Corporation. It was their second release in 2008, following their sixth album Ghosts I-IV, released four months prior. The album was the produced by frontman Trent Reznor with collaborators Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder.

Performance 2007 Tour

Two months before the release of their fifth full-length album, Year Zero, industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails began a new tour, officially called Performance 2007. The tour initially started off as a 'best-of' tour but later transformed into a direct Year Zero support tour.

Piggy (song) single by Nine Inch Nails

"Piggy" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from their second studio album, The Downward Spiral (1994). It was written by Trent Reznor, co-produced by Flood, and recorded at Le Pig. It was released in December 1994 as a promotional single from the album. The song is known for being Reznor's only live drumming performance.

<i>Hesitation Marks</i> 2013 studio album by Nine Inch Nails

Hesitation Marks is the eighth studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on August 30, 2013, by Columbia Records. It was the band's first release in five years, following The Slip (2008), as well as their only release on Columbia. Like previous albums, the album was produced by frontman Trent Reznor alongside longtime collaborators Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder.

<i>Not the Actual Events</i> 2016 EP by Nine Inch Nails

Not the Actual Events is the fifth extended play (EP) by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. It was released physically on December 23, 2016, under Trent Reznor's own label The Null Corporation, while those who had pre-ordered received a download link a day early. The second Nine Inch Nails EP of original material following Broken (1992), it marks longtime collaborator Atticus Ross's first appearance as an official member of the band. The digital pre-orders included a "physical component" that was shipped in early March 2017. The EP is the first in a trilogy released between 2016-2018, preceding Add Violence (2017) and the band's ninth studio album Bad Witch (2018).

<i>Add Violence</i> 2017 EP by Nine Inch Nails

Add Violence is the sixth extended play by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. Released through The Null Corporation and Capitol Records on July 19, 2017, it is the second in a trilogy of releases, following the EP Not the Actual Events (2016) and preceding the band's ninth studio album Bad Witch (2018). It was produced by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

<i>Bad Witch</i> 2018 studio album by Nine Inch Nails

Bad Witch is the ninth studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released by The Null Corporation and Capitol Records on June 22, 2018. It is the last of a trilogy of releases, following their two previous EPs Not The Actual Events (2016) and Add Violence (2017). Like with their previous releases, it was produced by frontman Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

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