By Jon Wiederhorn
Following a visceral performance on September 10, 2009 at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, Trent Reznor put his pretty hate machine, Nine Inch Nails, on ice. For more than three years, the band was in a state of suspended animation. Then, in the wee hours of June 6, 2013 Nine Inch Nails came back – or more specifically they "Came Back Haunted."
The first track from Nine Inch Nails' upcoming ninth studio release, Hesitation Marks, "Came Back Haunted" is ominous, catchy and riddled with angst. Driven by a syncopated beat and dissonant keyboard sounds that contrast with the overlapping synth melodies, the song builds in density and intensity until it hits the chorus. And while there are waves of gauzy guitars in the first half of the five-minute track, the more aggressive guitars weave in and out intermittently from the mid-point of the song until its conclusion.
In the last minute of the song, all the instruments drop out but the thumping electronic drums; and Reznor half-sings, half chants, "Just can’t stop/Came back ha-ha-haunted." The final keyboard melody is, perhaps, an intentional nod to the minor-key closing melody in Nine Inch Nails "Closer," the most popular song from their career-breaking album The Downward Spiral.
Hesitation Marks comes out September 3 on Columbia Records and will be accompanied by a 31-date North American tour dubbed Tension 2013.
Reznor wrote Hesitation Marks over the past year with Atticus Ross, who also plays in his experimental rock band How to Destroy Angels, and Alan Moulder. "[It’s] finished and frankly f--king great," Reznor said. "My forays into film, How to Destroy Angels and other projects really stimulated me creatively and I decided to focus that energy on taking Nine Inch Nails to a new place."
In 2010 Reznor composed the film score for David Fincher’s film The Social Network, for which he won a Grammy. He also wrote the music for Fincher’s next movie, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. He also formed How to Destroy Angels with his wife, vocalist Mariqueen Maandig, and Ross.
The Tension 2013 tour launches in Saint Paul, Minnesota on August 28 and runs through November 25 in Calgary, Alberta. Tickets go on sale June 14. The lineup for the tour will consist of Reznor, Adrian Belew (King Crimson), Josh Eustis (Telefon Tel Aviv) and NIN alum Robin Finck, Alessandro Cortini and Ilan Rubin.
"Tension picks up where [our last tour] Lights in the Sky left off," Reznor said in a statement. "This is the full-on NIN live experience realized as we never could before."
Tour Dates for Tension 2013
9/28 St. Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center
9/30 Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center
10/1 St. Louis, MO – Chaifetz Arena
10/3 Montreal, QC – Centre Bell
10/4 Toronto, ON – Air Canada Centre
10/5 Cleveland, OH – Wolstein Center
10/7 Auburn Hills, MI – The Palace of Auburn Hills
10/8 Pittsburgh, PA – Petersen Events Center
10/11 Boston, MA – TD Garden
10/14 Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center
10/15 Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
10/18 Washington, DC – Verizon Center
10/19 University Park, PA – Bryce Jordan Center
10/21 Raleigh, NC – PNC Arena
10/22 Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
10/24 Atlanta, GA – Philips Arena
10/30 Sunrise, FL – BB&T Center
10/31 Orlando, FL – Amway Center
11/5 San Antonio, TX – AT&T Center
11/8 Los Angeles, CA – Staples Center
11/9 Phoenix, AZ – US Airways Center
11/11 El Paso, TX – Don Haskins Center
11/13 Broomfield, CO – 1stBank Center
11/15 Las Vegas, NV – The Joint
11/16 Las Vegas, NV – The Joint
11/18 Portland, OR – Rose Garden Arena
11/19 Spokane, WA – Spokane Arena
11/21 Vancouver, BC – Rogers Arena
11/22 Seattle, WA – KeyArena
11/24 Edmonton, AB – Rexall Place
11/25 Calgary, AB – Scotiabank Saddledome