Trent Reznor Rewrites NIN Rulebook For 'Brutal' New Disc

Only 'monophonic voices' are being used on Bleed Through.

Those who like industrial rock but hated The Fragile — Nine Inch Nails' epic, progressive and tortured 1999 double album — might want to give Trent Reznor another shot when Bleed Through comes out later this year.

This disc, too, is likely to be filled with bitterness and loathing, but that's where the comparisons end.

Reznor has called the record more "minimal" and "brutal," and in an online Q&A session with members of a Nine Inch Nails mailing list, he elaborated a bit more.

"I'm approaching this record from a totally different mindset and strategy than The Fragile," he said. "Every record I've done has reflected where I've been at as a person when it was done, for better or worse. What is coming out of my head now seems to [come] from a very different place than the last record."

To sonically capture his new mind frame, Reznor is working in Los Angeles with veteran producer Rick Rubin (see "What's Up With That Bearded Guy In The '99 Problems' Video?"), and he's taking an unorthodox approach to songwriting to ensure the album sounds different from his prior offerings.

"One of the rules of this record has been to orchestrate using only monophonic voices. No chords. Anywhere," he wrote. "Most of the synthesis has been done with a rather elaborate and ever-growing modular rig and recorded live. ... Editing and correcting is avoided, if possible [and] whole takes are encouraged as opposed to looping." Reznor added that the rhythm tracks will consist of a combination of real drumming and vintage drum machines.

Bleed Through will be Nine Inch Nails' fourth full studio album since they emerged with the groundbreaking Pretty Hate Machine in 1989. The group also released the scathing EP Broken in 1992 and a number of remix projects.