“Came Back Haunted” Song Review: Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails

“Came Back Haunted”

came back haunted

Nothing winds me up more than one of my favorite artists releasing a track to promote their upcoming album.  When that particular artist is Trent effing Reznor with his flagship vehicle, Nine Inch Nails, then all the better.  It has been five years since a proper NIN single, so when it was announced “Came Back Haunted” would be released in conjunction with the dates of the upcoming worldwide tour, I was foaming at the mouth.  Its not like Reznor has been idle these past five years, in fact he has been busier than ever scoring David Fincher films and recording with spousal side project How to Destroy Angels.  But NIN is what we all really want from Trent, so lets see how the new album, Hesitation Marks, is shaping up by way of evaluating the new single.

“Came Back Haunted” is about what you would expect out of a NIN track.  Its deeply layered, starting with a little drum machine, and adding industrial and atmospheric beats as it goes on until a pretty typical guitar crescendo near the end.  There is also a little bit of the dark “danciness” we saw in the early days of NIN and then reappear on With Teeth.  But overall, “Came Back Haunted” is merely a solid but modest beginning to what Hesitation Marks aims to be, rather than a smashing reemergence of the NIN brand.

More than anything, “Came Back Haunted” is akin to With Teeth’s “The Hand That Feeds”, one of the middling tracks from that 2005 offering.  A perfectly agreeable entry into the NIN canon, but I would have hoped for something with a little more teeth (pun intended).  All in all, lets just be happy Reznor is back to doing what we all ached for him to do, and look upon this new track as a starting point for something hopefully great.

6.5/11

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2 thoughts on ““Came Back Haunted” Song Review: Nine Inch Nails”

  1. I agree, its okay, I’ve heard better from Trent especially as first album singles go. I compare this to ‘discipline’ and ‘survivalism’, both much stronger than ‘came back haunted’. Still nice but it sounds like he just picked up where HTDA left.

    1. Thanks for the comment. Hopefully, even though the album is allegedly completely recorded, there are a ton of tracks to choose from to craft the final product. “Came Back Haunted” is certainly no “Survivalism”. I will disagree with you that he just picked up where HTDA left off. Even though Reznor is employing a lot of the same sounds, his work as NIN has a tighter feel to it imo.

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