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Thread: Trilogy (NTAE, Add violence, Bad Witch) playing order/theories

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    Trilogy (NTAE, Add violence, Bad Witch) playing order/theories

    How are you playing the two EPs already released? Do you play them as the are or do you think that he songs from the three EPs are meant to be played in a different way telling a story. As I listened to the last interview of Trent on apple music it's obvious that the songs are meant to play as they were released, because the story is told like that - so the first EP, then the second EP and then the last LP. What do you think?

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    I did throw together a playlist of

    Branches/Bones
    Less Than
    The Lovers
    Dear World,
    She's Gone Away
    This Isn't The Place
    Not Anymore
    The Idea of You
    Burning Bright
    The Background World

    Nothing too crazy, more grouped for continuity. I might edit this once BW drops, but I've never really been one for totally rearranging an album's tracklist.

    To paraphrase Goonies "God put that rock there for a purpose and I'm not going to be the one to move it".

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    Also, what the fuck could possibly come after the meltdown apocalypse of Background World?

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul_guyet View Post
    Also, what the fuck could possibly come after the meltdown apocalypse of Background World?
    The Background World into Burning Bright actually sounds REALLY good

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul_guyet View Post
    Also, what the fuck could possibly come after the meltdown apocalypse of Background World?
    Some shit

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    I'll give it a shot.

    I feel the same way about RWIB. Of course I could just jump right into ATLITW, but I feel like I just need silence after WT wraps up.

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    I think the noise apocalypse of The Background World is meant to represent the destruction of the perspective the second EP offers; it's generally more accessible and tamer than the first, and then something goes... wrong. So I'm fine with the track order just being the EPs as released, especially since Bad Witch seems like it will be an unusual sound for NIN.

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    Perhaps the placement of the ^^^^ markers on the albums is the order (if there is indeed proper order?)
    Applying this theory, and assuming order is top to bottom, it would make it: Add Violence, Bad Witch, Not the Actual Events


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    Now that Bad Witch is here...I'm playing with the order and it's REALLY difficult. Each one of the EP's final songs would be a good album closer...

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    Burning Bright to me seems light the ultimate closer/finale of the two EP's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven View Post
    Burning Bright to me seems light the ultimate closer/finale of the two EP's.
    Agree 100%

    Since Add Violence was released I've consistently listened to Add Violence then Not the Actual Event back to back on one playlist. I think it works well, and was anticipating the third EP being the begging of the trilogy thematically...now I'm not so sure.

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    This whole concept seems really weird to me given the importance the vinyl album plays in the presentation of this trilogy. Trent has stated that is the preferred format, to then also suggest you listen to the songs in an out-of-order sequence seems counterintuitive to the format.

    Counterpoint: What an odd concept to suggest unless the interviewer was sort of tipped in that direction.

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    Is anyone taking into account the B side of NtAE? The backwards TDS songs need to play (their goddamn) part.

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    I have to test it out but I think if we keep the EP track lists, it has to go AV / NTAE / BW. And it'll always feel like it's a three act album but that makes it more interesting to me. I'd have to play with it for a long time to figure out a tracklist that actually works with three sets of obvious closing tracks and three songs that are really good openers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dvp View Post
    Is anyone taking into account the B side of NtAE? The backwards TDS songs need to play (their goddamn) part.
    Yep I always listen to the B side, really adds to it. Works better than directly going Burning Bright -> Less than.

    If you finish with the crashing Burning Bright, you get some kind of rollback with the three TDS tracks, and then you go into Less Than, which seems way more "positive" than Burning Bright, but still with that tainted, compressed quality to it. It works.

    You get one way to present the events with NTAE, then you actually go back to the beginning, restart, try a new way. But then it just destroys itself and burns with the loop of The Background World, and we can really start the actual events, the right way, without compromise : Bad Witch.

    It's linked just as much to the narrative and to Trent's view of The Trilogy, as a view of the current world, in three different ways.

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    Iím not sure whether Trent would chuckle or facepalm at the thought of people seriously listening to the backwards TDS tracks as part of the album.

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    I threw together a quick combination of the songs that I will edit a little bit after I give a couple more listens. Shit on it if you'd like.

    1. This Isn't the Place
    2. Dear World,
    3. Not Anymore
    4. Play the Goddamned Part
    5. Less Than
    6. She's Gone Away
    7. God Break Down the Door
    8. I'm Not From this World
    9. The Idea of You
    10. Ahead of Ourselves
    11. Branches/Bones
    12. Over and Out
    13. The Lovers
    14. Burning Bright (Field on Fire)
    15. Shit Mirror
    16. The Background World

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    Posted a theory regarding BW and how it fits into the trilogy in the BW thread. Going to share the trilogy portion here so as not to copy the entire post. More details on BW as a standalone with more specific song notes in the other thread.

    I see BW as a condensed, simplified version of the trilogy's story which works on its own as well as a final third. So as far as examining the trilogy as a whole:

    Remember the Reznor interview where NTAE is described as exploring and lashing out at oneself for answers. The lyrics are incredibly insular. It's music written for a character trapped within their own head. Occasional observations of the outside world and past experiences are made, but we're viewing that world through a tiny slit in an otherwise impenetrable fortress. We are, for the most part, keeping to our own devices. Sticking to what and who we know. We uncover some potentially disturbing facts, but with Burning Bright, we absolve ourselves. We're not perfect, but it can't possibly be us. It's got to be them. It's got to be the world that's the problem.

    In AV, we step out into that world. We notice destruction. We notice the deaths of our heroes. But if the blame lies with the outside world, would that conclusion truly satisfy us? Are we sure this is what we want? Daunting situation, if so.

    Maybe it's a combination of the internal and external, which Reznor alluded to in the aforementioned interview. Maybe it's all of humanity. So in BW, we synthesize what we've learned. Our own arrogance, confidence, frustration, and righteous anger fueled by what we've observed outside lead us to do a deep dive into the human condition. We're strong enough to handle this. We're ready for it. We go in guns blazing with the first two tracks of the record. They're rocky, they're angry, they're confident. Yet by the time we descend into Sax Worldô, we realize we're anything but confident. The two middle tracks paint the picture of a place we shouldn't have gone. A place that, if it holds any answers at all, are not the ones we want to hear. We've dug ourselves so deep that the way out won't be easy, but we take it because it's the only option. I'm Not From This World sees us running away from that place, haunted by what we may have discovered. In Over and Out, we emerge and question whether the journey was even worth it.

    tl;dr: citing the lyrics, atmospherics, and Reznor's words, it seems to me that we're intended to listen to these in the order of release. NTAE -> AV -> BW

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    I can see a story of Trent in these albums ( 3 albums that fit perfectly as review for all his carrer as musician)
    They talk about his problems with addictions
    His perspective, his fears, the paranoia, the need of this, the addiction (as a "she") is talking to him, their relationship, is he happy now? he is fighting,
    he doesn't want this again but he doesnt know who is he now, the fall , the cycle is repeated



    Copy of A /In two /The idea of you (he can't recognize him anymore)
    The lovers (the addiction as a relationship)/all time low (they are talking)/Disappointed/Dear World (is he failing as an artist without the drugs?)
    The eater of dreams/Burning bright/Background world/I'm not from this world (he is on drugs again, the addiction is talking to him she won, the cycle is repeated...the end)

    Those are just random ideas, but I Think they have some kind of connection (Not the actual events/Bad Witch/Add Violence/Hesitations Marks)

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    As the trilogy is pressed on vinyl it has to have two sides:

    SIDE A:
    01. BRANCHES/BONES
    02. LESS THAN
    03. SHIT MIRROR
    04. DEAR WORLD
    05. THE LOVERS
    06. THE BACKGROUND WORLD

    SIDE B:
    01. THE IDEA OF YOU
    02. GOD BREAK DOWN THE DOOR
    03. BURNING BRIGHT (FIELD ON FIRE)
    04. THIS ISN'T THE PLACE
    05. I'M NOT FROM THIS WORLD
    06. OVER AND OUT

    I just don't have a name for it... must be something with "...: Deviations 2"

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    Quote Originally Posted by laur.a View Post
    As the trilogy is pressed on vinyl it has to have two sides:

    SIDE A:
    01. BRANCHES/BONES
    02. LESS THAN
    03. SHIT MIRROR
    04. DEAR WORLD
    05. THE LOVERS
    06. THE BACKGROUND WORLD

    SIDE B:
    01. THE IDEA OF YOU
    02. GOD BREAK DOWN THE DOOR
    03. BURNING BRIGHT (FIELD ON FIRE)
    04. THIS ISN'T THE PLACE
    05. I'M NOT FROM THIS WORLD
    06. OVER AND OUT

    I just don't have a name for it... must be something with "...: Deviations 2"
    Excellent point! Also, this is a pretty solid mix.

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    Quote Originally Posted by laur.a View Post
    As the trilogy is pressed on vinyl it has to have two sides:

    (tracklist)

    I just don't have a name for it... must be something with "...: Deviations 2"
    Those half hour long sides would sound great on vinyl!

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    I used to have :

    Burning Bright
    Branches / Bones
    Dear World,
    The Idea of You
    She's Gone Away
    This Isn't The Place
    Not Anymore
    The Lovers
    Less Than
    The Background World

    Too soon to pitch Bad Witch in yet. I would probably remove both instrumentals and The Background World's ending. Maybe next year I'll have my perfect setlist.

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    I like the idea of "create your own album" with these three releases. I don't think there's anything hugely conceptual behind it, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmtd View Post
    I’m not sure whether Trent would chuckle or facepalm at the thought of people seriously listening to the backwards TDS tracks as part of the album.
    Here we see a close-minded individual in the wilderness. Try it. Art is more than entertainment, and I know it's difficult for you to understand that. A weirder thing is than even if it's a simple "easter egg", it legitimately works. What an insult to Trent, seriously. Purposefully putting a whole vinyl side and people thinking he would just chuckle when someone happens to like it.

    Edit : "Fuck, I got goose bumps just thinking about that possibility right now - the idea that someone could be thinking so hard about an album"

    Sounds like @teitan would just get goose bumps


    @laur.a Best one yet IMO, the two sides really solves the loop placement
    Last edited by StockAvuryah; 06-20-2018 at 11:54 AM.

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    Musically, i would begin with "Add violence", it's the most "straightforward" of the 3, then "NTAE" and finish with "Bad Witch".

    I also thought that the three albums as released tell a story about "past", "present" and "future" of mankind.
    Last edited by henryeatscereal; 06-21-2018 at 08:48 AM.

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    I kinda feel like if we got two different albums with this trilogy. Like two different scenarios being NTAE the only point in common.

    Playing NTAE and then AV there is some kind of science fiction Year Zero sequel/Bleedthrough album about somebody discovering that we live in a simulation, and playing NTAE and then Bad Witch a super pessimist album about how our society is in decadence.

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    Initially, I found it quite difficult to come up with one master track list because of The Background World and Over and Out as neither would seemingly fit anywhere else other than at the end. As a troubleshoot, I broke it into 2 "halves" with TBW finishing the first 8 songs, which would then "loop" into Less Than to start the second half, which would actually almost feel natural if you've listened to Add Violence on repeat many times before. Given the metaphorical statement of the end of TBW, I found that concept to be rather fitting here. And while the notion of doing a full "CD" and connecting this collection of songs to that dead medium seems a bit silly now, I will say the coincidence/happy accident of the entire 16 tracks running at 1 hour, 19 minutes and change is kind of impossible not to notice.


    The first half I wanted to focus on the anger and chaos of the trilogy. Wanting answers, explanations, sense - the world not providing that and the response being FUCK YOU. Two crunchy openers back to back followed by the power of Burning Bright. I loved the transition of Not Anymore and the "I Just Can't Seem to Wake Up" outro going into 'Yes, Everybody seems to be Asleep" in Dear World too. This Isn't The Place being the one kind of sonic reprieve to break up the constant droning onslaught.

    The second half is more of this hazy acceptance that you won't ever receive the answers you need. You can only continue to ask the right questions, ad infinitum. You might slip in or slip out of that consciousness at times but ultimately we are all locked on the same track despite being disconnected. So why not succumb to addiction or self medication? Why feel like certain things are "important" when in the end they are not? That realization can be incredibly cold, accompanied by a vast sense of loneliness. This made She's Gone Away and the Idea of You the perfect sandwich bread for PTGP/GBDTD. Nor could I bring myself to break up I'm Not From This World and Over & Out as the epic closing duo for obvious reasons. The fight is real. How you choose to accept your eventual defeat is up to you. But fret not, for things are not entirely bleak! For when you get to that end, the whole experience will likely loop around again. And again. and again. and again like the endless blackness of space. And there is absolutely nothing you can do about that. Shiiiiiiiiit.


    1. Branches/Bones
    2. Shit Mirror
    3. Burning Bright (Field on Fire)
    4. Ahead of Ourselves
    5. This Isn't The Place
    6. Not Anymore
    7. Dear World,
    8. The Background World
    9. Less Than
    10. She's Gone Away
    11. Play The Goddamned Part
    12. God Break Down The Door
    13. The Idea of You
    14. The Lovers
    15. I'm Not From This World
    16. Over and Out
    Last edited by valiantsteed; 06-20-2018 at 01:00 PM.

  29. #29
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    12 Tracks album. 16 felt too long and some songs felt cuttable to me.

    Cold & Black & Infinite


    1. Branches / Bones
    2. Shit Mirror
    3. The Idea of You
    4. God Break Down the Door
    5. Less Than
    6. She’s Gone Away
    7. The Lovers
    8. This Isn’t The Place
    9. Ahead of Ourselves
    10. Burning Bright (Field of Fire)
    11. Over and Out
    12. The Background World

    if that above album had dropped, I’d probably go as far to say that it’s the strongest NIN album since The Fragile.

  30. #30
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    So far, I keep everything in the same order, with only one change: I edited The Background World in Audacity by cutting off the glitching/slow noise distortion buildup. Sacrilige, I know, but the noise wall tended to make my brain meander away from the overall collection too much. The track ends up being 4m 4s and segues perfectly into Shit Mirror.

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