"Nails and claws"
Until now, "Closure", a video released in 1997, was the only official
release that registered the stage activity of the band Nine Inch Nails.
Along with it endless bootlegs appeared, one after another. And, truthfully,
only today were we able to discover the live side of one of the most
influent and energetic rock bands of the 90s, the one that was able to
define in the most personal, luring and interesting manner, a cross between
the brute force of heavy rock schools and the choreographic possibilities
revealed by the electronic revolution of the last decade. With the exception
of a few live performances in "Further Down the Spiral" and in CD singles,
the live "portrait" of Trent Reznor was, until now, a dish for the
inevitable bootlegging. until now.
Released in three distinct formats, "And All That Could Have Been"
Limited Edition Double CD and DVD) corresponds to everyone's expectations,
and before everything, it makes us think of why we didn't have an
opportunity to see NIN live before in our lands by the sea?.
The album registers the applauded Fragility V2.0 Tour that followed
released of "The Fragile", the magnificent conceptual album of 1999 and that
visited 43 American cities between April and June of 2000. In a register
that holds many of the songs played live, we are not placed in front of a
full concert (at least there's no indication of this), the order of the
songs having been chose in a posterior digital montage, simulating a virtual
show made from fragments of a whole tour. The ending result is better, but
this makes it loose the primordial authenticity of the stage.. Oh well, that
's the rule of the game.
The line-up is interesting, using some of the most important episodes
every life stage of NIN, without "The Fragile" drowning out the
more-than-welcome memories of "The Downward Spiral", "Broken", and, most of
all. "Pretty Hate Machine", released in 1989. "Sin", "Terrible Lie" and
"Head like a Hole", precisely the three main songs from those first moments
in the end of the 80s, are revisited here, impregnated with dynamics that is
characteristic to the band's present state of mind, that shows here a
tireless theatrical performance where so many energy and pure rage is
released and is balanced by outbursts of interior peace. Master of a whole
generation of disciples, Reznor shows live that the choreography of extremes
that dominates his albums can be amplified to stages of emotional agitation
even bigger in a performance of total surrendering and comprehension of the
arts of communication beyond the words drawn on stage.
A result of the perfectionism that is characteristic of Trent
All That Could Have Been" is forced to a final polishing that, without
destroying the rawness of certain episodes in flesh and blood, gives to this
album final forms impossible to find before in any NIN bootleg. The infinite
details of "March of the Pigs" or the beautiful "Closer", "The Great Below"
or "The Mark Has Been Made" are representative examples of many of the songs
in a record where the technical details show a clear advantage over the
natural human mistakes that someone makes when playing live. One more, a
rule of the game that we can (or not) accept.
Along with the album a limited edition is also released, enclosed
little cloth box, in which we can find, along with "And All That Could Have
Been", a second disc. It's the beautiful "Still", only available in an
isolated format on the band's website. It's a soberb complement, almost
chill out, made with the reunion of the reinterpretation of a few songs,
reduced almost to the nudity of its essence and a new song (curiously with
the title of the live album) that sends us back to the placid dives through
Reznor's inner mind and four new instrumentals of an ambient nature that
justify the importance of a potencial major author in music for movies.