"Break through the surface and breathe," Reznor urges.

By Jon Wiederhorn

As promised, Nine Inch Nails have returned, and they’re in blazing form on the new song “Burning Bright (Field on Fire).” The track comes from the band’s new EP Not the Actual Events, which comes out tomorrow (Dec. 23).

Related: Nine Inch Nails Announce New EP ‘Not the Actual Events’

The song opens with a deep, brooding melodic line that anchors the rest of the music. As it progresses, guitar noise, industrial percussion and chaotic sound effects swarm through the mix as frontman Trent Reznor rants. Then, the volume level drops and Reznor sings the chorus, “Break through the surface and breathe.” As the song draws to a conclusion, he intones “I am forgiven, I am free, I am a field on fire” over and over.

“Burning Bright (Field on Fire)” is aggressive, harsh and discordant  — a welcome return for Nine Inch Nails, whose last album was 2013’s Hesitation Marks.

In 2017, Nine Inch Nails are expected to release a new full-length album and announce tour dates. In addition, the band will release a limited edition 4xLP vinyl version of the 1999 album The Fragile, which will feature 37 bonus tracks.

Reznor has spent much of the past year working with cowriter Atticus Ross on film scores for Leonardo DiCaprio’s climate change documentary Between the Flood and Peter Berg’s Boston Marathon bombing movie Patriot’s Day.

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