"Corona Radiata" is the eighth track on the Nine Inch Nails album The Slip. It is an instrumental track at 55 BPM, and at 7:34 is the longest on the album. It is also the longest studio song by NIN (the second is "Memorabilia").
Corona Radiata are several protective layers surrounding ova or unfertilized egg cells, responsible with supplying the ova or egg cell with protein. The artwork for the song most probably represents an egg cell with the distinct corona radiata surrounding it. This might be a lead in to some sort of impregnation with the Demon Seed, perhaps implied by the red line. Another explanation for both the title and the image can be derived from the literal translation of "Corona Radiata", which is "Radiant Crown". Traditionally a crown of light is symbolic of many things including glory, enlightenment and deification, in regards to this track it is easily interpreted as being a halo (the track art being a broken halo) thus reflecting a fall from grace. The theme of light also ties well with both The Presence and the previous track "Lights In The Sky." Corona Radiata is also the bundle of white matter in the brain that is a pathway for information traveling to and from the cerebral cortex, where the brain processes one's conscious mind.
Curiously, the track overlaps from "Lights In The Sky" and shares its tempo, but whether the tracks are somehow related is possible but unknown.
This is the original album version. The song begins with a calm and serene layering of synthesizer pads, fading in over the end of "Lights In The Sky." In the second half, drums and other effects creep in. Finally, screams from an infant and other effects fade in quickly as the song suddenly stops.
This song may have made its debut on the South American shows, with "The Greater Good" lyrics whispered over it as it transitions into the pre-recorded "Pinion" and then "Wish." Its synthesizer layers may also have been used to created a new, live introduction to "1,000,000" on the Australian dates of the Wave Goodbye Tour. A much shorter pre-recorded version of the song was played during the transition from "Gave Up" to the electronic/Year Zero centric portion of the set on the Lights In The Sky Tour.