Coming out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Nonpoint are an American Nu Metal band that have been rocking out for the better part of 21 years with absolutely no signs of slowing down! Their tenth studio album, aptly titled ‘X,’ isn’t far from release, and we were able to bask in its beautiful ambience ahead of schedule.
Drummer Robb Rivera has gone on record saying that, “It’s probably our best record we’ve done musically. There are elements of every album. We put it all on the line. I hope fans walk away satisfied.” He wasn’t joking either – however this album isn’t just for the most diehard of Nonpoint fans. In fact, this could bring them back amongst the fold with the next generation of Metalheads alike.
Nonpoint is comprised of quintet Elias Soriano (vocals), Rivera (drums), Rasheed Thomas (guitar), Adam Woloszyn (bass) and B.C. Kochmit (secondary guitar).
Album opener Empty Batteries kicks the door down with a battering ram of a riff, which is craftily underscored by an impenetrable beat. This flurry then gives way to a brooding, rather hypnotic refrain which sets the tone brilliantly.
Hinging on airy guitar, ripping solos, and rapid-fire blows, Chaos and Earthquakes packs as much heaviness as we’ve ever heard from Nonpoint in the past. The lyrics touch on the state of the world currently, with this end-of-days apocalyptic scenario that we often see played out in the media, urging people to get away from the madness. This is something Nonpoint have built a foundation of doing throughout their history, which is what sets them apart from most other bands within their realm.
Fix This is more ballad-like compared to what we’ve heard thus far, building from a hushed, clean verse towards one of the band’s catchiest choruses yet – I’ve been finding myself walking around the house just singing it over and over, so prepare for Nonpoint to penetrate your mind with this one; you won’t be disappointed!
Crashing slides right into the pocket of being a Nonpoint smash hit. It’s packed with familiar tones and vibes that we’ve borne witness to over the past two decades, but does enough to set itself apart as something completely new. This is followed up with the choir-like overture that opens Passive Aggressive, before returning to that familiar sound. Soriano’s vocals are clean throughout – and there’s no denying the wordsmith’s range is as beautiful as his lyrics are poetic. The instrumental performance in this is hypnotising – transcending a catchy, softer tone before breaking into a ripping guitar solo backed by the heavy slapping of bass strings.
Dodge Your Destiny definitely leaps from zero to 60 in a split second; the softer tones of Passive Aggressive well and truly left in its dust, with the instrumentals spitting more fire than Soriano’s vocals. It’s definitely a welcomed slap in the face that brings you back into reality, after being lulled away by the beauty of the previous track.
Maintaining this more heavily soaked sound, Wheel Against Will continues running with the mantle and doesn’t disappoint. Soriano’s vocal range is all the more impressive because of his ability to seamlessly transition between the heavier tracks and the more sombre ballad-like performances without losing any of his integrity. The chorus is where the heaviness truly comes to the forefront, and is absolutely brilliant.
Milestone features some of the best guitar work on the album, without fail, and lyrically is one of the more memorable performances of the album. Soriano spits lyrics as fierce as the instrumentals that are backing him, and although somewhat reserved in its arrangement (in part), this is one of the more powerful performances overall.
Feel the Way I Feel is one of those tracks that is proof that a musical arrangement can be heavy without being over the top, or balls-to-the-wall. It does have its heavy moments within the chorus, however it’s the verses that are notably reserved and contemplative. This combined with a subtle bass line goes a long way toward strengthening the impact that these softer verses possess.
Position One rounds out the album with relatable, final words from Soriano with his poetic spitting backed by squealing guitar. Whilst rather contemplative in sound, it still holds heavy tones that help push the Nonpoint sound to its absolute limit. Talk about an album coming full circle!
If you’re a Nonpoint fan, this is one album you’re not going to want to miss. If you’re new to the Nonpoint sound, this is the perfect display of the talent that they possess, and what a perfect time to get onboard the hype train!
X is available August 24th, be sure to preorder your digital / hard copies here!