Hitting store shelves August 24, 2018, Nonpoint has given us X [Spinefarm Records], (think the roman numeral for ten, not the letter, this being their 10th studio release). Having more than 21 years under them as a group, it’s great to hear that not much of the Nonpoint formula has changed. Insightful, provocative lyrics, driving bass lines, big fat ass drums and ripping guitars are still plastered on every track, making this a continuation of the Nonpoint bloodline.
The album starts off in an ominous way. The intro piece to Empty Batteries feels like it almost belongs in a Marvel movie; I can hear this song being played over the opening scene in Avengers Infinity War. It just FEELS epic in that scope. Once the intro ends, guitars and drums come kicking the door down in a violent, aggressive manner that lets you know “this track means business.” The music is fast and gritty, but precise and focused. Couple that with vintage Elias Soriano vocals, there’s no mistaking this for anyone other than Nonpoint. The chorus is infectious, with a choir vocal feel backing up the melody, creating a tune that is very soulful and very powerful. They chose the right track to take you on this journey.
One phrase comes to mind listening to the song Chaos and Earthquakes; prototypical Nonpoint. More so than any track on this album, I believe this song could have been on any of the band’s prior nine studio albums, from Statement, all the way to The Poison Red. As usual, with a lot of Nonpoint’s music, the chorus is hyper addictive. It’s something you will hear the crowd going crazy for and screaming along. The guitar solo on this one is a driving piece of incredible work that has a genuine bluesy feel to it. The closing chorus of the track takes it up a notch and gets you really pumped up. I feel like I could take on a mob to this song! Watch the video below.
“You don’t have to be below this, but you don’t wanna make things right,” from Fix This, is my favorite line off the entire album and feels like something right out of the Development era. I find myself going back to this track a lot, no matter my mood. This track has a serious groove with some serious attitude. The guitars that Rasheed Thomas and B.C. Kochmit lay down here are aggressive, accurate and deadly. The riffs come from out of nowhere and keep you guessing as to where this track might go. I love the way this one ends on almost a melancholy feel. It gave me goosebumps!
Timing in at 2:57, Crashing is the shortest track on the album, but that is not a negative here. It left me wanting to hear more and to me, that’s a good thing. Even being the shortest song, it feels HUGE. The vocal layering used on this once again makes the chorus feel so massive. I just wish there was more of it to be heard!
Okay, I’m going to reach on this one, so bear with me, as I’m hoping someone gets this reference. When I first heard the intro to Passive Aggressive, it reminded me of the baptism scene from the video game, BIOSHOCK: INFINITE. But once that piece ends, this f-cker hits the ground running and doesn’t stop. Well, it does, eventually. It must. There’s an awesome change of pace between the verses, breakdowns and choruses. The kind that makes you rewind to listen to it again to make sure you heard that change right. It’s that cool!
Robb f-cking Rivera. A beast on the drums. He blew me away on this one, he really did. Dodge Your Destiny is overflowing with groove and power from start to finish. There’s a lot going on in this track. The intro leads you to believe you’re in for a thrash throwback and gives you a taste of it here and there. There’s also TONS of aggression and anger in the chorus. Combine that with the tempo changes throughout and a little bit of Latin flare in the breakdown and it makes for a song that will open up a mosh pit as wide as a football field.
Are you looking for a song to get your blood pressure up? One to get you pumped up for anything? Then Wheel Against Will is where you need to be. This is a f-cking fight song. This is a song that hits you like a battleship and 100-ton sledgehammer all at once. When the chorus finally kicks in, you’ll be pushed over the edge and you will want to start screaming, “WHEEL AGAINST WILL” in unison with the song. This one definitely stands out for me, and I’m anticipating hearing it live VERY F-CKING SOON!
I love it when bass guitar is the focus to lead off a song. There’s just something about it that grabs my attention and Adam Woloszyn does just that on Milestone. Of all the tracks on X, this one feels the most chaotic and hectic, but by no means is that to be taken as a negative. With dramatic twists and turns between the verses and chorus, over to the breakdowns, this one sounds like it is going around itself like a damn mosh pit crashing and spinning like a tropical storm.
Feel The Way I Feel is a song that doesn’t have the same level of aggression that runs throughout the rest of the album, but it is a very nice change of pace and tones things down a little. Not everything has to be heavy and aggressive or superfast and loud. By taking the foot off the gas pedal slightly on this one, it creates a track that has its own place among the rest of the album.
Coming to the closing of the album, I was hoping they wouldn’t end it any differently than how it started. My hopes were realized when the track kicked in. Position One closes out the 10 songs (not including bonus tracks) VERY strongly. A lot of great production was done on this track; guitar work going from the intro bleeds into the verse, then picks up again at the end of a chorus, and bleeds right back into the next verse. This really makes it a unique track to just get lost in. The best part? The hook in the chorus is so f-cking catchy, I caught myself singing it all day, even going back and listening to this track a few times throughout the day, “I’ll never let you break me down inside – inside – inside – inside – inside!”
I’ve got to give it up to the five guys in this band. Twenty-one years after the initial inception, including a few lineup changes and switching labels, none of that has diminished the want, the need and/or desire to keep creating the distinctive Nonpoint sound.
Nonpoint are currently on tour with He Is Legend and Letters From The Fire. Find all tour dates through September and ticket links here.