CD Review: “The Return” by Nonpoint

Nonpoint is the machine that keeps on going. The group’s eighth album, appropriately titled The Return, is rife with the band’s signature no-nonsense riffing along with a few surprises. The opener “Pins and Needles” is a nice groove that switches gears in the middle to a full thrash attack. It is a nice surprise for a band not known for playing thrash. The heavy, but lush, “Razors” has one of the most infectious choruses in the band’s catalog. The pulsating, tribal rhythms of the title track keeps the song on the edge before it explodes. This track showcases a short, but sweet, Middle Eastern tinged lead. The serene, acoustic intro on “Widowmaker” offers a different side, rarely heard from the band. It shows that Nonpoint are more than a one trick pony and perhaps is a glimpse of the future.

The band almost misled me about the quality of this album by releasing the two weaker songs as singles. The generic sounding “Breaking Skin” and “Never Ending Hole” lack the punch often exhibited on past Nonpoint singles. These tracks may have been released for commercial airplay, but several songs on The Return are commercial without sacrificing musicianship. Still, this is a minor issue as the record as a whole outshines these two tracks. Production wise, the band sounds great as ever. Producer Johnny K, who produced the band’s last record, does not stray from the crisp, sharp production he is known for. The Return is not overproduced, nor does it sound too compressed.

The Return offers what you would expect from Nonpoint. The band has released consistent records over the past 17 years and does not deviate too much from its signature sound. Fans that enjoyed the group’s 2012 self-titled release will like The Return. Fans of extreme metal will avoid it or perhaps give it a listen or two. In the end, it is another strong release from the band and will excite fans around world.

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