CD Review: “X” by Nonpoint

Nonpoint unleash its tenth record, X, after 21 years of rocking all over the globe. The band quickly gets down to business with album opener “Empty Batteries.” It is a grooving stomper with a shade of thrash with its dual guitar attack. Vocalist Elias Soriano’s soaring vocals shine on this track with its melodic chorus. “Chaos and Earthquakes” is trademark Nonpoint with the rapping vocal delivery and melodic guitar lines. This song is sure to be a fan favorite and will certainly garner radio airplay. The opening of “Fix This” is a thick wall of pummeling guitars slightly off-key with the drum beat. Things click in with a sweet bass line from Adam Woloszyn. This track is slightly weak compared to the one-two combination of the previous songs, but a nice guitar lead saves this track from mediocrity. “Passive Aggressive” is a fusion of biting guitar riffs and pounding drums and a melancholy chorus. Drummer Robb Rivera drives this song forward with interesting drum fills and rhythm changes. There is a strong Prong influence on “Dodge Your Destiny” with its trashing and unorthodox riffing. The Latin percussion during the song’s second half makes this track a highlight on X. “Milestone” plods forward with a lazy riff which contrasts with Soriano’s rapid rapping. Penultimate track “The Way I Feel” is a despondent track about feeling helpless in a crumbling relationship. This track is fairly poppy despite its depressing lyrics yet Soriano’s vocals are so powerful that you overlook the music.

X is a terse yet powerful statement from Nonpoint. This is a no-frills record with very little filler. The band has expanded its sound with a heavier thrash influence that adds depth to the music. Guitarists Rasheed Thomas and B.C. Kochmit can lay down some heavy riffs and shred, which makes the album a great listen. Elias’s vocals are still amazing after two decades and it is recognizable in this metal genre. Producer Fred Archambault did a great job recording every instrument. The guitar sound is thick yet clear and the bass is rumbling in the background.

Well, X is another notch in the belt for this storied band. Nonpoint fans should enjoy it and these tracks will certainly kick off some mosh pits at the band’s concerts. X shows that Nonpoint are not slowing down anytime soon.

Check out the band’s website for news and tour dates. 

CD Review: ‘The Poison Red’ by Nonpoint

Nonpoint’s ninth record, The Poison Red, is a mix of old and new. The band’s signature heavy groove is abound, but the band does a bit of experimentation on this record. The choppy riffing on “Foaming At The Mouth” recalls early Helmet and totally contrasts with Elias insouciant rapping throughout the song. The band blends heavy crunch with a laidback groove making for a strong song. Things pick up on “Bottled Up Killer Bees” with its scratchy riffs that sound like bees crashing in a bottle. The shredding guitar lead on “Bottled” is a shining example of Nonpoint’s underrated musicianship. These guys can play more than the typical nu-metal riff and are not afraid to prove that. “Standing In The Flesh” is another heavy hitter. The stomping drumming drives this song forward while the riffs churn like whirlpool. This is another hit for the band and will certainly be a fan favorite on the band’s tours. The band makes a defiant statement on “Radio Chorus” as the group wants to to do what it wants without judgement and the constant pressure of conforming. “El Diablo” is another track sure to be another staple at Nonpoint shows. The band’s Latin influence takes center stage and is strengthened with a memorable chorus.

The key word on The Poison Red is diversity. The band does not play it safe and stretches its wings a bit on this record. No, Nonpoint does not deviate to much from its sound, but it switches things up enough to keep the listener’s ears perked. This is good as the band does not fall back on conventions and it also solidifies Nonpoint’s status as a band that makes music on its own terms. Not too many bands can boast of staying together for 20 years, but Nonpoint can.

In the end, Nonpoint can chalk up another victory. The Poison Red fits along just fine with the band’s discography. It is heavy, soft, angry, uplifting and introspective. Fans of the band should pick it up as should anyone that want an introduction to Nonpoint’s music.

For news and tour dates, check out the band’s website: http://nonpoint.com/