Friday, October 22, 2010
Nonpoint - Vengeance (2007)
A solid alt-metal album with a strong mainstream sensibility and an eclectic mix of personal styles on the parts of the musicians. Some parts come off as a bit repetitive and formulaic, but the moments where the music strays off the beaten path make up for that lost ground quite well.
Nonpoint are nothing if not consistent. After listening to this album, I know exactly where the band was at this time in their life, and where they were in their art - they made sure I did, because these tracks are strong and united in their messages. Determination, aggression, and tenacity bathe every moment in the album save one - the appropriately named Breathe - which actually makes that one moment all the more interesting.
Nonpoint, in this album, firmly establish their belief in verse-chorus-verse-chorus songwriting, and then show off their creative side in the bridges. There are moments during a full run-through where one's mind wanders off the music and on to other things, but it never strays for long. When Nonpoint breaks their convention, they break it in eye-catching style. This is in fact my only problem with this album ultimately, and why it's a 4, not a 5: they display an interesting take on their sound in key moments throughout the album, but it just feels like they didn't take those risks often enough at times.
You've got your anthemic epic moments on tracks like A Way Out, bold in their boundless, gritty optimism. Other tracks, like March of War, display a firm grasp of dynamics, blending and trading between quiet and loud, smooth and choppy, hauntingly ethereal and poundingly coporeal. There are a lot of strong influences that can be felt - from Pantera to any 90's alt-rock band to alt-metal contemporaries Sevendust -- and each influence is viewed through a lens all the band's own. Make no mistake, this is a great album that I recommend heavily to anyone, especially anyone who listened to their local "alternative" station. You know, back before it started to suck.
(Thanks, Rod Ryan.)
Pros: Consistent, powerful, moments of epic grandeur
Cons: Feels a bit too formulaic at times
Standout Track - Breathe