Courtesy: Spinefarm Records
Veteran hard rock band Nonpoint is set to release its tenth full-length studio recording next month, and it goes without saying that considering the three singles that the band has already released, this album is one that audiences across the board will appreciate and enjoy. That should be no surprise either, considering all that the band has had to offer its audiences over the course of the past 20 years. It certainly has proven to be no surprise to the band, as drummer Robb Rivera pointed out in a recent interview. “As long as people want us to keep writing records, we’re going to keep writing records, Rivera said. “We have a special understanding in the studio, and the chemistry has only gotten better. We live for every moment on stage. We don’t ever want to stop.” Front man Elias Soriano agreed, saying, “I don’t see why we shouldn’t be on our tenth record.” He went on to explain that the band “really took our time” with this record because “we wanted to do something serious for number ten.” The trio of singles already released from this record show without doubt that taking such time and creating a record for the fans has paid off. Of course, they are just a small sampling of the direction that the band has taken this time out. Right from its outset, this record shows Nonpoint as a band that is taking a decidedly new direction this time out. That opener, ‘Empty Batteries’ is just one of the album’s high points and will be discussed shortly. The far more contemplative ‘Feel The Way I Feel’ – the album’s penultimate entry – is another example of the band’s growth in this album. It will be discussed a little bit later on. ‘Wheel Against Will’ is yet another example of the band’s turn in this record. Between these songs, the trio of singles already released and the remaining four songs not noted here, the end result is another solid offering from Nonpoint and a record that fans new and old alike will appreciate.
Nonpoint’s forthcoming full-length studio recording X has been a long time coming, but it is also a record that is certain to appeal just as much to the band’s most seasoned fans as those who might not be as familiar with the band’s catalog. That is thanks, as Soriano noted, the band took so much time in composing the album’s songs, paying such close attention to each work. That attention created 10 songs that reach back through the band’s catalog and that also offer audiences something new, such as the album’s opener ‘Empty Batteries.’ Considering the song’s title, it’s an ironically (likely intentionally placed, too) titled work. That’s because it shows at least musically to be a work that exhibits Nonpoint as having anything but empty batteries. Right from its outset, listeners get a musical arrangement whose thrash approach conjures thoughts of Killswitch Engage while also adding in the band’s own signature sound. The end result is an arrangement that in itself is certain to keep listeners fully engaged while also entertaining said audiences. Of course it is only one part of what makes the song such a strong start for this record. Its lyrical content strengthens its presentation even more.
Front man Elias Soriano said in an interview of this song’s theme that it centers on that need to keep going in life, no matter what. “For the most part, it’s really about looking inside,” Soriano said of the song’s lyrical theme. “You’re reaching down, getting into a battle with yourself and realizing there’s more to be done. A lot of people need coaching or permission to fill their batteries—but they can do it themselves. They simply need to have a dream and a goal. You’re getting the last little bit of gusto, refilling it and going again.” That message comes through clearly as Soriano raps over the song’s heavy musical side, “I won’t let you die off/This isn’t that holiday feeling at all/Put away decorations/Relax on a meditation/Medication stacked in fact it’s black and white/Stacked and used against us all/It’s an abomination/Revelation, evolution revolution.” He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus alongside his band mates, “Transaction/Unsatisfactory/Compassion/An empty battery/They’ll make the time machines/Then they turn 18/Transaction/Unsatisfactory.” The group adds to the chorus in its final refrain, “Turning the light into something I can bear/Into something/Just to find out that its worthless in the end.” This serves even more to speak to the song’s message. As Soriano noted, so many people think they need permission and coaching to fill their batteries. That’s when that something created is something worthless in the end. It’s when someone fills his or her batteries on his or her own that those batteries really get recharged and create something meaningful. It’s a strong message, and one from which so many people will take some motivation and personal illumination. When that message is considered along with the song’s hard-driving musical arrangement, that arrangement serves even more in hindsight to capture the emotion in said message. The pairing does plenty to show what makes this song a strong entry in itself. In a bigger sense, it serves well to show the positive growth from Nonpoint in this record. It is only one of the album’s entries that serves to support that later statement. The far more contemplative ‘Feel The Way I Feel,’ which comes much later in the album’s run, is another example of what makes X another positive effort from Nonpoint.
‘Feel The Way I Feel’ is one of those songs that proves a song can be heavy without actually being heavy in part through its musical arrangement. It does have its heavy moments in its chorus sections. The verses, though, are noticeably reserved and contemplative. The gentle use of the chord progressions and the subtle bass line go a long way toward making those verses so impacting. That is especially important to note since the song’s lyrical content seems to focus on the familiar topic of a broken relationship. This theme is inferred as Soriano sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’m not feeling any better/Doing this the right way/Try to stay classy/Didn’t make it any better/Just want to get nasty/Get my hands dirty/Leave very little question how I feel/No need to get wordy, no/You cat the way you do/So I feel the way I feel/The lie between the truth/You’re so close to reveal/So you do the things you do/So I feel the way I feel.” It’s at this point that the song’s energy picks up and gets a little more aggressive. He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “both of my hands are tied/And my brain is fried/I’m thinking of a way I could just get even with you/I know it’s not politically correct/For me to want to snap your neck/But there’s not other way to hide/When my hands are tied/You act the way you do/So I feel the way I feel/And do the things you do/So I feel the way I feel.” The deep emotion continues through the rest of the song from here, driving home the subject’s feelings even more, both musically and lyrically. It’s honestly an approach that the band has rarely if ever taken on any of its previous albums, and is done quite well in this case. Keeping that in mind, it stands out that much more. In turn, it makes X stand out in whole even more. Even with this in mind, it still isn’t the last of the songs that stands out or that makes the album stand out. ‘Wheel Against Will,’ another later entry in the album’s run, proves just as much to be a standout offering that also proves the album’s strength.
‘Wheel Against Will’ starts out with a steady driving beat from drummer Robb Rivera before it launches into a full on guitar assault while Soriano sings, “No uphill battles/Only wars/Come on the shore/Dropping literary soldiers/Old enough to hold the line/And we’re defining with the revolution on my shoulders…spokes on the wheel that’s turning/Girl against boy/Boy against girl/Will against man/Man against will…the wheel controlling this machine is about to be broken.” He goes on to speak metaphorically of the ground being made of the “dreams of the weak, the poor, the feeble and the meek, powerless, helpless, the homeless on the street.” There is also mention here of what would seem to be perhaps the powers that be, creating the streets from those noted individuals. Keeping that in mind, one is led to assume that this song is perhaps a commentary on the powers that be and their impact on the people through the “machine” that they have created. That could be entirely outside of the song’s message, but hopefully is somewhere in that range. Regardless, it goes without saying that this song’s lyrical message is powerful. When it is joined with its musical accompaniment, the whole proves to be a hard-hitting work that stands solid on its own merits. What’s more, that also serves to help show even more the strength of X in whole. When it is considered along with the other two songs noted here through their musical and lyrical content, all three songs go a long way toward exhibiting Nonpoint’s positive growth in this record. When they are considered along with the three singles already released and the remaining four songs, the album in whole proves to be another strong effort from Nonpoint that is some of the band’s best work to date.
Nonpoint’s new, tenth full-length recording X is a strong new effort that any of the band’s fans will appreciate. That has already been proven through the trio of singles that have already been released from the record. The three songs discussed here do just as much to support that statement as those singles thanks to their powerful musical arrangements and their equally engaging lyrical themes. When they are all considered along with the remaining four tracks not directly noted here, the end result proves to be a record that every one of Nonpoint’s fans will appreciate and enjoy. That is because they prove the record in whole to be among the band’s best albums to date. Speaking of dates, the band has already announced a lengthy schedule of live dates in support of X that launches next month, too. More information on that tour, the band’s new album and more is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:
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