July 7, 2016 Nonpoint – The Poison Red (Album Review)
In 1997, Fort Lauderdale, Florida natives Robb Rivera and Elias Soriano formed Nonpoint; a band which would go on to release nine studio albums over the course of seventeen years. Impressive, Nonpoint are one of the only bands to survive the Nu Metal era and still be a vital entity in Hard Rock in 2016. Mixing elements of Alternative Metal, Hip Hop, Groove Metal, and Hard Rock, Nonpoint have perfected a truly unique sound all their own. Weathering record label changes, lineup changes, along with other growing pains, founders Soriano (vocals) and Rivera (drums), return in 2016 with Rasheed Thomas (guitars), B.C. Kochmit (guitars), and Adam Wolozsyn (bassist) for a brand new album, entitled The Poison Red. Their first release on Finnish label Spinefarm Records, the new album sees the band shift directions once again as it hits stores July 8, 2016.
Beginning with the first song introduced to fans prior to the album release, “Generation Idiot” starts off The Poison Red with thought-provoking lyrics paired with a slamming beat. Expressing the frustration of society today with the familiar vocals of Soriano, this track feels like a condemning, heavy, Hard Rock anthem. “Foaming At The Mouth” continues the heavy energy with gravelly guitars and mild-yet-hungry vocals. Feeling like an angry breakdown meets pure Rock, it is a cut fans can really unleash to. Next comes “Bottled Up Killer Bees,” which brings a message of defiance and perseverance with loud drums and intricate guitar shreds. Complemented by Soriano’s belt-out of “Cuz’ when you come from the bottom, you can only go up!” it is a powerful, intense listen.
Keeping things interesting, a ticking clock introduces “Rabbit Hole” as a short clip that feels like it came from a Horror version of Alice In Wonderland. Quick movement in brush, giggling, and other various side effects give the sense of following something running in the fog, with only glimpses of what is being followed. Then, following that theme, “Chasing White Rabbits” brings back the solid guitars and vocals featured previously, and even adds a slower melodic break to tell a story. Another thought-provoker, this track questions everything, and the instrumental highlights, instead of overpowering the message. Tense guitars usher in “Standing In The Flesh” next, with a theme of regret, and the song almost feels like an issuance of a challenge. Contrasting, “Divided Conquer Them” begins somberly with a beautiful guitar line and calm vocal before the beat picks up as more feelings of regret pour from the lyrics.
Later on, “Radio Chorus” is introduced with a gentle instrumental met with vocals before diving into a heavier beat after a few seconds. The message is nonconformity and the beat brings frustration to the forefront, provoking an emotion which will inspire many to scream along. After the short clip “Spanish Radio Hour,” festival drums kick off “El Diablo” and are joined shortly by a weighty beat. Featuring lyrics both in English and Spanish, fans will be transported to a dry, dusty climate at dusk with this track, complete with bright costumes, dancing, and painted faces singing to this track in unison. Thereafter, co-mingling of vocals on “No Running Allowed” gives off an air of warring emotions. At around the 2-minute mark, a guitar solo tells its own story and it is up to the fan to feel the moral of it.
With time running out, “Promises” utilizes a single guitar note for the buildup into the beat and the same note fading down, in an introduction to the verse. This is before “Be Enough” comes on with dangerous vocals mixed with beefy tones to softer twists and turns, making for a diverse listen. Fittingly, “My Last Dying Breath” rounds the album out with a lonely guitar and the touch of a cymbal ringing out occasionally. Dramatic vocals lead into an equally stomping, dramatic beat, and everything pauses for solitary gulping breath. Overall, the entire track feels truly like a panicked realization that the end has come.
Nonpoint has used The Poison Red to highlight the story of life, beautifully. With lyrics that illustrate the different trials people face every day and hard-hitting beats to fill in the rest of the story, The Poison Red is an album full of deep, rich emotion. CrypticRock gives this album 5 out of 5 stars.