August 20, 2018 Nonpoint – X (Album Review)
Twenty plus years in the making, Alternative Metal act Nonpoint continues to share a part of their DNA for the world to rock out to. From 2000’s “What A Day” to 2005’s “Bullet With A Name,” and more recently, 2016’s “Generation Idiot,” the Fort Lauderdale natives are ready to kick of a new chapter with X, their tenth overall studio album set for release on Friday, August 24th via Spinefarm Records.
Consisting of Elias Soriano (vocals), Robb Rivera (drums), Rasheed Thomas (guitar), Adam Woloszyn (bass), and B.C. Kochmit (guitar), together, they have reached a new level of chemistry and growth for this landmark record. A bold statement, the truth is Nonpoint nearly took a year off to dedicate to the making of X. Soriano explains the fact the band is seizing this moment in their career to create something they always have wanted to stating, “Since we are so deep into our career, we wanted to do something serious for number ten. We really took our time. We’ve been honing in on writing something like this for two decades. Every single song received its due. Now, our end game is just to go until the fucking wheels come off.” That said, boy, did they step up, deliver, and bring their game.
Consisting of ten tracks, X begins with “Empty Batteries,” the longest song of the album. A subtle rumble grabs the listener’s attention while ambient sounds flow in. Then, what comes off as soft yet dooming violin and screeching high-pitched sounds, hide what comes off like a fire burning/crackling off in the distance. Needless to say, the fast-paced guitar riffs send the opening off to a wild ride and strong start for the album.
Next comes “Chaos and Earthquakes,” the first listens fans got to hear of the record. Selected as one of the first single releases along with “Dodge Your Destiny,” “Chaos and Earthquakes” begins with consistent mid-tempo guitar and drum cymbal taps before a full band eruption occurs. The band continues to carry a style of aggression and perfectly timed melodies and breaks. Intense and topical, it stresses the concerning fall of society and how it’s evident mankind is being torn apart to separate sides.
Keeping with that fierce approach, in-your-face track “Fix This” starts off fast-paced and alarming with rapid cymbal crashes, but calms down to gentle yet thick bass and light drums. Soriano continues his trademark style of a rap/sing but holds it in a whispered yet spiteful form. Furthermore, a ghouling laugh in the background will make you second guess reality for a split second, as if someone is standing over your shoulder. Then, television audio warps with music and keys in for “Crashing,” a cut that spots a similarity influence to Otherwise’s “Suffer” intro. Rather mesmerizing, like a lullaby playing from a jewelry box, the once gentle track grows in intensity and twists into a heavy tune where the messenger questions what he is doing wrong.
Matching its title with sarcastic yet powerful lyrics, “Passive Aggressive” features strong harmonizing background vocals which are isolated while echoing away. Thereafter, heavy bass illuminates the essence of a march morphed into Rage Against The Machine’s “Sabotage” guitar and bass combo for “Wheel Against Will.” Another song that is perfectly timed in rhythm, consistent to Nonpoint’s formula displayed over the years, lyrically, it also stands out. The message dives into the political pool about fighting tyrants of the machine, taking a stand for the poor and feeble, screaming “the wheel that controls this machine is about to be broken.” Then there is “Milestone,” which is the most condensed and pressed package piece of the album. Without spoiling too much, listeners and fans of the Netflix series Stranger Things can spot reference in the second verse. Drawn out guitars create a solid groove and base for the track while Soriano fiercely lays down the vocals.
On the other hand, the ballad “Feel The Way I Feel” introduces sweetly distorted guitar chimes before a mid-tempo beat kicks in with Soriano’s filtered sounding vocals. It easily holds as the most relatable song on X, digging into brutally honest lyrics such as “Both of my hands are tied. My brain is fried. Thinking of a way I can just get even with you.” Last, but certainly not least, closing out the album, “Position One” falls into a slamming groove. The guitar effects beautifully bleed out, giving the composition more texture than most, combining multiple elements for a strong finish.
Nonpoint’s X is everything fans could have wished for during their small break. A veteran band who continue to battle on proves Rock is not dead. Showing growth, all while doing a great job of blending influences and their own personal touch, X is guaranteed to leave listeners hungry for more. For these reasons, CrypticRock gives Nonpoint’s X 5 out of 5 stars.