Nonpoint The Return
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Label: Razor & Tie
[xrr rating= 9/10]
Every once in a while an opportunity comes along completely unexpectedly. Yesterday, one of those once in a while’s came along for me. As I was checking my email, I came across the opportunity to check out Nonpoint’s eighth full length album The Return, which was set to release the next day, September 30th. I have been a fan of the Nonpoint sound for well over 12 years and I had been very much looking forward to hearing something new from them, so the opportunity to give the new album a listen was definitely a plus for me.
As I rolled into “Pins and Needles”, I immediately got that “oh yeah” urge. This song had me from the first notes and never let go. You’ve got to love a song about provoking a reaction and then waiting for the right moment to strike. From the first listen, this was one of my favorites off of what I soon found to be a very solid album from a very solid band. There is no doubt that Nonpoint is back with a vengeance and “Pins” is very appropriately leading the way.
The first single off the album, Breaking Skin, continues the aural assault and delivers melodic, yet heavy dose of what Nonpoint has always done extremely well. It seems Nonpoint is going towards a heavier, more edgy sound and quite honestly it works very well in Breaking Skin. According to Elias (via Nonpoint’s bio) Breaking Skin is “about addiction, whether it be food, drugs, sex, lying, or anything. That tends to turn to an itch. You can’t stop scratching it so you break skin.”
Batting third, “Razors” keeps the heavy, more aggressive sound going full tilt. Elias says it best as he describes the personal message behind “Razors”. “In your past, you always will find people who didn’t believe in what you were doing at the beginning. They end up coming around full circle later. Watching them come back is an interesting feeling. You can be a dick about it, or you can just be happy and live your life. That song is about opening the door and holding the proverbial slice of crow for them to eat high above your head.” I for one can very much relate to this song.
“Misery” brings back what I would have to say is that classic, Nonpoint sound. From the articulated delivery of Elias’ vocals, to the gritty guitars, heavy bass and thundering drum beat, this sound is Nonpoint. One of my favorite lyrics from this album is in this song. “The only way I can describe this life is I am a train wreck survivor, buried alive. No sign of life for days, but it’s quiet, so I am going to stay for a while.”
Next up, the title track “The Return” is one of the few songs on this album that I was not really into. Not sure if it was the fact that I liked the other songs so much that this one just missed for me, or if I just didn’t feel this one. This song has parts that I enjoyed, but all in all, I found myself moving on to the next song more often than not.
“Take this World Apart” comes in just the way you would expect from Nonpoint. It slowly builds on a steady rhythm of the drums, then shifts into a guitar heavy chorus and mid-section. This is a very solid track indeed.
“Forcing Hands” is one of the heaviest offerings of the album. This one will have you banging along from the start. Rocking guitars, a killer beat, and spot on vocals put this song high on my list of favorites on this album.
If it weren’t for “Widowmaker”, “Goodbye Letters” would be at the top of my list of favorites from “The Return”. This is a great song all the way around. Great bass line, catchy guitars, hard hitting percussions and what I believe is one of Elias’ best vocals on the album. I could easily see this being the second single offered for national airplay.
Ever been down in a hole that you just can’t seem to escape? Well “Never Ending Hole” may be your new anthem. As it seems, you are not alone in your pit of solitude and Nonpoint have offered a well-balanced retort to all those things that seem content to try to bury us.
“Widowmaker” is easily my favorite song off this album. This starts with an amazing acoustic intro that breaks into a driving, rapid paced song that is hands down my favorite. When I heard the acoustic portion, I was fully expecting it to continue throughout the track and was very pleasantly surprised at the change. This is a great song all the way around, but I would love to hear a fully acoustic version at some point in the future.
“Never Cared Before” is probably my least favorite track off of “The Return”. In my opinion, it all seemed a bit too chaotic and lost me early on. I’ve tried, but I just can’t get into this song.
“F__K’D” opens stating the obvious that we are living in a “F__CK’D” up world. This was the grower of the bunch. Initially, I felt like it was a bit too repetitive, but the message is 100% spot on. We are living in a “F__CK’D” up world. Fast paced and driving, this song grew on me to the point that I now find myself with it stuck in my head.
The album closes itself out with “Know Myself”. Apparently Nonpoint knows themselves very well. This song has that classic Nonpoint feel that presents itself as a perfect closer to round out a very solid album.
All in all, The Return delivers thirteen powerful songs with everything Nonpoint fans have come to know and love about them. In a world where many band’s sound just like many other bands, Nonpoint is a breath of fresh air. As I have grown older, I have found myself becoming more a fan of music than of the bands themselves; however, I still love it when I can listen to a new album or a new song from a band and immediately know who it is. Nonpoint is one of those bands. They are definitely on point with “The Return” and I look forward to seeing and shooting their live show in the near future.
review by: Gary Flinn HHM/Beyond The Pit Photography
Purchase The Return on iTunes Here
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