nonpoint

Miracle

Written by: PP on 01/09/2010 04:04:40

The story of nonpoint is one all too well known from about a decade ago. They are an alternative metal / nu metal band that sold an immense number of albums (700,000) around the switch of the millennium after being picked up by a major label. Then the genre died, the band was dropped, and now nobody remembers the band, who used to be a premiere actor in the genre, a group that dominated the radio waves in North America. Can you believe that "Miracle" is their seventh studio album (eighth if you count their early demo)? Me neither. It's a record that doesn't even try to deviate from the nu-metal formula of scratchy verse singing, pseudo-heavy, crunchy guitars, and big, predictable clean choruses. But that being said, "Miracle" is the sort of album that would've sold a retarded amount of copies had it been released ten years ago. It contains a couple of spectacular displays of songwriting talent that was found within the nu-metal genre before oversaturation bombed an iceberg sized hole into the boat of the genre and sunk it like Titanic almost a hundred years ago. And with talent I don't necessarily mean technical instrumentals, but the impact of the songs on the listener, how instantly memorable, enjoyable and easily-accessible they are.

The band is off to a slow start with "Shadow" and "Miracle", which are basically your stereotypical nu-metal songs just without the rapping sections. They have an awful tendencny to sound bland and uninteresting due to a smudgy smoothness applied in the sound spectrum, leaving the guitars sounding like they lack edge and sharpness. The same applies to the vocalist, who specialises in that scratchy croon almost everyone in the alternative metal genre had back in the day. In fact, after hearing the first couple of tracks I was ready to bin the band because they sounded precisely like Saliva, Adema and other lowest common denominator bands from the nu-metal phenomenon.

Then in comes "Crazy". If there ever was a nu-metal track with humongous radio potential, this one would be it. The composition may be lifted from the genre textbook, but the chorus is fucking good and sticks to mind straight away. There's just no way you wouldn't remember that fucker after just a single listen, it really is that catchy. "Frontlines" continues to keep up the new-found momentum, but then mediocre tracks like "Looking Away" and "Electricity" fail to arouse my interest shortly after, giving the idea that nonpoint is the kind of band that produces a couple of strong singles with the rest falling in the filler category.

And to an extent that predicament is right. For every excellent track that brings back 2001 in your mind as clear as ever, there is a stubbornly average track that outright refuses to give in to the listener's hopes for a catchy anthem after another. You have "What You've Got Me" and especially "Throwing Stones", which would've sold the band a few hundred thousand copies alone if it had been released as a single back then, but you've also got songs like "5 Minutes Alone" that are plain boring.

Luckily for nonpoint, the great tracks slightly outnumber the painfully average ones, so in the end the listener is left with about 3/5ths of an album's worth of solid songs. If bands like Adema, Saliva, Sevendust, American Head Charge, Mudvayne, and so on didn't ever tickle your fancy, however, then it's unlikely nonpoint will either given how similar they sound to almost all of those bands. Otherwise, it's an entirely decent slab of nu-metal, which in 2010 is beginning to sound less and less dated, at least when compared to metalcore (or scenecore, for that matter), which is experiencing precisely the same identity crisis as this genre did over a decade ago. Oh, how the roles have reversed.

7

Download: Throwing Stones, Crazy, What You've Got Me
For the fans of: Mudvayne, Saliva, Sevendust, American Head Charge, Adema
Listen: Myspace

Release date 04.05.2010
954 Records

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