Review : Nonpoint - Miracle
PopmattersSince their debut album Statement hit stores in 2000, Nonpoint has been a veritable institution in the hard rock scene. However, they’ve been a small institution, never quite able to break into the mainstream and achieve huge success. Part of the reason may be because they were one of the last bands to jump on the nü-metal train, and while they’ve slowly evolved away from the much-maligned subgenre, their origins have held back their career in the long term. The only widespread success they’ve gained is with their cover of the Phil Collins classic “In the Air Tonight”, which has shown up in commercials, movie soundtracks, and radio stations nationwide. However, through all of this, Nonpoint has persevered, never giving up on their music or their fiercely devoted fans. Their newest album, Miracle, completes their musical evolution into a full-fledged hard rock band with little to no trace of their nü-metal roots remaining.
Unlike its predecessor Vengeance, which suffered from a lack of direction while attempting to do too much, Miracle is driven by its songwriting and its precision. Every song has a very specific purpose and tone, creating an individual identity and distinguishing itself from the rest of the album. At the same time, the album overall has a very even flow from start to finish that enhances the listening experience and further establishes the purpose of each song. Additionally, the song structures are vastly improved by the instrumental consistency, with guitars no longer being relegated to just choruses and bridges as they have been on some older songs. These three improvements combine to make Miracle the best complete album in Nonpoint’s discography from a compositional standpoint.
The flow of Miracle described earlier is a standard rising-falling wave pattern, with the album starting off relatively high in energy, cooling off, increasing again, dropping again, and finally returning back to the starting level. The title track features an excellent guest vocal spot from Mudvayne singer Chad Gray, who also produced the album. “Frontlines” and “What I’ve Become” are both lower-energy songs that nonetheless maintain a very strong presence, almost as if the power of the songs is being forcibly contained by the music. The cover of “5 Minutes Alone” by Pantera is not as good as “In the Air Tonight”, but it’s a respectable homage to the original and a well-performed song either way. “Dangerous Waters” is the closest that Nonpoint will ever get to either thrash or metalcore, making it the heaviest song on the album by far....full text
SputnikmusicIt has been fun following Nonpoint for all these years, witnessing their every rise and fall. The last few years weren’t exactly generous for the band - Vengeance was a disappointment compared to Nonpoint's other records, and the loss of original guitarist Andrew Goldman didn’t simplify things either. But, after recruiting Zach Broderick to fill the void Goldman had left, the guys in Nonpoint obviously had only one thought in their mind – to get back into the game, stronger than ever before. Now Nonpoint have refined and refurbished themselves as a collective of musicians, and after listening to Miracle, it becomes evident Vengeance was, thankfully, just a stepping stone in the band’s career. With Miracle Nonpoint have shed their nu metal roots and after taking half-a-step into hard rock territory, have certified themselves as one of today’s most interesting metal/rock crossover bands.
Everything about Nonpoint sounds revitalized on this cd. Elias’ voice, the guitar work, the amiably familiar basslines – on one hand you can hear good ol' Nonpoint from every direction, but on the other it also sounds like a completely new band comprised of the same members. The guitar work is tighter and gone are Goldman’s distorted, crunchy guitarlines, which are now replaced by Broderick’s gritty ’n groovy guitar playing. On Miracle there is also an aggrandized emphasis on (crude) melody – something that was slightly shadowed before by Goldman’s highly distorted, discordant guitar technique. Also notable is the Pantera influence that is breaking through every hole, albeit in a strictly melodic fashion. Be it because Pantera is one of Broderick’s main influences or because Nonpoint covered their song "5 Minutes Alone", groovy yet muscular guitar riffs dominate Miracle through and through....full text
ThenewreviewHaving basically followed their entire career, I was interested (to say the least) when Nonpoint’s latest came across my desk. I have seen the band transform from its Nonpoint Factor (the original name of the band; drummer Robb Rivera is the only remaining original member) beginnings, then the rapcore influenced days of Separate Yourself and Struggle, to the modernized version that we hear today. Now Nonpoint are back with a new attitude, a new guitarist (Zach Broderick, formerly of Modern Day Zero) and new album titled Miracle. But, after a number of mediocre releases under their belt, will it take a Miracle to revive their somewhat flatlined career?
“Shadow” opens the album like a sledgehammer to the cranium. Immediately you will notice Broderick’s guitar tone is much thicker and richer than former guitarist Andrew Goldman’s. One thing that always bothered me about Nonpoint’s sound (excluding Statement) was that Goldman’s tone was paper thin and never really captured the punch that the band had live. Well, with Miracle that isn’t a problem any longer. The band fires on all cylinders along with Elias Soriano’s ultra smooth chords in this mid paced slug-fest.
Elias and company slice and dice with head bouncing grooves nastier than Susan Boyle’s mustache in the energetic and infectious “Miracle.” If you’re looking for Statement-era Nonpoint, then this song is for you. Featuring Chad Gray (Mudvayne) on guest vocals, the track showcases some killer funk mixed with fierce vocals — something that Nonpoint aren’t necessarily known for....full text
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