For the first two albums of their career, the hard working Florida quartet known as Nonpoint were a well above average nu-metal group. But then, frontman Elias Soriano grew tired of the “first in face nu-metal fury,” so his band cranked down the anger and upped the melody for last year’s “Recoil.” That album had stellar results, but, for whatever reason, Nonpoint decided to follow it up rather quickly, and release their fourth album, “To The Pain,” only about a year later. This album is more-or-less a return to Nonpoint’s crunchy, downtuned aggression of old.
“Bullet With A Name” is a very catchy song which was deservedly the album’s preceding lead single. It begins very ominously, with the foreboding sound of someone loading a clip into a gun. The beat kicks in soon thereafter, and the song is powered by a strong, churning riff. “The Wreckoning” has bobbing, swooping riffs, while Elias fittingly yells about a wrecking ball. Track six, “Buscandome,” has fast, almost blistering guitar work, and the next song, the title track, is mainly a lurching, stop-start rhythm with punching, grinding guitars. Lastly, “Skin” is a stutter-stepping rhythm with lumbering guitars, and “Code Red” has a very catchy, bobbing beat, with guitars that needle and poke.
“To The Pain” is a lot more consistently heavy than “Recoil”–in fact, this might be the band’s heaviest release to date. But, unfortunately, there is a downside to this. Even though the title track has a slow tempo change which features a light drum beat and singing, and track eight is an interlude with electronic sound effects to break up the monotony, this album is somewhat monochromatic and one-dimensional. It doesn’t have any of the interesting curveballs that its predecessor had, and Elias doesn’t get to show-off his good singing voice here, either. Therefore, “To The Pain” is not a step forward.
But I still recommend it to all Nonpoint fans, especially if you enjoy “Statement” and “Development.” And, since this record is consistently heavy, you shouldn’t have to hear it, first, to know if you’ll like it. If you like Nonpoint, or if you like Rage Against the Machine, Deftones, or 311, there should be nothing to prevent yuou from supporting one of modern rock’s most promising and hard working bands, and purchasing this C.D.