It’s one thing to be prolific. It’s another thing to not only kick maximum ass with every album, but constantly challenge yourself and your audience in the process. In a modern rock landscape littered with lowest common denominator dreck, Nonpoint have risen above the pack with grace and thunder time and time again. And the seventh time’s yet another charm for the Fort Lauderdale outfit, as latest full-length Miracle fuses searing hard rock brutality with disarming honesty and introspection.
Together since 1997, Nonpoint still boast three of their four original members: frontman Elias Soriano, bassist Ken ‘BASTARD’ MacMillan and drummer Robb Rivera. Axeman Zach Broderick makes an auspicious debut on Miracle, dropping ferocious leads at will to offset hammering rhythms and complement Soriano’s distinctive narrative voice. (Quips the frontman, “We’ve been doing this for 10 years, so Zach joining the band was like that new pair of running shoes: they’re nice and they’re comfortable and they make you feel like you can run a mile longer than you used to be able to.”) Most critically, the quartet enlisted longtime Mudvayne pals Chad Gray and Greg Tribbett to produce. Gray appears in the rollicking call-and-response showdown of the title track (the more-than-worthy first single), which recalls the intense propulsion of previous Nonpoint hits “Bullet With a Name” and “Rabia.” Not only that, but he inspired Soriano to take album centerpiece “Frontlines”—an originally metaphoric slow-burner anchored by the refrain “on the frontlines, fighting for my life”—to an inspiring new level.
According to Soriano, “Chad said, ‘You have family in the military—we all have friends and family in the military. I see these guys out there struggling and they don’t get a lot of help when they come back home.’ He painted this picture, then said ‘Do you think you might wanna define it even more towards being an appreciative song for those soldiers who are dying for us every day?’ and I thought, ‘Absolutely.’ It’s the most evolved Nonpoint song we’ve ever written—some of the softest parts of my voice to the most aggressive parts, and some of the most intricate guitar lines to some of the simplest. And then the message puts the nail in the coffin.”
From revelatory acoustic EP predecessor Cut the Cord to deluges of explosive new material and rousing covers of Pantera, Black Sabbath and Phil Collins—“In the Air Tonight” was a breakout hit from Michael Mann’s Miami Vice—Nonpoint always seem to be a step ahead of the competition. The only bummer is that “Iron” Mike Tyson sorta reclaimed the latter with his memorable a cappella rendition in The Hangover. For his part, Soriano is magnanimous about the champ’s version.
“I felt like ‘Iron’ was feeling it more than I was,” he deadpans. “I never made anybody shut up for the drum fill part. Yeah… I’m gonna throw the baton over to Mike. I mean, come on—you know you feel it when you love it so much it causes you to perform acts of violence.”