By Daniel J. Stout
Dust off those old Jncos and Adidas shell-toes! Word around the water cooler is: nu-metal's making a comeback.
The signs are there: Limp Bizkit releasing a new album on Ca$h Money, an upcoming fifth Slipknot LP, media coverage of a band called Issues (presumably after the Korn album of the same name) who count amongst its ranks a DJ and an R&B-styled vocalist, and most recently, Nonpoint's global release of The Return on Metal Blade Records, perhaps the heaviest heavyweight label in the metal world. It has been a long road from the local stage at Zetafest to half of a million Facebook fans.
In 2000, that ilk was making what might have been seen as a meteoric rise. These bands were signed to major labels, played on the radio, and touring the world. The raging sky was the limit... Or so they thought.
Suddenly bands like Nonpoint, the darlings of South-Florida's particular nu-metal scene, were left high and dry in a genre that's very name was used as a derogatory slander by people from just about everywhere else on the musical map.
Just then, manufactured teen pop idols carried more credibility than anyone who spent their life honing a craft but happened to rap over heavy guitar riffs. Images are conjured of eyebrow-pierced panhandlers sporting cardboard signs reading "Lost sickness. Will OO-AH-AH-AH-AH for food." But these boys weathered the storm. They spent those intervening years consistently releasing new records and hopping from label to label, putting in the necessary work for its "return." As singer Elias Soriano says on the rather contemplative "Widowmaker": "I chose this life."
After the critical and commercial success of its self-titled 2012 album, someone at Metal Blade Worldwide must have taken notice of not only recent musical trends, but Nonpoint itself. The Return, which is currently streaming on iTunes Radio and will be available to North Americans on Razor & Tie. The rest rest of the world will have access through Metal Blade Records, the same people who gave us death-metal legend Cannibal Corpse's A Skeletal Domain earlier this month. The album sounds more informed by conventional rock and metal music than its outings circa 2000, which would seem to be a trend in its career. Elias has a more studied and matured vocal sound. Drummer Robb Rivera is playing some beats that sound almost brutal. Its lead single "Breaking Skin" has a hook that is, dare I say, catchy.
If this album keeps up the successes of its predecessor and its genre in general, it may just be time to break out the old ball-chain necklace and head over to Culture Room for a Groovenics show. Actually, that's not a thing anymore. So it would just be better to catch Nonpoint at one of the dates of its upcoming worldwide tour, like in its hometown of Fort Lauderdale at Revolution Live on November 7, to support the aptly named The Return.
Nonpoint with Gemini Syndrome and 9 Electric. 7 p.m., Friday, November 7, at Revolution Live, 100 SW 3rd Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $10 plus fees. Visit jointherevolution.net