Nodes of Ranvier
The Years To Come
posted on 9/2005 By:
This sort of album gets harder and harder to review because there’s so little to be said about them. Nodes of Ranvier play a familiar brand of well-crafted, dexterous, and painfully bland metalcore that has become prevalent as of late, and virtually every reader of this review has likely heard something comparable. Culling relatively equally from Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, Turmoil, and Poison the Well, The Years to Come churns out crunchy, enjoyable riffs and infectious melodies without really making any sort of impact whatsoever. The quality and execution are there, but have been devalued by the stacks and stacks of equally well-done metalcore releases. Heavy metal is obviously rife with extraneous imitators, but things are getting goddamn ridiculous when a release containing such obvious attention to detail sounds so incredibly stale.
This phenomenon has in part made victims of Nodes of Ranvier, but they’re hardly blameless. The music found on The Years to Come includes the basic elements of a number of styles while retaining the emotional power or defining features of any; the result is a sort of middle-of-the-road stew that fits loosely into the broad and ill-defined spectrum of “new-wave American metal.” The riffs are an amalgamation of thrash, melodeath, and modern hardcore styling in the choruses; they are nearly universally enjoyable without ever really being memorable. Vocalist Nick Murphy provides a serviceable lower-pitched scream that reminds regrettably of Atreyu, but also possesses a noticeably pleasant and on-key clean singing voice, rendering the requisite hooky choruses some of the strongest moments on the disc.
Maybe it’s just me, but I’d almost rather hear a complete train wreck of an album than something like this. Nodes of Ranvier’s proficiency is inescapable, and I found myself feeling a little guilty for not giving a damn about most of the music on this album. There wouldn’t still be piles of this shit being released if kids weren’t still eating it up, so this album is likely to score plenty of fans, but it’s evident that these guys don’t offer much that can’t be had better elsewhere. The fast parts hammer, the grooves slam, and the choruses soar, but after so much pounding and slamming and soaring in the past few years it all starts to sound like one big tedious drone. The Years to Come will thrill ravenous metalcore enthusiasts but go in one ear of the wider metal community and out the other.
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