Release DetailsLABEL Victory
RELEASED ON 7/24/2007
Nodes of Ranvier
Defined By Struggle
posted on 8/2007 By:
On their fourth full length album Sioux Falls, South Dakota's Nodes of Ranvier introduces not only a new singer and a new drummer, but also a slightly more streamlined and thrash infused sound. Defined by Struggle is a solid album, and in a year when little noise is being made in the melodic metal-core scene, one that is likely to gain a ton of attention from fans of the genre.
Defined by Struggle is a fine enough album with some songs that hit really hard, and some songs that just kind of fly under the radar. There are no blatantly annoying or non-metal moments, as Nodes seem to be shedding their super-melodic, chorus obsessed approach in favor of a lean and mean NWOAHM/thrash hybrid. “Purpose in Pain” is a prime example of one of those hard hitting songs that is undoubtedly the highlight of this album. While steeped in cliché, the galloping guitars and rousing shout-along refrain are undeniable. “Wrathbearer,” is another barn-burner that features some fierce riffing and is elevated by new vocalist's Kyle Benecke's stout drill sergeant like bark. These are songs that prove that good riffs make for good songs, no matter how passe the influences they draw from may be. The rest of Defined by Struggle offers much of the same, and that's really the trouble. There's no reason to get excited by most of these riff-by-number tracks, and certainly nothing extraordinary to bring the listener back once they've shelved the album. “Sergeant Sorrow,” and “Confront” are equally passable riff laden, solo-free thrashers that just sort of ease the listener along to the unceremonious conclusion of Defined By Struggle.
Honestly, when I get albums like this I begin to understand how it must feel to write for a site like Car and Driver and have to write about the latest version of the Ford F-150. Oh how their fingers must tremble at detailing such workmanlike towing capacity and moderate horsepower! I can usually tell if an album is worth a damn if it really makes me want to write about it – positively or negatively. However, Nodes of Ranvier leave me with very little to say.
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