Nodes Of Ranvier - Defined By Struggle
Seven years, heavy touring, 3 albums and 30,000 of them sold so far. All strong points for Nodes Of Ranvier. I am not, with this review, making any attempt to take from the band what they've no doubt earned. However, with this review, I can say nothing much for their Victory Records debut Defined By Struggle beyond the truth; you've heard all this before, and you've heard it done better.
The discordant stop-start riffing, the snappy drums and the monotony of the vocals all scream 'metalcore unoriginal' and that would be the tag for this album. The promo material I recieved with the album says Nodes Of Ranvier are for fans of Lamb of God, Darkest Hour and Children of Bodom...and while I can definitely say fans of LoG's newer stuff would enjoy this, and even some DH fans...Bodom? Really? I'm sorry, but the apparent lack of creativity makes me question this. Nodes feels like a band too concerned with falling in. There are too few highlights, too few moments that don't feel contrived or overproduced. This style of metal is simply not my thing, and I for one am Sick and Tired of the similarities between metalcore acts. I will say this for Defined By Struggle: "Nagheenanajar" kicks ass, a wonderful instrumental when it isn't being dragged down by blastbeats.
Sounds like a pretty negative review, doesn't it? As I said before, these guys no doubt deserve a measure of success with all of their hard work, but you can't ignore the lack of original direction on Defined By Struggle. Maybe their past efforts are more focused or contain a little more of their own touch, but this doesn't make me want to discover such things. It's easy to see why Nodes Of Ranvier are steadily gaining popularity, but they're on a journey a thousand others have been on, one metal fans are all too familiar with. Simply put, if you still like metalcore after the umpteenth copycat band, another can't hurt. Can't hurt you, at least, but don't say that to my ears...
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on 2008-05-19 SolitaryMan Said:
No doubt, it all comes in degrees of originality. What that means in my mind when I'm judging music is just that the sound and style come off as the band's own, and not one obviously lifted from one or two more well-known and established bands. It's not that important in the long run; I'll admit that my review reflects a certain angst I have towards metalcore and the way so much of it sounds so much alike. I'm well aware that any successful genre of music has to have copycats and a leaders-followers complex. My whole point is that Nodes are not leading anything, and while they might do what they do very well and appeal to countless heavy music fans, the fact remains that their sound deviates not a bit from so many other bands of their ilk.
on 2008-05-19 TheBrokenHeartStillBleeds Said:
I guess you just need to feel the music and what the vocalist is trying to do. Yeah, it is hardcore and not completely original. But there is no, I repeat no artist or band that is 100% original.
on 2008-05-18 SolitaryMan Said:
I can feel you on that, but honestly, these guys are doing nothing other bands haven't already done better. They do it well, but not that well.
on 2008-05-18 TheBrokenHeartStillBleeds Said:
Every so often, an album comes along that seems to change your mind or point of views on either a genre or even a band in particular.
Up until Nodes Of Ranvier released "Defined By Struggle", I had given up on hardcore music. It just seemed that all the integrity and heart
that made band like Madball and Blood For Blood so great had faded out with said bands. But Nodes of Ranvier seems to have devoured what was left of
all the classics and the what you hear on this disc is the result of the acid spewing from the remains. Lethal, brutal truth on every verse and every line
add depth to the intense, almost eerie vibe of this disc. Sure, to someone who just barely gives a listen just to get a review done, this may sound like a carbon
copy of other bullshit metal acts. But they have heart ladies and gentalmen, god do they have heart.
One thing that should stand out is the lyrics. Strength,
love, prosperity, and integrity are all over these tracks. This unoriginal release is by far the most inteligent and original effort that I have had the pleasure
of coming across. Doesn't make sense? Sure it does, put the goddamn thing in a cd player and you will understand perfectly.
Is it possible to think that one band could reinvent a long since
dead hardcore scene? Or are Nodes Of Ranvier beating their heads against the perverbial wall? Either way, this is soooo badass.