Review Summary: A solid sophomore release from one of the best nu metal bands around
Elias Soriano - vocals
Kenneth "KB" Charman - Bass guitar
Robb Rivera - Drums, Percussion
Andrew Goldman - Guitar
Nonpoint's first major release Statement was a very enjoyable nu metal album that created a little hype around Nonpoint and earned them some popularity in the nu metal scene. With "Development", Nonpoint tried to continue on that success. While not as great as its predecessor, Development is a solid sophomore effort by one of the greatest nu metal bands ever to grace the scene.
The first two songs of the album, titled "Development" and "Circles", kick in with nice, uptempo rhythms and great energy, with "Development" being quite aggressive, reminding Statement in that sense. Since Statement was an excellent nu metal record, the song marks a good start for Development. From the third track, named "Your Signs" (which was also a single), the album takes more of a melodic and calm approach, though. The songs become somewhat slower and while there are some exceptions, like "Excessive Reaction" and "Get Inside", that continue in the footsteps of Statement, most other tracks are calm, melodic, slower-paced and more focused on the lyrics/feel. Somewhat surprisingly, these songs do the job very well while also providing a nice balance between soft and heavy. This is also good in the sense that the listener doesn't quite know what to expect from the next song and so, will be interested throughout the duration of the album.
Musically, the band hasn't changed dramatically from the first album. One small change is that the riffs have become more high-pitched. Andrew hasn't changed his playing style, but the riffs are still more high-pitched and melodic than they were on Statement. What's also different here is that the bass isn't heard as well as it was on Statement. On that one it was prominent throughout the album, but in here, it's heard only momentarily in each song and basically vanishes into the overall sound. It is hard to say if that is a distinct con or a pro, because while it was very good on Statement, on Development, most songs don't suffer from the lack of it and the overall sound is still very solid. The pinnacle of bass on the album is the intro to "Your Signs", which is very nicely executed, creating a solid bridge that leads to the rest of the song. The drumming here is one of the things that hasn't changed a bit, though. Drums are still heard sufficiently, but they don't protrude the overall sound much. Robb's drumming is solid, but he never really shines on this album.
Elias' vocals have improved even a little further, but they were very solid already in the first place, so that can not be regarded as anything more than expected progression. The lyrical content is a bit more mature on Development that on Nonpoint's first releases, but it's still not one of Nonpoint's biggest weapons. Overall you can see improvement in both the lyrics and the vocals, but at the same time, neither are notable enough to really make a striking difference.
Now there has been a lot of talk and arguing over Nonpoint's Latin influence. The truth is that there actually is no Latin influence at all. Both guitarists are Americans and don't play Latin influenced riffs. The vocalist and the drummer (Elias and Rivera) are both from Puerto-Rico, but even they don't bring any specific Latin influences to the table. Robb's drumming is in typical nu metal fashion and the closest thing you get to a Latin influence is Elias' accent, which is natural. The only true Latin thing they do on purpose is usually one track on an album (but even that is absent on "Development") where Elias raps and screams in his native tongue. For example, these kind of tracks are "Rabia" on Recoil and "Orgullo" on Statement. But that one song on an album is not enough to call the band Latin influenced. With that said, "Development" hasn't got any Latin influences on it.
In general, Nonpoint is one of the best nu metal bands out there and Development is a very solid release by these guys. Boasting good guitar work, strong vocals and solid musicianship, Nonpoint's Development is one of the best nu metal albums to date and definitely worth checking out.
My Own Sake