Nodes of Ranvier - The Years to Come (Cover Artwork)

Nodes of Ranvier

The Years to Come (2005)


Amongst the influx of newly bred "American metal" (okay, metalcore) acts, Nodes of Ranvier fall in line with the pack with an album that gives little in terms of excitement or surprises. The Years to Come certainly isn't the worst to come from the seemingly overcrowded genre, but it falls forgettably by the wayside. The influences are fairly easy to pick out, and the standard mixing of melody into the throaty screams is fulfilled, but neither part seems terribly memorable or refreshing. Unfortunately, Nick Murphy's screams are far too reminiscent of those from Atreyu, which can never be good; and although his sung vocals are decent enough, the melodies are far too generic.

Everything that can be said about Year has been said over and over again in the past few years. The playing is proficient but lacks noticeable creativity and is thusly unchallenging. The screams are sub-par and the vocal melodies are cheesy or worse (see the forgettable "Grave"). The guitars chug alongside the unobtrusive drumming in similar patterns throughout all the songs. To be fair, there are moments that might satisfy on the first few listens (the title track has some) but the dynamic is so predictable its replay value is completely lost. As for energy level, the screams are too muffled and boring (I can't forgive the overwhelming Atreyu similarity) to build much of anything, and the singing can be too whiny or misplaced. The problem is the album is merely proficient in a style that has worn out its welcome through the last few years and nothing that could be considered new or noteworthy is even considered.

It's difficult to even write reviews for this stuff anymore. We've all seen too much of it come and too much of it go (hopefully more of the latter). Nodes is not the worst out there, but they certainly aren't the best either. They reside in a middle ground of apathy, where all anyone does is go through the motions with little regard as to what it means and why they do it. Greenberg called this "Alexandrianism;" well, I'm not quite as nice as Greenberg, and this is just boring.