Nonpoint

It's one thing to be prolific. It's another thing to not only kick maximum ass with every album, but constantly challenge yourself and your audience in the process. In a modern rock landscape littered with lowest common denominator dreck, Nonpoint have risen above the pack with grace and thunder time and time again. And the seventh time's yet another charm for the Fort Lauderdale outfit, as latest full-length Miracle fuses searing hard rock brutality with disarming honesty and introspection.

Together since 1997, Nonpoint still boast three of their four original members: frontman Elias Soriano, bassist Ken 'BASTARD' MacMillan and drummer Robb Rivera. Axeman Zach Broderick makes an auspicious debut on Miracle, dropping ferocious leads at will to offset hammering rhythms and complement Soriano's distinctive narrative voice. (Quips the frontman, "We've been doing this for 10 years, so Zach joining the band was like that new pair of running shoes: they're nice and they're comfortable and they make you feel like you can run a mile longer than you used to be able to.") Most critically, the quartet enlisted longtime Mudvayne pals Chad Gray and Greg Tribbett to produce. Gray appears in the rollicking call-and-response showdown of the title track (the more-than-worthy first single), which recalls the intense propulsion of previous Nonpoint hits "Bullet With a Name" and "Rabia." Not only that, but he inspired Soriano to take album centerpiece "Frontlines"—an originally metaphoric slow-burner anchored by the refrain "on the frontlines, fighting for my life"—to an inspiring new level.

According to Soriano, "Chad said, 'You have family in the military—we all have friends and family in the military. I see these guys out there struggling and they don't get a lot of help when they come back home.' He painted this picture, then said 'Do you think you might wanna define it even more towards being an appreciative song for those soldiers who are dying for us every day?' and I thought, 'Absolutely.' It's the most evolved Nonpoint song we've ever written—some of the softest parts of my voice to the most aggressive parts, and some of the most intricate guitar lines to some of the simplest. And then the message puts the nail in the coffin."

From revelatory acoustic EP predecessor Cut the Cord to deluges of explosive new material and rousing covers of Pantera, Black Sabbath and Phil Collins—"In the Air Tonight" was a breakout hit from Michael Mann's Miami Vice—Nonpoint always seem to be a step ahead of the competition. The only bummer is that "Iron" Mike Tyson sorta reclaimed the latter with his memorable a cappella rendition in The Hangover. For his part, Soriano is magnanimous about the champ's version.

"I felt like 'Iron' was feeling it more than I was," he deadpans. "I never made anybody shut up for the drum fill part. Yeah… I'm gonna throw the baton over to Mike. I mean, come on—you know you feel it when you love it so much it causes you to perform acts of violence."

Multi-platinum rockers, Hinder, have sold over 3.8 million albums, more than 7.5 million singles, garnered north of 130 million video views, racked in 80 million spins on Spotify, and counting. On May 13, 2016, they released their first-ever acoustic EP Stripped.

Stripped followed their fifth full-length album When The Smoke Clears. When The Smoke Clears entered the Billboard 200 while also claiming four other Top 10 chart positions upon its May 12, 2015 debut. With over a decade-long career under their belts, and having honed their chops touring with the likes of Mötley Crüe, Nickelback, Aerosmith and Papa Roach, their album When The Smoke Clears breathed a new sound, and new air, into the ever-evolving band. When the Smoke Clears runs the gamut from rowdy rock to subtle country influence, to memorable pop hooks; all of which retain the DNA-distinct spirit of Hinder. That ability to walk the tightrope between genres, without a net, is something the band has had fun with in creating the new album.

As one of the few bands to have massive cross-over success, Hinder’s debut album Extreme Behavior climbed to #1 on Billboard’s Top Heatseekers chart and made its way to #6 on The Billboard 200 chart. The album featured one of the biggest songs of the year, "Lips of an Angel" - a Top 5 hit across EIGHT Billboard singles charts (including #1 on Top 40). Their sophomore effort, Take It To The Limit surpassed their debut, peaking at #4 on The Billboard 200, solidifying Hinder as the biggest new breakout rock act and catapulting them into packed arenas worldwide with their explosive live show. Proving they consistently make hit records, the band followed the first two albums up with a #1 Top Modern Rock/Alternative Album (All American Nightmare), and a #3 Top Hard Rock Album (Welcome To The Freakshow).

With increasing social media stats (1.6 million Facebook followers), it’s clear that Hinder fans are along for the ride and as hungry as ever for more.

Nine Shrines

Chrysalis was formed in Barstow California in 2003. Founding members Yessi Burton (Vocals/Guitar), Billy Norris (Drums) & Jared Sturgis (Bass) were in their early teens at the time. Part-time keyboardist Noel Castillo, & guitarists Gabe Gallego and Chris Norris (younger brother of Billy), were later added to the lineup.

After going through the obligatory early band phase (demos, local shows, ect.), the group independently released a full length album in 2006. Local reaction to the album was lukewarm initially. Emo and Post Hardcore music were popular at the time. Chrysalis had a metal symphonic sound, that was uncharacteristic of the Southern California scene.

Undeterred, the band hit the road in a van and trailer and played shows all over the western half of the United States in the following years, going as far north as Portland, and as far east as Oklahoma.

As the group soon found out, life on the road for a young unsigned band isn't easy; money is tight, careers, education, and personal lives have to be put on hold, all while dealing with the day-to-day grind of the road (there was one instance where all the members of the band, plus 2 roadies, were stuck in a single hotel room for an entire week after the Van's transmission went out).

Eventually, the persistence started to pay off as the band carved out a niche following. At one point, the album became one of the top all time sellers in the Gothic Metal genre on CDbaby, and the record found a foreign audience as streams in Europe steadily increased. The band also landed a small stint on Warped Tour in addition to opening slots with A Day To Remember and Fear Before. Licensing and endorsement deals followed, as well as features in various media outlets (ESPN X-Games, Meta Edge Magazine.)

After going on a semi-hiatus, the band put out the album "Focus on the Center" on February 11th 2014. The album has a more rock oriented sound, but still retains the synth and aggressive elements from the bands' earlier years.

It feels like Chrysalis has been around forever, you could even call them "veterans" of the Southern California metal scene, but with the members of the band being in their early & mid twenties, they might just be getting started.

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