Victory Records have quite a force here with Nodes of Ranvier, whose latest release Defined By Struggle (their fourth overall) is an expertly played, masterfully produced collection of brutal metal and hardcore songs, guaranteed to kick you on your ass and leave you lying in a pummeled heap. Seriously, Defined By Struggle has some of the crunchiest guitar riffs you are likely to hear in the metalcore genre, with tunes like "Wrathbearer", "Endless Faith", "Sargeant Sorrow", and the killer title track, all containing plenty of inventive and massive power chord riff-o-rama. A further nod to Swedish greats like In Flames, At the Gates, and Dark Tranquility comes in the form of "Nagheenanajar", a searing instrumental number featuring white hot harmony guitar lines and punishing rhythms, showing just how good these guys are on their instruments on more technical material. Vocally, Nodes of Ranvier don't really offer up anything unique, as they deliver your standard metalcore shout/growl, but it fits the frenetic and brutal aspect of these songs just fine. Images of vintage Slayer as well as Lamb of God abound on the galloping thrash of "Confront", one of the strongest cuts here that shows the band firing on all cylinders with some behemoth riffs and drum blasts, while the closer "Infidelity" mixes catchy melodies with shred-errific guitar work.
Bottom line is, Defined By Struggle is well worth your time, and a damn good record. In these days of a severely overcrowded metalcore scene, that's saying something.
3. Endless Faith
4. Purpose in Pain
6. Defined by Struggle
8. Sergeant Sorrow