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Nodes of Ranvier

The Years to Come (Facedown)

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Nodes of Ranvier unveils its full arsenal during the instrumental overture "The Renewal," which isolates gloomy guitars, staggers breakdown riffs, surges into an upbeat groove, and shifts into thrash overdrive. The group cycles through this procession in some order during almost every song, and its devotion to variety extends to the vocals. NOR splits its membership between Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Lawrence, and there's an equally large divide between its singers' approaches. Frontman Nick Murphy sounds like a lion yawning, rendering lyrics such as tele-violence/neurological battering offense indecipherable. He does enunciate simple sentences, terrifying listeners with we'll eat you alive before baffling them with a feral embrace life. The latter line seems like a natural match for drummer Ryan Knutson's tuneful delivery, but unlike many of metal's melodic foils, Knutson doesn't play the good cop. On his morbid solo track, "Grave," he solemnly repeats a literal siren song: Drown with me. Knutson sings during some of the record's most intense percussive passages, which should make for an impressive spectacle when the group plays El Torreon Saturday night.

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