Ill Niño


Written by: SC on 12/11/2012 21:57:40

New Jersey metal band Ill Niño is one of those bands you either love or hate. Their soundscape divides the waters because of their passion for nu-metal, which many believe should have stayed on the other side of the millennium. Their insisting reference to the genre does not differ throughout their new full length album "Epidemia".

In a press release for the pre-production of the album, drummer Dave Chavarri also weighed in on the new album, saying, “This time around, we want to explore Latin and tribal rhythms we have never explored in the past five releases, giving us no musical boundaries at all.” This statement really set up the expectations for a new and innovative musical approach to their interpretation of metal. Unfortunately that is not quite what happens. Their boundary goes as far as playing some bongo and some Spanish guitar here and there.

Their nu-metal and hard rock approach combined with some groovy rhythms is dominating the entire record and their technical skills are not to be compromised. One of their characteristics is frontman Cristian Machado alternation between roaring and singing with fine clean vocals. He is doing a good day's work but like the rest of the guys, he sounds like being in a routine. On the title track “La Epidemia” vocalist Frankie Palmeri of Emmure joins the screaming. The guest appearance does not really fit in on the record because of a sudden harshness. Oddly enough it makes it a bit more interesting to listen to because it gives the track a bit more ferocity. This means that the song feels a little misplaced and does not fit in despite its quality.

The opening track “The Depression” does work (kind of) because of its thick and yet fragile sound and a solid vocal delivery. But then that is it. Sure the bongo-thing is kind of fun and yes they are great musicians, but Ill Niño sound so tired. There is no reason to make a record if you are in lack of inspiration, which feels like is the problem here. This sick child of a band sounds more like a middle-aged man who is growing old and still does not know whether he likes metal or hard rock. The sickness is replaced with tiredness and it is getting pretty obvious right from the start. Unfortunately, this tiredness really does affect the listener and one is bored from the very first minute.


Download: The Depression, La Epidemia, Demi-God
For the fans of: Soulfly, Machine Head, Spineshank
Listen: Facebook

Release Date 22.10.2012
Victory Records

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