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Artist: Ill Nino
Title: Dead New World
Genre: Hard Rock
Release Date: 29th October 2010
Label: AFM Records

Album Review

ILL NINO have had an interesting career throughout their years. Storming the world in 2001 with ‘Revolution Revolucion,’ they instantly became a unique sensation. Combining nu-metal musical styles with a mix of Spanish and English lyrics, they made a quite an impression on the metal community. With so many nu-metal bands sounding the same in that year, ILL NINO was one of the few that had a distinct sound, built with furious screams, aggressive guitars, tribal percussion, and a mix of softer acoustic sounds with clean vocals. Throughout the years ILL NINO continued in their tradition of mixing Spanish and English lyrics, culture, and sounds into their music. However, lately, they seem to be losing their touch. While they’ve kept their aggressive style, there has been a lack of Spanish/ English mix of lyrics. Maybe this is due to a more English speaking fan base, maybe not. The impact though seems very severe, and is even more profound in their latest work, ‘Dead New World’. It seems ILL NINO has gone further down the rabbit hole in the modern metal world (at this point in time, nu-metal bands either evolved into hard rock or modern metal) and almost completely lost themselves to the generic side.

One thing that ILL NINO fans have always prided the band for accomplishing is the drumming. While there is almost not a single drop of Spanish in the lyrics, the musical structure still retains a cultural heritage at some point. The percussive beats are a joy to hear - as always- on tracks such as ‘Ritual’ and ‘Scarred’. Of course, there are the more solid sounding “metal drums” on tracks like ‘Art Of War’. The guitars are more “chugging” than usual and not very varied- the only acoustic moment that can be heard is on ‘Ritual’. There are some interesting moments, though. There is the technical buzz of ‘Mi Revolucion’ and the solo driven ‘How Could I Believe’. But, for the most part, much of the musical formula takes the same path, especially in the case of the vocals. They are a mix of screaming and singing still, and sound as good as ever. However, they tend to keep the screams for the verses and the clean singing for the chorus, or keep the clean vocals to dominate the entire song. ‘Against The Wall’ has “radio hit” written all over it, and is sadly the most generic track that ILL NINO has ever written. The lyrics are repetitive and feel hollow, and the sound of the guitars and drums sounds far too much like modern metal bands that have made it in mainstream radio such as FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, DISTURBED or AVENGE SEVENFOLD.

For those who liked ILL NINO’s last album, ‘Enigma’, ‘Dead New World’ continues in that vein. It is a bit cleaner as far as sound and production goes, making it quite the modern metal album of the year. However, the cultural magic that made albums like ‘Revolucion’ and ‘Confession’ such great albums is completely gone. ILL NINO fans in general who really love the band will probably get this album, but for those who have just gotten into the band or liked them for their older work and sound will probably want to stick to the early 2000 album releases. On the upside, ILL NINO’s lyrical content is still as political and cultural as ever, even if the music surrounding it doesn’t sound as interesting. There is even a cover of SMASHING PUMPKINS’ ‘Bullet With Butterfly Wings’. ILL NINO aren’t one for covers, but they really do a number here to make the track their own and engaging, especially when it comes to the drums. The cover sounds a lot better than the original; maybe it is because the original doesn’t have the most appreciated of vocals. With ILL NINO, the vocals are always appreciated.


01. God Is For The Dead (2:54)
02. The Art Of War (4:09)
03. Against The Wall (3:27)
04. Mi Revolución (3:50)
05. Bleed Like You (3:15)
06. Serve The Grave (3:20)
07. If You Were Me (3:41)
08. Ritual (4:33)
09. Killing You, Killing Me (3:52)
10. How Could I Believe (4:11)
11. Bullet With Butterfly Wings (Smashing Pumpkins Cover) (4:27)
12. Scarred (My Prison) (3:44)


Cristian Machado - vocals
Diego Verduzco - rhythm guitars
Ahrue Luster - lead guitars
Lazaro Pina - bass guitars
Dave Chavarri - drums
Daniel Couto - percussion


Cover Picture


Sound: 8
Music: 6
Total: 7 / 10


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