Released: 2012, AFM Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Tracing their roots back almost exactly 15 years, Ill Niño, with their blend of metalcore, nu-metal and Latin American rhythms, have always struck this particular reviewer as a lesser version of Soulfly, while also ploughing territory remarkably similar to that already occupied, and much more impressively, by the likes of Chimaira.
Having now seemed to have arrived at a consistent line-up, ‘Epidemia’, their sixth album, is one which sees Ill Niño very much consolidating their position, with ten tracks of equally consistent material that treads a thin line between superior deathcore and their previous nu-metal sound. Despite opening slightly unconvincingly with the mediocre and uninspiring ‘The Depression’, the band quickly set things somewhat aright with the Latino-tinged ‘Only The Unloved’, which is as powerful as anything they have produced to date.
‘La Epidemia’, featuring Emmure’s Frankie Palmeri on guest vocals (thus maintaining a trend which has epitomized all their albums to date), is suitably dark and twisted, while ‘Eva’, despite sounding in places like a heavier Linkin Park, has a somewhat mystical edge to it, especially in its more imaginative second half. However, ‘Demi-God’ is very much a second-rate, lighter and thus paler imitation of Soulfly, ‘Death Wants More’ lacks any depth or emotion and is merely a lightweight slice of nu-metal, while ‘Escape’ starts promisingly but ultimately disappears down the same well-trodden path (even with some nice Latino/Eastern string and percussion interjections just before the main bridge).
‘Time Won’t Save You’ doesn’t save the album either with its mediocrity, despite some nice atmospheric DM vocal harmony touches, while ‘Forgive Me Father’ is immediately forgettable and ‘Invisible People’ just wafts past unseen at the end of an initially promising but ultimately disappointing and unrewarding offering.
Review by Mark Ashby