Ill Niño? Ah, yes, a band I saw a few years back at the With Full Force festival in Germany - must have been 2007. I left the gig with the impression that they were alright and a professional outfit, but not a band I really felt an urge to explore further.
Now, five years later, their new release lands in my inbox and I have to explore further! It's not a bad thing as such to be forced to listen to Ill Niño. They're a good band and I respect immensely that they want to incorporate their Latin American roots into their music, although I actually think they could do that much more than they do.
There has to be more to Latin American music than percussion, is what I'm thinking. It all seems to be focused on rhythm and percussion. What about the melodies? Why not think them radically different as well? Isn't there a uniquely Latin American tonality or intonation which could be used and create something entirely new in metal? Something Sepultura and Soulfly hasn't already explored?
Thing is this: This is a good and very nice album, but I'm still left with the notion that this is merely a slightly harder and slightly Latinized version of Linkin Park with extremely radio-friendly elements (e.g. Death Wants More). It's far from groundbreaking and in essence fairly mainstream.
The best tracks in my view are the title track (the least compromising track of the bunch) and Demi-God which has diversity as well as a very nice flow and the infamous ethnic percussion.