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Ill Niño: One Nation Underground

The tribal drums that open the volatile, Soulfly-like opener "This Is War" is the first indication that One Nation Underground, the third album from New Jersey-based Ill Niño, more fully embraces the band's Latino roots. A Spanish guitar solo in the middle of the song is another, as are the effective use of salsa rhythms and Spanish-language lyrics throughout the album. Think Santana meets Sepultura. In fact, the six members of Ill Niño wear their nationalism like a tattoo, engaging in ethnic arrangements and tackling lyrics that address the hopeless plight of kids in the poorest corners of South America and the struggle of revolutionary Che Guevara.

Have no doubt, though: Ill Niño still comes across as a roaring American band. The mix of clear and gruff vocals on "What You Deserve" is Linkin Park-meets-Disturbed (which may explain why Ill Niño recently completed a tour with Disturbed) while the next song, "Turns to Gray," relies on a manic performance by singer Cristian Machado, backed with more Linkin Park-style clean vocals. The arrangements and execution (but certainly not the vocals) of "De La Vida" sound like Queensrÿche, and "Everything Beautiful" explores Ill Niño's unlikely melodic tendencies. The brief interlude "Barely Breathing" provides a breather before One Nation Underground's brutal finale, "Violent Saint."

One Nation Underground is as aggressive sonically as it is musically, with percussion that mimics artillery fire and an overall gleam that keeps the disc from sounding as sludgy and dirty as other bands of Ill Niño's ilk. Trim four or five songs, and this would have been a lethal slab of modern metal. As it stands now, One Nation Underground still offers the truest representation of Ill Niño's bi-lingual musical might.


Track Listing:
1) This Is War
2) My Resurrection
3) What You Deserve
4) Turns to Gray
5) De La Vida
6) La Liberacion of Our Awakening
7) All I Ask For
8) Corazon of Mine
9) Everything Is Beautiful
10) In This Moment
11) My Pleasant Torture
12) Barely Breathing
13) Violent Saint

Added: October 10th 2005
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Score:
Related Link: Official Ill Niño Web Site
Hits: 1688
Language: english

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