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ill nino: Dead New World

East Coast band ill nino has made a name for themselves with a unique blend of Latin rhythms and American metal. Think of Disturbed and Santana tossed together and you will have a good idea what you can expect from these guys. For this their 5th release they seem to have gone a little more mainstream possibly looking for more radio airplay. There is still times when this disc kicks ass but it feels like they are definitely trying to broaden their fan base with this one.

Kicking off with "God Is Only For The Dead" ill nino sets a tempo that hits right at the nu metal crowd with the clean vocals that are almost poppish sounding mixed with a bit of growling against some standard metal riffing. They do launch off into a neat Latin interlude before driving back to their more mainstream approach. This song like most of the disc is a very catchy tune but one that offers nothing more than the multitudes out there now. By the same token there is no reason that this couldn't find major radio play just like all the other similar stuff we hear.

The band fares much better when they are not trying to stay in the middle of the road. The much heavier "Art Of War", "Mi Revolution" and "Serve The Grave" all have a snarling menace to them that is very cool. There ethnic background shines through especially on the last of these tunes with the almost conga beat pacing this monster of a song. I wish they would stick to this type of sound. It is very unique and most certainly a new approach to some very heavy metal!

A lot of this album though tends to play it safe. Sure there are moments that shine here and there but there is more on here that will be forgotten instead of remembered. I would have to say that when these guys are on they could be a dominant force in metal, then I listen to the song "Against The Wall" and wonder why they put this one on there. Very much like the opening song in the fact that it is just one of many grains of sand in the nu metal beach. It may very well be the one that catches the ear of the masses but this kind of ear candy only satisfies for the short term, there is no lasting effect.

They also add a very heavy cover of the Smashing Pumpkin's "Bullet With Butterfly" where the Latin flavored percussion takes the center stage and transforms this one into a very spicy tidbit. This facelift brings new life to the song and I think I like it better than the original version.

Still, all in all this is not a bad album by any means. Just when I was about to give up on it they melt your face off with the song "Scarred" which has a surprising flamenco guitar interlude. This is what they need to be doing.

Dead New World has a lot to like but nothing that sets it apart. Sure the unique drums is very cool but not enough to bring this one up more on the rating. I will listen to this album without question and enjoy most of it but it is a change of pace more than anything else. There is no doubt these guys have the talent to make it happen and I will be purchasing the next disc without question as they are bound to give us a really great record sooner or later.

Track listing:

1. God Is Only For The Dead
2. The Art Of War
3. Against The Wall
4. Mi Revolution
5. Bleed Like You
6. Serve The Grave
7. If You Were Me
8. Ritual
9. Killing You, Killing Me
10. How Can I Believe
11. Bullet For Butterfly (Smashing Pumpkins cover)
12. Scarred

Added: October 17th 2010
Reviewer: Scott Ward
Related Link: Band's Myspace Page
Hits: 1889
Language: english

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