Review Summary: A decent slab of nu metal. Fans of the genre will definitely enjoy this
Nu metal is undoubtably one of the most hated genres in music ever. Whether the reason for it is the simplicity of the music (regarding metal), the popularity nu metal received in the beginning of the 2000's or the fact that it is not "metal" enough for the casual metalhead, the hate is evergoing even now when nu metal is pretty much extinct. And now, this is the moment when i say that all you close-minded bastards out there who give nu metal *** while you have only heard Linkin Park, Korn and Limp Bizkit can stop reading this review. Nu metal is definitely not bad through-and-through and there are plenty of good bands that have risen from this genre. Ill Nino - while not the most outstanding nu metal band out there - is a band that has made their latin influenced nu metal from the late 90's rather successfully even though there has been a noticable decline in quality on their later albums. Revolution/Revolucion is their debut Lp and while not unique in any way, this album gives the listener a nice dose of angry metal.
Revolution/Revolucion in its nature is a rather ordinary nu metal album. Low and heavy power chords and guitar riffs (mainly) played in Drop D; shouted vocals that contain a lot of angst (although the vocalist Cristian Machado does a fair bit of growling on this cd too, making him one of the more versatile vocalists in nu metal); simple and somewhat boring drumming and verse-chorus-verse song structures are all found on this album. As an extra, Ill Nino takes advantage of their latin heritage, there is a lot of latin influence found on this record, mainly in the face of an extra percussionist and in the singing of Machado that changes from english to spanish in times. There are also some turntable effects used.
Revolution/Revolucion starts with the track “God Save Us”. It is seen right away that this album is more aggressive and heavier than your usual somewhat poppy nu metal (aka Linkin Park, Powerman 5000, Coal Chamber, Drowning Pool). The drumming on that track is expecially aggressive and combined with the low guitars, it makes for a one mean track. The album progresses with the track “If You Still Hate Me” which is possibly the most aggressive track on the album. With words like:
You make my life so aching
My every thought you're breaking
My ears begin to bleed, words you're riffing
I'm here to shut you up!
Your life is one big *** up
You think I'm a fake, you’re a snake
it is clear that the song is filled with anger. Next songs “Unreal” and “Nothing's Clear” continue in the vein of the first two, just being a bit softer. The fifth track is “What Comes Around”. "What Comes Around” is this album’s first single and is possibly this album’s best song. With energetic and simple verses and a catchy chorus this was the perfect choise for a single and the song delivers very well. Next two titled “Liar” and “Rumba” combine soft(er) verses and heavy choruses very well and both songs prove to be very good. After “Predisposed” - kind of a filler track - comes “I Am Loco”, this album’s last standout. The song features crushing riffs, that hit the listener with 3- 4 second breaks, and turntables. The heaviness of the song is surprising because we are dealing with nu metal here and if it weren’t for the clean vocals in the chorus, one could think that this is more than just nu metal. The Following pair of songs “No Murder” and “Rip Out Your Eyes” is good, but the songs are nothing spectacular and the only thing that carries them on is the energy of the band. Final two songs titled “Revolution Revolucion” and “With You” are both rather boring, the first being exactly like the songs before it, just without the zing factor and the latter is a failed "softer song".
When looking at my descriptions, one might think this album is damn great but it has its flaws too. Musically there is nothing wrong with Revolution/Revolucion but the album has got the two main flaws that plague nu metal: repetitivness and lack of new ideas. While most of the songs have got the much needed charisma, in the end of the album, there still evolves a feeling that you have heard that riff before and that the songs are a bit too similar to eachother.
In conclusion, Ill Nino’s Revolution/Revolucion is a decent nu metal album. While it doesn’t exactly bring anything new to the table, it has some qualities that you can’t get from other nu metal albums, like the constant latin influence and the surprising heaviness of the music. Simple and straightforward, this album delivers a slab of angry, heavy metal for the listener. If you like nu metal and alternative metal, or are a open-minded person who’s ready to give any kind of music a chance, give this album a spin, if not, don’t waste your time.