Ill Nino
Dead New World


2.5
average

Review

by Magnus Altkula STAFF
October 28th, 2010 | 65 replies | 14,922 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Could have been worse

After the failure of an album that was Enigma, I practically gave up on Ill Nino, with the two pre-released songs from Dead New World only cementing my choice as the right one. Nevertheless, for old times’ sake, even though I must admit that I approached Dead New World with caution, I decided to give it a fair chance - a chance the album, to my slight surprise, didn’t fully abuse.

Even though Dead New World isn’t a staggering record by any means, it is a good bounce-back from Enigma. Ill Nino have managed to bring back the energy of past records, like Revolution/Revolucion and One Nation Underground, while working their sound up to a heavier, meaner (relatively speaking) level. They’re also visibly trying to move away from their pure nu metal roots, as there are influences from alternative metal and present day metalcore scenes, but the nu parts are still loud and clear. While that wouldn’t be a problem by default, Ill Nino have already used and abused that old formula of theirs enough (Enigma being the perfect example), so a change in general is imperative for the band. Dead New World is making baby steps towards musical development; let’s hope that Ill Nino’s next endeavor continues on that path and shows more of it.

But, in 2010, the mentioned lack of development thus far is what averts Dead New World from being anything more than passable. The guitar work is still rather plain, the main emphasis being on simple downtuned chords that, while catchy and loud, could be spiced up a bit. There are a few unexpected solos, but that's as far as spicing up goes here. Exactly the same can be said about the overall product, in fact, as it's catchy and loud with a nice soft acoustic section popping up here and there, but little else. Ill Nino’s main strength is still the prominent, Latin-tinged tribal percussion in the background, as it’s what sets Ill Nino apart from their peers. Vocalist Christian Machado also deserves some credit, as he has a decent rock voice and he also tries to mix things up by adding screams and lower register grunts to compliment his cleans, but while the screams are solid, Machado’s grunts are both inept and unappealing, bringing his overall performance grade down a notch.

Then there are some things about Ill Nino that will probably never change (whether that is a good thing or not will depend on the listener’s preferences). Namely, I’m talking about the boundless angst and lyrics. The two practically go hand in hand, though Ill Nino do express their angst in not only the lyrics, but in their overall demeanor (both their music and live shows are loud, reckless, pissed-off - you get the point). Machado still sings how the world is a dim, cruel place ("God Is Only For The Dead"), how he is hurting inside and needs to break free ("If You Were Me"), and how we should never conform and should conduct a revolution instead ("Mi Revolution"). Now, this wouldn't be a big deal at all if it wasn't for the fact that the lyrical topics have stayed the same throughout five albums already. Similarly to, for example, Korn, Ill Nino should diversify their lyrical content; there's nothing wrong with having some angst filled material, but five full length albums that are filled to the brim with angst anthems is a bit much.

As a matter of fact, that leads me on to the biggest failure on this album, besides the production, which is flat, lifeless and overly clean. The cover of The Smashing Pumpkins’ "Bullet With Butterfly Wings". I simply can not grasp how a group that thrives on angst, manages to smudge a cover of an anthemic angst song. It features Machado’s cleanest, tamest vocals on the whole album – does he even know what the song is about? - and the instrumental side is equally incompetent in carrying out the song’s original message, as the cover even sounds upbeat at times. The ever-terrible production here doesn’t help the cause either, it only makes me cringe just a little bit more.

In conclusion, it is a bit sad that Dead New World turned out exactly the way it did. While it is infinitely better than Enigma and you can see the band members are trying, the album is plagued by too many problems, with terrible production and extremely inconsistent tracklist being the biggest issues. There is potential to be found here, and at times the band manages to carry it out, as "Ritual" and "Killing You, Killing Me" are some of the best Ill Nino tracks up to date, but in general, Dead New World is an album that tells us the band is on an upswing again, but not quite where they want (or should want) to be yet.



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They are mean. They are angry. They are furious. And in their Dead New World, they are going to let ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2010


8357 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Had an unexpectedly hard time putting my thoughts into writing this time for some reason but oh well.

JWT155
October 28th 2010


9236 Comments


Could have grabbed this at the station a few weeks ago, I decided I'd pass on the pain. Nice review as
always styles.

Digging: Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World

pizzamachine
October 28th 2010


12571 Comments


You, sir, are a review machine!

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2010


8357 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ehh, dunno if review machine would quite suit me haha. I've done like 4 reviews this past 2 months which equates to about 1 review per 2 weeks.

pizzamachine
October 28th 2010


12571 Comments


So you're saying you're more like a slow review machine?

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2010


8357 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

erm, well, I guess that works too haha

SatansLittleHelper
October 28th 2010


192 Comments


I still cant get over that fail attempt at shrunken heads on the album cover.

SCREAM!
October 28th 2010


10073 Comments


nice review but why dont you do something i might like for once :P

LG
October 28th 2010


3049 Comments


Meh, albums pretty bad. Enigma is infinitely better then this.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2010


8357 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Really? And all this time I thought you pretended to love Engima so that your plagarized review's rating would make sense ;)

(JK you know I love you bro)

LG
October 28th 2010


3049 Comments


lol that was a low blow sir. No I actually think Enigma is their second best next to ONU of course. I'm just not diggin the metalcore-ish direction here.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2010


8357 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Wait, but you love metalcore. Or has that stage of your life now passed? Either way, Enigma blew imo.

Gyromania
October 28th 2010


15679 Comments


Great review man. Pos. I haven't heard this and have no inclination of listening to it.

LG
October 28th 2010


3049 Comments


No I still love metalcore, just not as much as prog and well Post-Hardcore lol. Some day you'll understand that my opinion is usually almost right 50% of the time.

Also you should review (Sic)Monic, they need a review.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2010


8357 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

That's a good idea man, I might actually do that during the next month, especially seeing as there aren't many new releases I plan to cover this year anymore.

LG
October 28th 2010


3049 Comments


On another note....Here's three quarters of Dope and oh my this is terrible.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl0xbbeGgRk&feature=related

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2010


8357 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

LG, I purposfully erased all my memory regarding the horrid project called Makeshift Romeo on. Don't make me remeber again.

LG
October 28th 2010


3049 Comments


lol, I had the urge to listen to dope today, and for some reason I found this, and by god....at least Edsel's decent on drums.

I could see this side project being decent if they dropped the boy band act and added some screams.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2010


8357 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Pretty much. They would need to drop the vocalist and replace him with a screamer. And Virus needs to start shreddding, we all know he can.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2010


15957 Comments


this was pretty bad imo

Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth



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