Epidemia retains the melodicism and Latin influences that brought Ill Nino to the forefront of the new wave of American heavy metal
Review by Jerel Johnson
Latin heavy metal outfit Ill Nino make its return with Epidemia, the group’s newest album in two years. The band makes it clear from the get go that it has not abandoned its roots. Ill Nino gave several interviews before releasing Epidemia, stating they wanted to focus more on the group’s Latin influences. The group did just that on this album.
Epidemia retains the melodicism and Latin influences that brought the band to the forefront of the new wave of American heavy metal.
The album opener, “The Depression,” is a downbeat, yet harmonious track with crushing riffs. The melancholy chorus accentuates the sorrowful of this track, making it a unique way to start a heavy record.
Epidemia picks up with “Only The Unloved,” where the band keep things interesting with Spanish drums and sweeping guitar riffs. The title track is one of the heaviest tracks on the record and encompasses its sound. The sharp riffs encircle the listener like a fire, while the ominous tribal drums drive the listener closer to the flames.
The heaviness does not relent as the following track “Eve” is just as uncompromising, and stands as one of the strongest tracks on the record, due in large part to Christian Machado’s vocals. The track is apocalyptic, despite its title referring to the first woman on Earth. The blistering leads of Ahrue Luster and Diego Verduzco strike like lightning from a cloudy sky. The eerie acoustic outro perfectly closes this track.
Epidemia is a great follow up to 2010’s Dead New World, continuing down the heavy path of its predecessor but offering enough twists and turns to keep it interesting.
Ill Nino continues to grow as a band without forgetting its roots. That is a great thing in heavy metal, when too often bands grow and forget what made them special in the first place. Epidemia is out now on Victory Records, get your copy now.