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Ill Nino - "Dead New World" (CD)

Ill Nino - "Dead New World" CD cover image

"Dead New World" track listing:

1. God Is for the Dead
2. The Art of War
3. Against the Wall
4. Mi Revolución
5. Bleed Like You
6. Serve the Grave
7. If You Were Me
8. Ritual
9. Killing You, Killing Me
10. How Could I Believe
11. Bullet With Butterfly Wings (The Smashing Pumpkins Cover)
12. Scarred

Reviewed by on December 17, 2010

"The band has ventured from their normal path with this album and that’s a good thing."

Ill Nino is back and they’re wearing their big-boy shoes with the release of “Dead New World.” For a band that has already had great success, you’d expect something on the mellow or experimental side. However, from the very first track, “God Is For The Dead,” you can tell they have something to prove. That something is that they’re still relevant since their last effort "Enigma" was released in 2008. For those who aren’t too familiar with Ill Nino, picture Latin music on methamphetamine. Metal and Latin music are infused perfectly on every album this band puts out.

There are a couple of tunes on “Dead New World” that I’d say rank as the heaviest the band has ever written. For instance, “God is For The Dead” starts with a blistering growl and down-tuned riffs. The second track from the album entitled “The Art of War” is a song that combines the best elements that make this band unique. It’s heavy, has some killer riffs and the vocals put forth by Cristian Machado are just right. “Mi Revolucion” has melodic elements and pretty decent guitar playing, but it is also easily their heaviest track to date.

The rest of the album is really solid as well. Track’s like “Bleed Like You,” “If You Were Me,” and “Ritual” could all have been on any of their previous albums. However, the majority of the tracks are heavier than this band has ever been. “Serve The Grave” is a catchy tune with some killer guitar work. The track even includes a pretty rare, yet awesome, guitar solo in the latter half of the song. “How Could I Believe” is the last track on the regular edition album and is the right fit for the end of an album. It’s powerful, heavy and leaves you wanting more.

Thankfully, for those lucky enough to find it, there’s a special edition version of this album. It includes two bonus tracks. One is a cover of the Smashing Pumpkin’s hit “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” and the other is a track entitled “Scarred.” The band has done covers before, including “Five Minutes Alone” by Pantera, and did a great job making it their own. This cover is no different. It keeps the integrity of the original intact, while simultaneously making it heavier and faster. They’ve also infused their Latin influences into the song as well. As for “Scarred,” it could be substituted with any other track on the album and would fit just as well. It’s one of the heavier tracks on the album and features a nice, mellow flamenco guitar-driven interlude toward the end.

Overall, this is Ill Nino’s best album to date. It’s heavier than anything they’ve ever recorded before. From beginning to end, your ears are subjected to seriously sludgy riffs, heavy breakdowns and powerful vocals. Most bands get softer with age or simply stick to the same formula in hopes that it’ll sell a few more albums. The writing style stands apart from other efforts and is far more intricate than any previous efforts. The band has ventured from their normal path with this album and that’s a good thing.

Highs: Very heavy, inspired lyrics and good songwriting.

Lows: Vocals seem over-edited at times. Not as many mellow/slow songs as previous efforts.

Bottom line: The best album Ill Nino has ever put out, which is also their heaviest.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)