When I recieved Ill Niño's latest album Epidemia, I have to admit I was a bit hesitant about it. I try to be open minded musically and say I will pretty much give any chance, but I have to say that going into this I had a pre-conceived notion that I would not really enjoy this album, but I have to say there is something about Epidemia that is pretty enjoyable.
In this day and age nu-metal has largely lost its popularity in that there aren’t nearly as many upstart nu metal bands as there were in the 90’s, and the remaining popular bands have had to adapt. The largest example of this being Korn infusing dubstep into their music, making what was once a decent band into a unlistenable mess. Or Linkin Park straight up changing their sound entirely for a more poppy sound, but admittedly enjoyable sound. However some bands seem to stick with it, take Slipknot for instance, or go on to a more typically respected genre, take Chimaira for example. Ill Niño have stuck with their sound though, and don’t show signs of changing what they are doing. Ill Niño’s sound could be described as what you might get if Breaking Benjamin and Slipknot or Chimaira came together to form a band.
Now let’s get onto Epidemia shall we? This album won’t do anything to blow you away in terms of technicality, or newness, and if you don’t like clean vocals you’d probably be best to steer clear of this album, but what the band has accomplished is making a pretty solid album full of catchy songs and well done writing. It is everything you could ask for in terms of production as well. Everything is clear, nothing feels buried and on the same token nothing is too prominent that it becomes obnoxious.
However Epidemia is far from perfect. There are not any songs on the album that are notably bad, but on the flip side of things there are not any that are too notably great. It gets a bit repetitive even with the nice Latin touches on the album, but each song seems to have a pretty similar tempo and structure, just with different guitar riffs. The first track ‘The Depression’ and the last track ‘Invisible People’ are easily the best tracks on the album and pretty much captures the sound for the rest of the album.
What does shine on the album though is the addition of some more technical feeling guitar riffs, which separates them a small bit from their older material and does pave a way to a heavier sound which most would welcome. The final track ‘Invisible People’ has a rather solid beginning and if they stuck to a heavier sound like that in the future I would personally enjoy it more. Also the collision of more technical riffs and the Latin drums in the background craft a nice atmosphere.
Overall there is no reason to hate on Epidemia, it is a small step forward for the band, and while there is room for improvement, Ill Niño have crafted something that is pretty enjoyable and does give a bit of a nostalgic feel.