Ill Nino: Dead New World

Ill Nino: Dead New World
After spending their entire career on subsidiaries of major labels, being signed to Victory Records has to be very different for Ill Nino. The New Jersey metal band rode their unique style to several top 50 singles including 2003’s “How Can I Live”, 2004’s “This Time’s for Real”, and 2005’s “What You Deserve”. But since 2005, their charting singles well has run dry. On their fifth studio album, Dead New World, the band attempts to regain their top form.
The band has achieved their success by combining various metal sub-genres with Latin influences. On Dead New World, the band mixes their patented Latin influences with the genre Victory Records pioneered, metalcore. Sometimes the mixtures are subtle like on “The Art Of War” where traditional Latin percussion like bongos are added to the breakdown. The bongos are a bit of an unexpected surprise; the first time I heard them I thought my iPhone was ringing (yeah, I use the timba ringtone). But in the end, the bongos only add to spruce up an otherwise bland attempt to recreate sounds already explored to their depths by bands like Atreyu.
Unfortunately the same can be said for “Mi Revolución”. The track features bongos and Latin-style percussion throughout the entire song but it never feels like anything more than a novelty, something added to the song to not make it seem so plain.
“If You Were Me” is one of the few songs that really embraces the Latin feel. The track’s breakdown features flamenco-style acoustic guitars that really add a little spice to the song.
Although the album is disappointing, nothing can prepare the listener for the disappointment that is the album’s second to last track. The track is a cover of Smashing Pumpkins‘ “Bullet with Butterfly Wings”. The band takes a very straight forward approach to the track basically just ratcheting up the volume and adding some bongos to the track. Sure the screaming parts are more powerful coming from Ill Nino, they still sound better coming from Billy Corgan.
In the end, I can’t help but feel disappointed with Dead New World. The album just feels like an aging band adapting their sound to what Hot Topic shoppers most like to hear. The result is something that sounds bland at best.
Rating: 4.2/10
MP3: Ill Nino “Bullet With Butterfly Wings”
Buy: iTunes