I’ve been following ILL NIÑO since the release of their first album and despite the Nu Metal tag that seems to plague their credibility in the Metal world; the band has released two very well crafted albums. Their ability to blend Latin beats with catchy melodies and crunchy Metal roots is something that we really haven’t seen too much of since the split of SEPULTURA. So with the release of their third album, “One Nation Underground” ILL NIÑO is still trying to establish themselves.
Unfortunately, with the success of their second album “Confession”, ILL NIÑO must have decided to try and recreate the magic that happened with that album on this one. And what usually occurs in this circumstance is that the album suffers from carbon copy syndrome. It may have a similar sound and some good aspects of the original but it’s never quite as good as the first one. “One Nation Underground” suffers from this.
It has its great moments. It even has some of ILL NIÑO’s best songs of their career on it. But the album on a whole suffers from mediocrity compared to their first two. Except for a handful of songs most of the album is forgettable. In fact, after the first three songs (which are all quite good might I add) the rest of the album kind of all blends in together.
In general it just felt as though the band was trying to make this album very catchy and heavy at the same time. They tried to force the feeling that “Confession” gave us (that strange combination of radio-friendliness and depth) and it creates this odd rift between the music and listener. This is sad because the performances on the album are all great from each member with a specific applause going to the drum work which is always the best part about listening to their music. This is a very talented band that just released a very mediocre album.
If you are an ILL NIÑO fan then you might enjoy this album, but for any kind of new comer to the band I would suggest the first two albums instead. “One Nation Underground” is still decent but it’s far from what the band can truly accomplish. Although it might be worth the purchase just for the first three tracks; which are three of the best in ILL NIÑO’s career.
Songs to check out: “This Is War”, “My Resurrection”, “What You Deserve”.
(Online January 9, 2009)