For most, bridging the gap between a functioning level of mainstream sensibility and originality can often lead into some level of criticism. These criticisms may not effect the direct comings and goings of most modern day acts. My case in point; “Till Death, La Familia”.
Now I know what you’re thinking: Ill Nino are a generally mainstream act, bringing metalcore, nu-metal, groove and their natural Latin influences into a wrecking ball of accessible metal. It’s not unjustified, but take what you know about a band who brought you tracks like “My Resurrection”, “I Am Loco” and “La Epidemia” and dull it down with some almost cringe-worthy lyrics, simplistic grooves and an ability to hit mainstream metalcore, like the head of a nail. This highlights a band lacking all the original flair that would normally set them apart from a host of seemingly similar acts. Those bands would normally pale under Ill Nino’s musical supremacy. Make no mistake, these guys still know how to pump out some catchy tracks, unfortunately, it’s at the cost of the band’s own individuality that made them an accessible success. Sure, this may sound like a spray of negative descriptions, but at a simple core of opinion, it’s really hard not to be let down by the result; a middling uninteresting release.
Don’t mistake what I’m saying here. I’m not saying this is a poor release (although it’s certainly far from stellar), I simply expected more…
But if it’s not a waste of the listeners’ time then it’s sure to have at least some redeeming features right? It’s generally hard to find a record that completely regresses, slumping into an array of shoddy song writing. What Ill Niño consistently present, is catchy hooks on an instrumental presence designed for the live show. Simply, big riffs, bombastic tempos and a tendency to allow for an awesome series of breakdowns. Sure, this formula is becoming a dime a dozen but there’s something in the way that “Till Death, La Familia” still builds on every nuance to create this forty-three minute display of semi-redundant, mainstream balancing metal. By now, this veteran metal act displays a natural, if somewhat lazy progression from album to album. You have to give some credit to these Latin-themed nu-metal heads; with as many hooks to entertain fans at shows, you at least have to know how to bring fan and band together. This creates a level of excitement for new fans, whilst simultaneously distancing older fans with an increasing sense of boredom.
I’ll admit I’ve had a certain issue putting pen to paper, reviewing this release (kind of ironic since this review is getting slightly wordy…). Unfortunately, most of those reading won’t fully appreciate what I have to say until you’ve heard the album (hell, it’s gotta get released first…) but it’s not okay to simply through a few similar acts, provide some sweeping statements about the new direction of a band and simply expect you guys to know what I’m harping on about. Ill Nino’s latest offering brings every trending sound in to play; synthase and other simple electronic build ups provide a sensual foreplay, before leading into the usual foray of modern metal.
As it is I find it hard to see this as any more than an average releases, despite some enjoyable moments. Sure, this sounds rough but “Till Death, La Familia” has its shares of highlight-able tracks or rather tracks that are simply more enjoyable than others.
Overall, it’s hard not to wonder about the album it could have been. Unfortunately, an album like that is completely imaginative, “Till Death, La Familia” is a catchy, albeit unremarkable record. It seems like Ill Nino have taken the simplest, trend-hopping, mainstream approach in the hopes of securing a new, un-needed level of fans. It could be said that Ill Nino are following a natural progression between records, focusing on music in a live setting rather than putting time into great song-writing. It’s a shame that this album failed to reach my “oh so high” expectations, but when it comes down to it, I can’t push past how mainstream and plain this is.