Nino - One Nation Underground - Roadrunner Records
Running Time: 44:04
Some things in life simply are. There's no leeway in certain
instances. The sun will rise in the East. Night will
follow day. And no matter how bad the new Soulfly album is,
we can rest assured that the next disc by Ill Nino will make
it seem like Master Of
Puppets in comparison. On these South American
nu-metal throwbacks' third full-length, it seems Ill Nino
the trash bins of the Cavalera household, dusted off some of
the discarded refuse, slapped a predictable Roadrunner-brand
sheen on their "metal",
and now the world can witness the true horror that is One
The first forty-odd seconds of 'This Is War' sounded better
when Prong did it over fifteen years ago, and called it
'Beg To Differ', pinched harmonics and thick drums quickly
giving way to the aural equivalent of Linkin Park covering
Puya. I'm sure the guitar duo of Luster
and Paisante would like you to hear the Latin flair of
their playing near
the end of 'This Is War' as "progression" and "ingenuity",
but it just comes across as contrived instead. Sure,
vocalist Cristian Machado may believe in the plight of
the everyman, and have a deep respect for his heritage
(as we all should), but in delivery, his uber-predictable
half-growl/half-singing style is as convincing as if he
were trying to sell you a dead horse that's already been
kicked into pulp. The initial single 'What You Deserve'
will crop up here and there on hard/metal radio, so expect
to hear it at some point, regardless of your feelings about Ill Nino. Personally, I'll be turning the dial, and longing
for the semi-tolerable days of 'God Save Us' (from the
premature musical ejaculate that was 2001's Revolution/Revolucion).
The ghost of producer Eddie Wohl's work with labelmates
36 Crazyfists looms large throughout One Nation Underground,
rendering the two bands virtually indistiguishable at times.
The lyric '...turn to ashes...' - in the chorus of the
'All I Ask For' - references the song 'Turns To Ashes'
from 36 Crazyfists' Bitterness The Star a bit too obviously
to be a fluke, and by the time 'My Pleasant Torture'
ends, eliciting the same shrug of the shoulders as the
rest of the album, this torture is anything but.
If Ill Nino somehow could've taken the anger in the verses
of closer 'Violent Saint' and spread it over the rest of
the album, One Nation Underground may at least have achieved "background
music" status. Still, when stacked up against the unexpected
credibility of the new Soulfly, the fury of Ill
level a house of cards. One Reviewer Underwhelmed.