Ill Nino - Till Death, La Familia (Victory Records)

The nu metal mid-tablers return with added ire
Release Date: 
22 Jul 2014 - 8:30am

Nu metal bands, or at least bands who were part of the first real nu metal movement, seem to have surprising longevity. I'm sure that if anyone told you in the year 2000 that over a decade later, tens of thousands of metal fans would be singing Rollin' along with Limp Bizkit on the main stage at the UK's biggest alternative festivals, you'd call them a bloody idiot.

However, the likes of the Bizkit, Korn and Disturbed all continue to produce music that delights millions of music fans worldwide. Ill Nino aren't up there with the big names of the early noughties but there is no denying their popularity. Fourteen years in to their career, album number seven, Till Death, La Familia is the latest offering from the Latin metal mob.

It's impossible not to be slightly taken aback by opening track Live Like There's No Tomorrow. An 80s synth intro leads into some spectacularly bad lyrics - lots of not giving fucks, etc. - but it's something to sing along to and there's no doubt it's there for the die-hards.

Strangely, the opening track is one of the weakest on the album, and it takes a few songs before Till Death La Familia finds it's form. Are We So Innocent, Pray I Don't Find You and World So Cold are all significantly heavier than the preceeding few ditties. An album that could have been a collection of Nonpoint B-sides quickly becomes a Latin-blooded, Soulfly fist-bumping groove.

Christian Machado is a talented frontman; when his vocals get growly and the guitars from Ahrue Luster and Diego Verduzco get distorted, this album comes to life. There's a fluctuation from absolute dyed-in-the-wool metal to US-radio-friendly rock and the former is much more exciting than the latter.

Nu metal fans will by now have accepted that no one really does nu metal any more. Even if they did, it would be rubbish compared to the classic moments of the late 1990s and early 2000s. However, there are bands, such as Ill Nino, who maintain a nu metal feel but have evolved to keep themselves relevant. This is not a future classic but it's extremely listenable. And love it or hate it, the blindingly obvious choruses will have you singing along.

Till Death, La Familia is out now on Victory Records