Ill Niño - EpidemiaIll Niño is a band I’ve had an on again off again relationship with since my early 30s. Some of their music I really like. Some of it is meh. Their new album, “Epidemia” on Victory Records, is one I really like. The guitar tone on “Epidemia” is sweetness to my ears. The compositions complex and flavourful. The vocals and harmonies alternate between comforting bliss and ballsy wickedness. Ill Niño combine elements on “Epidemia” to create a master piece that truly encapsulates their 15 years as a band.

“Epidemia “opens strong. The first track, ‘The Depression “is rich and layered. Cristian Machado has really good vocals. The clean vocals are ever so sweetly in tune. Ill Niño have found a good balance between clean and growly vocals. ‘The Depression’ is an instantly catchy song. You find yourself singing along with it before it’s over.

‘Only The Unloved’ is another hook laden track. The chorus has you singing along. ‘Only The Unloved’ has great layering of sounds and a smooth layering in production. Daniel Couto on percussion adds such a depth to all the songs. It’s amazing. “Epidemia” has such a bigger beat because of it.

‘La Epidemia’ and ‘Demi-God’ are songs that are complex in composition. They are chock full of heavy latin beats intertwining with Dave Chavarri’s exquisite drumming. ‘La Epidemia’ has a lot of groove laden riffs. ‘Demi-God’ is a heavy head banging mosh track. Both songs are a head bang fest from start to finish.

‘Eva’ is another song that combines elements in a winning fashion. ‘Eva’ is complex in composition, wonderful vocals, and bitchin’ percussion and drumming. I wish I knew how to paso doble, because this is the perfect song for the dance. ‘Forgive Me Father’ is another beautiful complex song. The percussion and drumming are top notch. The vocals are haunting.

‘Death Wants More’ is a beautiful song. It’s a tango in musical form. Ahrue Luster and Diego Verduzco exhibit some nice guitar chops here. Cristian Machado’s vocals are like satin and the harmonies are mesmerizing. I wonder if the guys in Ill Niño can tango because ‘Death Wants More’ is like the perfect song to tango to. I actually pulled up on old video by the dance troop Tango Fire and watched them dance with ‘Death Wants More’ as the music. Muy Caliente!

Everything about “Epidemia” is hook laden and full of rich texture and tone. There is so much happening musically, it takes several listens to soak it all in and truly appreciate it. Ill Niño‘s “Epidemia” is definitely a Top 10 Album of 2012. “Epidemia” has everything that you want in a metal album and then some. If you aren’t a big fan of the band, give “Epidemia” a try and let them change your mind. If you already love Ill Niño, “Epidemia” will give you another reason to be.

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