Enigma review by Ill Niño

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  • Released: Mar 11, 2008
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.7 (33 votes)
Ill Niño: Enigma
1

Sound — 8
After about a two-and-a-half year wait due to various record label issues, Ill Nino is back with another record filled with the band's characteristic Latin percussion and straightforward riffs. Enigma marks the band's 4th studio release, and in many ways the band has progressed to a new musical level. You don't get the same metal sound in each of the 13 tracks, and Ill Nino isn't afraid to show off their sensitive side along the way. While Enigma doesn't ever go too far out of the band's comfort zone, each song features multiple layers (apparently close to 100 tracks per song) that show Ill Nino didn't ever skimp on having the best sound possible in the studio. The opening track The Alibi Of Tyrants starts out with the band's trademark Latin percussion, but quickly transitions into a pure rock style after only a few seconds. It's a lively and memorable starting number, but it doesn't necessarily represent the best of what Enigma has to offer. The band usually strikes a solid balance between the Latin and metal influences, but on The Alibi Of Tyrants it would have been great to just have the percussive intro last a little longer. Given the fact that Ill Nino recorded dozens of overdubs per song, it might just be a case where we need to put on headphones to catch all of the musical intricacies on each track. One of the best tracks on the record is Compulsion Of Virus And Fever, which is carried by the strength of guitarist Ahrue Luster's amazing riff work. While you can hear subtle hints of Daniel Couto's percussion in the midst of the track, it's Ahrue that gets the spotlight. Just when you think you have all the riffs and the song in general figured out, Luster takes a surprising turn by playing a solo that feels more like Santana than anything he did during his days in Machine Head. Regardless of whether you think it fits with the rest of Compulsion Of Virus And Fever, Luster executes his parts perfectly. The closing track De Sangre Hermosa features some incredible flamenco-style guitar and it is the perfect way to tie the record up. There are a few acoustic moments on Enigma such as Me Gusta La Soledad, but the band doesn't make a huge impression acoustically until De Sangre Hermosa. The acoustic work on it is extremely impressive, and the guys in Ill Nino should seriously consider tackling an unplugged gig in the future.

Lyrics — 9
The band successfully weaves both the Spanish and English languages together in Enigma, and that unique aspect stands out on its own. While it's not only allowing the band to connect with a much larger audience, for those of us who aren't bilingual, it also peaks one's curiosity. You might need to look up a translation here and there, but that just reinforces the fact that the messages within the songs are being heard. Out of all the tracks, Kellogg's, Bombs, & Cracker Jacks does the best job of fusing the two languages together to relay the band's cynical views on the world today.

Overall Impression — 8
It's evident that Ill Nino goes above and beyond in the studio in terms of layered tracks, and amazingly none of the songs on Enigma ever feel cluttered. The band has a keen sense of musically balanced tracks and the new album is a testament to that talent. While not all of the songs feel completely fresh in terms of all the music that is out on the metal scene, there are more than a few shining moments on Enigma. Estoy Perdido features some beautiful lead work by Luster, while Hot Summer's Tragedy is just an all-around rocking song. Any Ill Nino devotee should be satisfied with the band's latest album, and it's likely the band will attract the attention of plenty more listeners by the time all of the singles are released.

31 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Pavura
    drakenshadow wrote: wtf is mathcore?
    I am most likely wrong, but i think LD.50 by Mudvayne is mathcore..That doesn't really help, just thought I'd mention it.
    Vortis wrote: Nu-metal, boo hoo. Does it actually matter?
    No, it really doesn't matter. I don't see why people pay so much attention to that label. I really have to check this album out. I love the elements Ill Nino combines.
    Vortis
    Why are you people talking about Mathcore in a review thread about Ill Nino anyway?
    Thats what I was wondering, but never mind, are there any online samples of what this album sounds like? I wanna hear something before I fork out for it.
    emkaybee
    skindred wrote: rwalby9 wrote: 365_days_gone wrote: Right...so just noise basically, right?octopig wrote: drakenshadow wrote: wtf is mathcore? various time changes throughout the song, technical riffinf, odd rhythms, protest the hero and the dillenger escape plan are examplesRight...so just noise basically, right? Mathcore is a very technical genre, its not easy to play or write. but overall, the music gets so technical it just becomes noise. think of progressive rock/metal on acid and you have mathcore.
    You're an idiot. Use your ears and you might actually hear. Or better yet, just don't critique something you don't know anything about. Why are you people talking about Mathcore in a review thread about Ill Nino anyway?
    skindred
    rwalby9 wrote: 365_days_gone wrote: Right...so just noise basically, right?octopig wrote: drakenshadow wrote: wtf is mathcore? various time changes throughout the song, technical riffinf, odd rhythms, protest the hero and the dillenger escape plan are examplesRight...so just noise basically, right? Mathcore is a very technical genre, its not easy to play or write.
    but overall, the music gets so technical it just becomes noise. think of progressive rock/metal on acid and you have mathcore.
    strat0blaster
    postmortem2006 wrote: More nu metal crap? these guys should've retired back to working at taco bell again by now.
    Aside from the flagrantly racist aspect of that, which I'm not going to bother with, you should probably listen to something before you form an opinion of it. It's not Nu Metal.
    rwalby9
    365_days_gone wrote: Right...so just noise basically, right?octopig wrote: drakenshadow wrote: wtf is mathcore? various time changes throughout the song, technical riffinf, odd rhythms, protest the hero and the dillenger escape plan are examplesRight...so just noise basically, right?
    Mathcore is a very technical genre, its not easy to play or write.
    titter
    and thus the genre debate finds its way into another unsuspecting thread once again...
    365_days_gone
    Right...so just noise basically, right?
    octopig wrote: drakenshadow wrote: wtf is mathcore? various time changes throughout the song, technical riffinf, odd rhythms, protest the hero and the dillenger escape plan are examples
    Right...so just noise basically, right?
    octopig
    drakenshadow wrote: wtf is mathcore?
    various time changes throughout the song, technical riffinf, odd rhythms, protest the hero and the dillenger escape plan are examples
    ozzynator
    postmortem2006 wrote: More nu metal crap? these guys should've retired back to working at taco bell again by now.
    ROFL
    MattA7Xfan4Life
    wtf is mathcore?
    Mathcore is a genre that blends math rock (the Mars Volta, etc) with hardcore (underoath). One of those bands is the Dellinger Escape Plan
    strat0blaster
    And sorry for the "way more metal" statement - sounds so cliche haha. Labels do suck. ANd they make me sound like a tool. ha.
    strat0blaster
    atomic69er wrote: didn't Marc Rizzo used to be in Ill Nino? you should check out his solo album...more specifically the riddle of steel, absolutly awesome instrumental. I like Ill Nino, they have their own sound and are capable musicians, it just doesn't shine through much...but whatever, they tend to be catchy, i'll check out this album.
    Yeah, Rizzo used to be the guitarist. But you should definately check out this album - it's way more metal than their other stuff, and the latin element is even further present than it was before. I think it may be the best album they've done yet - Got good songs with strong melody that appeal to people who liked their Revolucon days and heavier metal stuff for people who lean towards Confession. All in all it's great. Appeals to different styles throughout. It's one of the only albums I'll buy AND be happy that I bought.
    damo13
    ill nino r 1 of my favourite bands , couldnt give a sh!t if there classed as nu metal, they could be classed as ****!ng emo-sh!t-core for all i care, havent heard the album yet but i mite go get it l8er UG rules!!
    atomic69er
    didn't Marc Rizzo used to be in Ill Nino? you should check out his solo album...more specifically the riddle of steel, absolutly awesome instrumental. I like Ill Nino, they have their own sound and are capable musicians, it just doesn't shine through much...but whatever, they tend to be catchy, i'll check out this album.
    Sonny_sam
    I have to say this is a FANTASTIC album, I really enjoyed it, I like the way it has more world music influence than their other albums too. going to see them later this month, wooo!!
    I_Am_In_Flames
    Who tha hell cares if its Nu-Metal this genre "labeling" stuff really gets old.. Metalcore, Deathcore, Hardcore, Mathcore.. its annoying lol
    Crimsonashes
    chrissychichi, calm urself. they're pretty good band, the lyrics kick ass..plus their live show is amazing.
    Imagination972
    Nu-Metal ... ? Not really but it's a great album. The best is the acoustic song "Me Gusta La Soledad", which I'm tabbing at the moment.
    ChrissyChiChi
    Their singer won my prestigious 'most arrogant ***** of the year award' twice in a row. The most noteable thing about this band really. The drumming is interesting but the guitar and singing are really very very dull.
    Gonzalez1988
    damo13 wrote: ill nino r 1 of my favourite bands , couldnt give a sh!t if there classed as nu metal, they could be classed as ****!ng emo-sh!t-core for all i care, havent heard the album yet but i mite go get it l8er UG rules!!
    F*cken A man grab this album asap its all the bad@ss riffs with soloing like never before, Estoy perdido,2012, and De Sangre Hermosa are my favs