Boy, oh boy! Was this album a pleasant surprise. I had never heard a full Ill Nino album before, and Confession really blew the pants right off of me, and rocked me half into a coma!
Ill Nino could easily be lumped into the “nu-metal” category, along with the likes of Linkin Park and Trapt, but there’s a stark difference: Ill Nino is actually a really good band. They do incorporate the heavy, thudding and thick guitars of Disturbed, System of a Down and the like, but the songwriters for this band have a real knack for the catchy melody, and they incorporate the melodies in a way as to not make the songs sound wussy. The singer has a really aggressive scream and growl, but he can also sing in a warm, buttery manner, which would make even the harshest skeptic well up with tears (see the chorus on “How Can I Live”). The drummer is a major tough guy, and he beats the crap out of the drums with fury and passion. I’d have to say that the overall sound of this album is pre-White Pony Deftones, back when they were known for nothing but steamrolling over people.
With Confession, Ill Nino isn’t really doing anything new. But, regardless of nu-metal’s negative connotations, there have been some really good albums to come out of the movement: Korn’s Untouchables, just about any Deftones album (I’m speaking of “nu-metal” from ’94 to present), System of a Down’s newest record and this Ill Nino album. When nu-metal is just an answer to a trivia question on Trivial Pursuit, albums like Confessions will be the ones pointed to as an example of the good things to come out the movement.
Roadrunner Records: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/