Having spent a decade honing their distinctive sound from derivative nu metal stomps to a more eclectic palette, Ill Niño have failed to expand their core fanbase or shake the tag of Soulfly Jnr.
With Epidemia there are more signs of a change, with the heavier crunch of the title track and slithering Demi-God standing out. Guitarists Ahrue Luster and Diego Verduzco add everything from melodic thrash riffs to spacey soundscapes to their trademark bounce and acoustic interplay, and the precision drumming is as tight as ever. But whereas you could always count on each album to have the odd tune, Epidemia is consistent only in its total lack of anything worthy of memory.
Opener The Depression is a case in point, with plenty of angular chords, growls and their Latin trademark flair, but when it comes to Cristian Machado’s vocals, he misses the open goal, leaving the song to fizzle into the ether. Even obvious single Death Wants More fails to leave a mark.