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Ill Nino, Confession (Roadrunner)
New Jersey sextet Ill Nino would like you to believe that they provide some much-needed innovation in contemporary heavy metal music, what with all their Spanish-English lyrics and Latin percussion. However, once you get past the bilingual singing and the samba drums, all you're left with is nothing but more of the same, one-dimensional, maudlin garbage that nu metal bands have been spewing since the late Nineties. The production by Bob Marlette and Dave Chavarri is first-rate, but none of their studio wizardry can save this album, which is mired in boring, sludgy chord structures, weak vocal melodies by singer Christian Machado (yeah, he can carry a tune, but his lifeless hooks just mimic Corey Taylor's equally dull work with Slipknot and Stone Sour), and weepy, hackneyed lyrics that are cringe-inducing ("I loved you/You were all that I wanted/Then, I watched you/Turn into someone else"). Ill Nino mean well, as they try to inject some life into a genre that continues to drive itself into the ground, the best example being the terrific acoustic interlude in "This Time's For Real", but they still have a lot of work to do if they want to match such albums as Sepultura's Roots or Soulfly's Primitive. Spanish or English, it's still lousy.