Ill Nino @ The Garage, London

6th April 2013
Review by Ben Spencer
Photography by Michelle Murphy

After surviving the sinking ship of the Nu Metal era, Ill Nino were a band whose sound I haven’t heard in the best part of 10 years now. Today at The Garage they are back with their Latino/ metal hybrid to lament a sound that is well truly alive and still kicking some serious ass.

After an enduring wait by the restless clientele, a worthy opening act get everything under swing in the form of the funk driven sound of Fhobi
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Although they’re presence on tonight’s bill was short lived, they managed to pull out some impressive bass grooves amidst their grunge induced heaviness.
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The heavy bass slams and pumped up drum beats is what kept the momentum going for these guys as the crowd were cheering and nodding along in approval.
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The only downer was that they definitely left an after taste in the crowd and it would have been good to see more of them.

Next up, the highly acclaimed Sacred Mother Tongue coarse with a hard rock adrenaline and metal sounding grittiness all neatly refined into one package.

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Opening with ‘Demons’ the on lookers suck everything the band have to offer with full appreciation.

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Musically, they flex a formidable display instrumentation, layers of scaling guitar riffs that bounce back and forth with piercing vocals that sound in part like Alice in Chains with a dash of Creed thrown in.

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An instant crowd pleaser brushes past in the form of ’The City is Crying’ which saw a couple of Metal heads skanking along wildly in celebration whilst stretched out arms formed a wave like devotion of their fans towards the direction of the band themselves.
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With well written lyrics and vocals that burst out with hard hitting memorable choruses of “Bring my creature, bring my saviour” it’s easy to grasp why a band like this have become so favourable in the room and the current scene at the moment.

The most frustrating aspect of tonight’s show came at this point, with two solid and raising the rooms energy levels the enduring wait for tonight’s headlining act Ill Nino dragged on for what felt like an unnecessary amount of time.

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However, after entering the stage to the sound of the battle hungry fans from their ‘If You Still Hate Me’ seem to make everything worth it.
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Dusting of the Latino intro with some deep throated growling and grunge sounding guitars the clean vocals carried onwards with strong precision. The angst ridden tonality corroded with a well formatted verse/chorus transitioning throughout, to set the pulses racing throughout the room.

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Cranking everything up, ‘God Save Us’ follows in a similar fashion with a strongly prominent bass running alongside the melodies and drum roll assault.

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Vocally, everything is well coordinated and is a strong reflection of the bands diversity.

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Meanwhile, ‘This is War’ was a track that lived up to its name with an impending drum led intro that allured into downbeat guitars and infernal lung bellowing vocals.

The guitar led melody dispersed the raw sounding aggression into a more softer side that the band executed as easily as flipping a switch.
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Highlight of their set comes in the form of ‘Eva’ a track that meanders in and out harsh shrieks, double kick pedals and metallic riffs scattered throughout.

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A further emphasis of this prevailed in ‘La Episdemia’ a Thrash sounding powerhouse with guitar slides, tight sounding drum work and a good use of lead guitar to which the fans swallowed up every second of.

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Ill Nino then decide to dish out a second dose in their encore, closing off with their single ‘How Can I live’ and the acoustic tone of ‘Liar’ that comes with a metallic crunch from the guitars and drums that bounce back and forth throughout with ecstatic vitality.

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Overall, their set played out, with a formula of growling edginess and cleaner passages playing woven together in a mish mash of polar opposite influences.

Although some of tracks may have stood out more than others, and despite the fact that this formula did become a bit predictable at times, one thing they excelled at was in their delivery of a more than satisfactory sound.

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In short, this is the work of a band who haven’t let the changing of times recent phase them. Let’s hope they keep at it and deliver the same quality controlled music in the times that lay ahead and that they carry on doing what they do best.