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Thursday, 11 April 2013

A View From The Front Of The Room: Ill Nino

Thanks to our resident thrash fanatic, (thus the slight change in title) Mr Chris Beynon for the review (and his lovely wife for the edit)

Ill Nino, Sacred Mother Tongue and Fhobi, Bogiez Cardiff

I attended this “sold out” show at Bogiez Cardiff, expecting to re-live my teenage years when nu-metal was at the height of its power. They were dark days for a lot of us but you can’t argue that they provided some of the most unique parts of alternative music’s history.


Saying this, when the first band Fhobi took to the stage with the lead singer wearing a backwards baseball cap I was dubious at best. They also entered with their backs to the crowd and then proceeded to call us “mutha******s”. This can play to the crowd if the band has the calibre to do so, however, Fhobi did not. Their brand of rap and funk metal did little to engross the crowd. The set included moments of enjoyment mainly down to an incredibly talented bassist and occasional good riffs, but all too soon they were being rapped over poorly and killed any momentum a song had gathered. To some up: Fhobi are a South American version Limp Bizkit without Wes Borland.


Sacred Mother Tongue

I was introduced to this band on record fairly recently and was looking forward to seeing this upcoming British Metal Band. They were delayed for at least 20 minutes as they had problems with their backing track, and there lies my main problem with Sacred Mother Tongue. The band took the stage and held a lot of promise; clearly they were a very tight band and played with a high level of precision. The lead singer who is clearly very talented and has great showmanship blasted through the verses of their songs with ease. For reasons I can’t explain, every chorus and I do mean every chorus, was sang by a backing track with the singer helping it and from the evidence I heard in the verses he did not need it at all.
Also as this band was a replacement for the thrash titans Shadows Fall. The new melodic vocal style of this band did not necessarily play to the intended crowd. Saying this, I enjoyed the vocal changes as the lead singer clearly has an excellent voice but when replacing a band like Shadows Fall you’re not going to wow the crowd with that style of vocals. I would like to see them again after I have listened to the new album, but I’m still disappointed at the use of a backing track and for that Sacred Mother Tongue get…


Ill Nino

To the main event and to be honest I was expecting Ill Nino with the nu-metal roots to rely on the past to carry them through the set. What I did not expect was the sheer level of aggression that followed. They played like it was their first show, opening with, If You Still Hate Meand straight into God Save Us, two of their biggest songs. It was abundantly clear that Ill Nino love what they do and their mix of brutally heavy metal and powerful choruses lead by an incredible double percussion performance had the Bogiez crowd in a frenzy. The pit was plenty brutal and spilled over a few times, but was always handled well by the band. Songs like This Is War and I Am Loco offered little let up in pit, so when they played the songs Liar and Predisposed, songs that could get the whole place jumping; it almost felt like a respite from the intensity of the pit.
They were engaging the crowd at every opportunity and even when they played new material (which sounds as heavy as ever) the crowd lapped it up. One of the highlights of the set was a double percussion solo that stirred up memories of Sepultura at their best, then ending the set on a brutal high. On the night I was expecting to enjoy the power of nostalgia, but Ill Nino’s wave of aggression reminded me why I liked this band in the first place. I’m now looking forward to the new album and look forward to seeing them again in a bigger venue.


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