Sunday, October 20, 2013

Ill Niño at the Gramercy Theatre

Cristian Machado of Ill Niño
Drummer Dave Chavarri formed Ill Niño (originally El Niño for a brief period) in New Jersey in 1998 with the idea that the band would be “as heavy as possible and as melodic as possible -- with a Latin twist." Most of its members are of South American descent, resulting in crunchy heavy metal infused with Latin rhythms and lyrics that alternate between English and Spanish. The line-up currently consists of Cristian Machado on vocals, Ahrue Luster and Diego Verduzco on guitars, Lazaro Pina on bass, Chavarri on drums, and Oscar Santiago on percussion. Ill Nino's sixth and most recent studio album, Epidemia, was released in 2012.

At the Gramercy Theatre tonight, Ill Niño was more metalcore than ever.  Here was a band that mastered how to melt rap and hardcore punk into its crunching heavy metal. The Latin influence may have diminished some, as the extra percussionist was often unheard, but the soup was stirred and everything in it was tasty and picante (spicy). The long-dreadlocked Machado alternated between growls and clean vocals easily, and between songs encouraged the fans to watch out for one another and to maintain the love. "How Can I Live?" and “Forgive Me, Father” even brought a bit of tenderness to an otherwise bashing show. Ill Niño proved to be a storming band.