New Jersey Latin-flavored nü metal band ILL NIÑO expands (sort of) on its trademark formula on its sixth full-length studio album, Epidemia. The thing that has mostly set this band apart from others in this genre, is its occasional use of Latin-infused percussion rudiments, which in turn really amounts to some timbale-esque (probably octabons or roto toms) beats, a somewhat predictable vocal diversity which includes high-pitched screams, low, guttural growls and allegedly auto-tuned clean parts. They’ve managed to retain all of these elements while walking the line of NONPOINT, SALIVA, CHIMAIRA, P.O.D., KORN and SLIPKNOT. It’s a little heavier than their last release, Dead New World, with a little less commercial appeal. But there are things that plague Epidemia’s sound which are noticeable right away on CD opener ‘The Depression.’ There’s a high-pitched, squealing, feedback noise throughout most of the song that pierces the ears — in an annoying, hurtful, non-pleasant way — and it shows up again on ‘La Epidemia’ and ‘Eva.’ There’s also some aggravating beeps, stutter-scratching and way too many whiny guitar leads. The overall quality of the songwriting and aggressive-to-melodic transitions are more developed on Epidemia than previous releases but there’s still a lot left to be said. Even though this band is not my cup of tea, there’s a little something here that’s not all bad. Surprisingly, Ill Nino has sold a lot of records since 1998 and they have a massive, loyal fan base, which will undoubtedly be thrilled with their latest release.