A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

2001 – Part 4.7: Ill Nino – Revolution/Revolución

The late 90’s and early 2000’s was a time of pushing the limits of heavy metal music. From when I first came across metal albums in the 80’s, the genre had evolved so much that the bands classed as metal back then became totally unrecognisable to the new breed of bands doing the rounds.

Bands like Tool, Dream Theater, NIN, Ministry, Faith No More, Limp Bizkit, Fear Factory, Korn, Creed, Disturbed, Slipknot, Mudvayne, Machine Head and Pantera pushed the genre forward during this period. Each act bringing into their sound something that wasn’t there before. Suddenly Metallica sounded like a pop band compared to these bands.

And then I came across Ill Nino. A fusion of Latin Flamenco rhythms and percussion with metal riffs and singing which moved between aggressive screaming and melodic singing.

On September 18, 2001, Ill Niño released their debut album, “Revolution Revolución”.

The album was a commercial success for Roadrunner Records, moving over 350,000 albums worldwide in the first two years after release.

The Personnel for the album is Cristian Machado on Vocals and Samples, Jardel Martins Paisante and Marc Rizzo on Guitar, Lazaro Pina on Bass, Dave Chavarri on Drums and Samples and Roger Vasquez on Percussion.

And seeing a person called DJ Skratch on Turntables as an additional musician will either scare people off or make them curious.

God Save Us

It’s like Groove Nu-Metal. Vocally its aggressive in the verses, with a melodic Chorus.

Check out the flamenco like interlude at 2.30.

If You Still Hate Me

It’s like Industrial Nu-Metal at the start.

But at the 2 minute mark a flamenco metal section appears and then a head banging circle pit riff afterwards. The movement between styles is why this album got my attention.

Unreal

Distorted guitars and Latin percussion working to create something unique.

Nothing’s Clear

Screaming verses and a melodic Chorus. The duality of modern American metal at the start of the new century.

And chuck in a Bridge delivered in Spanish.

What Comes Around

The most catchiest song on the album. A Nu-Metal riff kicks it off, and then an atmospheric Korn like guitar riff in the verses, while the melodic singing carries the vocal melody.

Liar

The flamenco and percussion in the intro gives way to a Disturbed meets Limp Bizkit riff.

Rumba

The Latin percussion and distorted guitars is a delightful mash up. Vocally, the screaming loses me and the melodic singing re-captures my interest.

Predisposed

I like the Intro riff on this. Its head banging groove metal.

I Am Loco

Who isn’t loco these days?

No Murder

Press play to hear one guitar play a riff on the higher registers while another plays chords.

Rip Out Your Eyes

So much violence.

Revolution/Revolución

The intro riff is head banging heavy.

With You

It’s a flamenco acoustic rock cut. Santana is not the only musician that plays this style, but he is one of the biggest crossover artists, and because of that, this song reminds me of Santana.

The next album “Confession” is a lot more melodic and my favourite but if you want to start with something, then start with this.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Record Vault: Al Di Meola – Land Of The Midnight Sun

“Land of the Midnight Sun” is the debut album by jazz fusion guitarist Al Di Meola, released in 1976. 6 songs that clock in at about 38 minutes.

Released on Columbia Records.

Di Meola was 21 when this album was released and his technical skills are very high.

Check out the front cover.

It looks like a Science teacher I had at school and you know when artists would say “you should buy an album based on the cover”, well I never would have purchased this one.

I got into Di Meola because he was getting a lot of “word of mouth” promotion from the 80’s players in the Guitar magazines. Players like Paul Gilbert, John Petrucci, Marty Friedman and Kirk Hammet all cited him as an influence to them, so it was just a matter of time and funds before I checked him out and goddamn what a revelation it was.

“The Wizard”

Its written by Mingo Lewis and I had no idea who he was until I looked at the credits and saw that he’s the percussionist. A percussionist extraordinaire in my opinion as he wrote some amazing guitar riffs here.

The musicians for this song are Al Di Meola on guitars, Anthony Jackson on bass, Steve Gadd on drums and Mingo Lewis on percussion.

I don’t know where to start with this or how to describe it, as there is a lot of great guitar playing.

The intro from 0.00 to 0.13 is enough to get me to pick up the guitar. Then it goes into a typical 70’s groove from 0.14 to 0.24 which is great and easy to play.

And then the riff comes in which I call the “piece d’resistance” riff from 0.25 to 0.55.

There is a brief heavy palm muted from 0.56 to 1.00 which reminds me of things that Maiden would do in their early years. Its only 4 seconds long here but can be easily fleshed out into something longer.

The song then goes back to the “piece d’resistance” guitar playing.

And all of these unbelievable guitar sections are within the first minute.

At 1.20 there is a variation of the “piece d’resistance” riff.

Then check out the mood and licks from 1.50 to 2.34. If that section doesn’t make you feel something, check for a pulse please.

At 5.05, the outro guitar solo starts. And just as Di Meola was starting to get warmed up with the outro solo, a decision was made to fade it out.

I’m the end, this song is a progressive rock tour de force.

“Land of the Midnight Sun”

Written by Al Di Meola, it clocks in at 9:10.

The musicians for this song are Al Di Meola on guitars, Barry Miles on keyboards, Anthony Jackson on bass guitar, Lenny White on drums and Mingo Lewis on percussion.

While the opening track came across as a progressive rock high octane cut, this one is more in the jazz rock domain with some progressive overtones.

There is this lounge rock mood which comes in between 2.02 to 3.56 and Di Meola plays some fast palm muted lines in between his normal sounding leads.

“Sarabande from Violin Sonata in B Minor”

A short 1.20 piece from Johann Sebastian Bach transposed to acoustic guitar to show off Di Meola’s prowess on an acoustic guitar.

“Love Theme from Pictures of the Sea”

Another short cut at 2:25 in length. The musicians here are Al Di Meola on guitars, Stanley Clarke on bass and vocals, Patty Buyukas on vocals and Mingo Lewis on percussion.

The clean tone arpeggios create a shimmering effect and the percussion from Mingo Lewis takes you to some island paradise.

“Suite Golden Dawn: Morning Fire/Calmer of the Tempests/From Ocean to the Clouds”

At 9.49 it fits nicely into the albums progressive rock feel. The musicians for this song are Al Di Meola on guitars, Barry Miles on keys, Jaco Pastorius on bass guitar, Alphonse Mouzon on drums and Mingo Lewis on percussion.

And like the “The Wizard” there are so many sections in this which has some killer playing along with Di Meola’s fast palm muted lines.

I like the blues soul riffs from 2.32 to 2.55 which then transition into a distorted riff and they then go back and forth.

Also check out the bass playing from Pastorius during these sections. Essential listening if you’re a bassist especially from 3.40 to 4.50 while Di Meola phrases his leads around the bass lines.

“Short Tales of the Black Forest”

A song written by Chick Corea which has Corea on piano and marimba and Al Di Meola on guitars.

You know when go to a lounge and see a piano player with a guitar player jamming. Well this is it, but the playing is exceptional from both and Di Meola knows how to use that acoustic guitar, especially those fast palm muted lines as he moves the songs feel into jazz, Latin, rock and back again.

John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess did a similar thing with their An Evening With.

If there is a cut to listen to, press play on “The Wizard”.

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