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Ill Nino (stylized as ill niño) is a metal sextet formed in New Jersey. The band was formed in 1998 by drummer Dave Chavarri, with all the original band members present. However, their current vocalist was a bass player at this time, the original vocalist was none other than Jorge Rosado, who is known for being the singer of hardcore band Merauder. 2 short years later, the band emerged with a self-titled EP. It didn't receive much attention from the press, but the following year, they released their debut album, entitled Revolution/Revolución. The album was very well-received by the metal community. It was praised for its unique yet still accessible sound, as well as its consistency. Shortly after the release, the band toured to support the album, eventually entering the studio to record their followup. Since then, the band has been going strong, and is now a big name in modern metal.


The band's unique brand of metal is characterized by a mix of traditional drumming and Latin percussion, radio-friendly hooks, varied vocal patterns, use of Spanish and English lyrics, and the versatile singing of vocalist Cristian Machado, which can range from soulful clean vocals to guttural death growls. They also have the tendency to change up their sound a little with each album, while still maintaining their unique sound. They have been associated with Nu Metal frequently, but have moved away from the genre in recent years.

The band's seventh album Till Death, La Familia was released in the summer of 2014, while a follow-up was announced in 2017 for a release the next year, but as of September 2020, only one song has been released, "Sangre". The song featured new musicians, with Dave Chavarri and Lazaro Pina being the only returning band members. It was then announced that the departing musicians (Cristian Machado, Ahrue Luster and Diego Verduzco) had filed a lawsuit against Dave Chavarri for regularly and habitually embezzling band money. For a year, it was unlikely that any more activity would be seen from the band for the foreseeable future, until the case was settled out of court in March 2020.



  • Marcos Leal: lead vocalist (since 2019)
  • Dave Chavarri: drummer (since 1998; only founding member left)
  • Lazaro Pina: bass guitarist (since 1999)
  • Jes De Hoyos: lead guitarist (since 2019)
  • Daniel Couto: percussionist/additionnal drummer (since 2019; had already played with the band from 2003 to 2013)
  • Salvadore Dominguez: rhythm guitarist (since 2019)

Past members

  • Jorge Rosado: lead vocalist (1998-1999; of Merauder fame)
  • Cristian Machado: lead vocalist (1999-2020; played bass when Jorge Rosado was in the band)
  • Marc Rizzo: lead guitarist (1998-2003; now in Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy)
  • Ahrue Luster: lead guitarist (2003-2020; he used to be in Machine Head for those who didn't know)
  • Jardel Martins Paisante: rhythm guitarist (1999-2006)
  • Diego Verduzco: rhythm guitarist (2006-2020)
  • Roger Vasquez: percussionist/additionnal drummer (1999-2003)
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  • Oscar Santiago: percussionist/additionnal drummer (2013-2019)


  • Revolution/Revolución (2001)
  • Confession (2003)
  • One Nation Underground (2005)
  • Enigma (2008)
  • Dead New World (2010)
  • Epidemia (2012)
  • Till Death, La Familia (2014)

Ill Nino provides examples of:

  • Alternative Metal: The main component of their sound, aside from Latin.
  • Atomic F-Bomb: 'I just wanna touch you/I just wanna FUCK YOU!'
  • Deathcore/Death Metal: A huge influence on the heavier sounds on Epidemia.
  • Genre-Busting: While their core sound is Latin-Nu Metal, they can be quite diverse. They have done songs in and draw influences from many different genres, such as Rap Metal ('What Comes Around'), Metalcore ('My Resurrection'), Groove Metal ('Violent Saint'), Alternative Rock ('Me Gusta La Soledad'), Progressive Metal ('2012'), Melodic Death Metal ('Killing You, Killing Me'), Thrash Metal ('The Art of War' (to an extent)), and even Deathcore ('La Epidemia').
  • Groove Metal: Dead New World and Epidemia.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Cristian is the guy closest to the camera in this photo. Only a few short years later, he became this. It's funny though, because his singing voice is still the same.
  • Intercourse with You: "All The Right Words", without any subtlety.
  • Mascot: Either the rotting corpse on the cover of their debut album or the tribe members with their eyes sewn together on the cover of Dead New World.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Usually a 7, but they go all over the place. They can be as low as a 3 or 4 (e.g. 'Me Gusta La Soledad'), as high as an 8 or 9 (e.g. 'Compulsion of Virus and Fever'), and everywhere in between. They even dropped a song that borders on 10 ('La Epidemia').
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Most of the food references in 'Kellogg's, Bombs, & Cracker Jacks' are screamed for emphasis. Really, was that for comic effect or not? There has to be a message behind those words.
  • Myspeld Rökband: The band's name is a play on the El Niño ocean-atmosphere phenomenon.
  • New Sound Album: They've done this quite a few times. Their first album was essentially straight-forward nu metal, with rap-like vocals and simple song structures. The melody wasn't as complex, either. With Confession, they added a more melodic sound and leaned more towards alternative metal. One Nation Underground was a metal Genre Roulette that needs to be heard to classify. Enigma was a huge change for the band, introducing a more mature sound and dropping most of the nu metal influence, instead fusing their mix of Latin and alternative metal with elements of traditional metal and even progressive metal. It is also their most melodically complex album to date, as well as their first album to include guitar solos. They threw in a few traditional Latin rock tunes, as well. Dead New World introduced a much heavier sound, fusing alternative and groove metal and leaving most of the major Latin influences behind. Epidemia brings the Latin sound back, but combines it with an even more aggressive sound than its predecessor, with very guttural harsh singing and a strong influence from deathcore. Meanwhile, Till Death, La Familia was a little lighter and brought in strong modern melodic metalcore elements, including power chord-heavy riffs and breakdowns, while still maintaining their signature Latin flare.
  • Nu Metal: They have elements of this, too.
  • Obsession Song: 'All the Right Words'.
  • Progressive Metal: Enigma has elements of this.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: "How Can I Live" was the theme song for the horror film Freddy vs. Jason.
  • Soprano and Gravel: Cristian is a famous one-man example.
  • Special Guest:
    • Cristian was a guest singer on Soulfly's album 3, performing the lead vocals with Max on the song 'One'. Ill Nino AND a project of Max Cavalera? That's the ultimate collaboration.
    • The song 'Turns to Gray' features Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Cristian's name is spelled a little unusual, dropping the 'H' preceding the first letter. Many fans forget this and spell his name the traditional way.
  • Sticky Fingers: The reason why Dave Chavarri is currently being sued by Machado, Luster, and Verduzco; as per the complaint, Chavarri has allegedly made a lengthy habit out of misappropriating band funds to pocket them, pay personal debts, and fund Terror Universal (his side project), has repeatedly failed to pay bandmates and associated personnel, has repeatedly lied about various third parties failing to meet financial obligations in a way that suggests that he is attempting to cover up his theft, and has generally used the band as his feeding ground while fucking over his bandmates at every turn.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: They have a few of these. Their first album has 'With You', a soft rock song with some of the softest vocals Cristian has ever performed. Enigma has 'Me Gusta La Soledad' and 'De Sangre Hermosa', two songs in which the band's Latin influence is taken to extremes, with almost no metal sound in the songs. The song 'Numb' isn't quite gentle, but it's soft for a song by a metal band.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The entire concept behind the song '2012'.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Cristian's speaking voice is actually much deeper than his singing voice.
  • Vocal Evolution: Cristian's growls are noticeably much lower on Dead New World, particularly on the closing track.
  • You Don't Look Like You: This is Cristian when he was young. This is him now.

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