Chimaira - Chimaira
1. "Nothing Remains" - 8/10
A promising start to an awesome CD, the intro starts soft and subtly builds in intensity, then grabs you by the throat and kicks you in the crotch for much of the song. A bit of dual vocals in the interlude and an awesome guitar solo complement the crushing rhythm section, making this song a promising mosh pit favorite. Interesting note, this song was written on the day Dimebag Darrel was murdered.
2. "Save Ourselves" - 6.5/10
The intro is decent, maybe could have used some lead guitar lines. Lyrics suggest this is one of those standard "Don't *** with us" songs, a bit boastful. Rob Arnold delivers an excellent solo sure to inspire other guitarists to practice more (me for sure). Ending is short, blunt, and welcome.
3. "Inside The Horror" - 9/10
Chugging guitars drive the verses, inducing headbanging. Chorus has some stop-and-go action. Lyrics are enigmatic at times, so that different people can interpret them different ways. Another awe-inspiring solo near the middle, followed by some more creative drum work by new face Kevin Talley. The second solo of the song employs some sick effects, complimented by the rhythm guitar talents of Matt DeVries, whose riff has all the force of an axe to the gut. Loved the fadeout ending.
4. "Salvation" - 10/10
Kickass intro, excellent work with the double bass. Verse has a march-of-death feel. Chorus is absolutely brilliant, excellent dual vocals. I could totally feel the desparation in Mark Hunter's screams. Another wah-drenched solo morphs into Rob's riff that continues throughout the song. Another sweet fadeout ending. Possibly my favorite song on the CD.
5. "Comatose" - 6.5/10
Brutal beginning hits you over the head before you are ready. Lyrics for the verse are pure anger for an undetermined reason, "*** everyone, I'll kill you all" type of chorus. The solo is over more quickly this time, and not as impressive as before. Not a favorite song, but still decent.
6. "Left For Dead" - 8.5/10
First appearance of twin-guitar harmony - done decently. Mark is clearly angry at someone who screwed him or someone close to him - perhaps his mother ***ed his father over? His specific descriptions make you identify with Mark's pain. Lyrics are clearly meant to be the main focus of this song, they are almost like a biography. Instramentally, this is the first song to be absent a real solo, and is not very complex, so the listener will focus more on the lyrics.
7. "Everything You Love" - 9/10
Haunting clean riff heads this song, goes distorted after a while. Kevin impresses me with how fast his feet move throughout the song on the bass drums. Generally this song is slower than the previous songs, but it works. Rob brings off a ripping solo. Mark's vocals promise his enemy (enemies?) he will never forgive or forget... whatever fueled this song. A hell of a winner.
8. "Bloodlust" - 9/10
Excellent intro heads this piece. The heavy section before the verse sounds like something Lamb Of God might have written (and they rock too). Awesome guitar tone. Chorus is ripe with malice and a hint of pure evil - is Mark a cannibal? Rob busts out one of the better solos on the CD. Another taste of twin guitar melody near the end.
9. "Pray For All" - 8/10
Intro could have done without the brief drum solo. Lyrics reveal more about Mark's past - who did he depend on back in the day? What happened? Liked how everything cuts out when he says "I will make you pay." Rob demonstrates excellent use of the wah pedal in his solo. Ending is a little odd, I was able to make neither head nor tail of it.
10. "Lazarus" - 10/10
Intro "noise" tells of sorrow. Liked Mark's distant screams of "Lazarus." The heavy guitar part was a little repetetive. Lyrics tell of Mark receiving a phone call on November 5th, 1994, at 6:30 AM, telling him his friend Lazarus has committed suicide. The anguish in Mark's voice is palpable. The interlude is haunting as Mark tells of the missed oppurtunities Lazarus' death brought about. Rob's solo is reminiscent of older Metallica, and it itself told a story of sorrow and regret. Layered vocals at the end are kickass. Song ends the same way it begins - obscure noise and a haunting guitar part that weeps for Lazarus. Brutal and beautiful end to a truly great CD.
Overall - Kickass! Well worth the money. I couldn't find any political references anywhere, which is a nice break. Can't wait to see what they come up with next. Not only are they excellent musicians, but they dedicated their CD to "Dimebag" Darrel Abbot (murdered in December 2004 at a concert), Nathan Bray (loyal Pantera and Damageplan fan, also killed at the concert), and Brian Ottoson (former guitarist for American Head Charge, died from a drug overdose), among others. Overall rating: 9.5/10