I know what you might be thinking. I would not want to be in a nu metal band with five other people, either. Well, Chimaira still managed to make a decent album, and hopefully they were sensitive to each other's creative imput.
In 2003, Chimaira released "The Impossibility Of Reason. They broke through to more of the metal community with their single, "Down Again." I discovered Chimaira back then, and I had never heard or heard of anything from Pass Out Of Existence.
Chimaira, while not having very eclectic individual albums, demonstrate that they are capable of capturing completely different soundscapes. This is evident in Pass Out Of Existence. I have to cut them a little bit of slack, for their cons, since this was early in their career. As mazz567 said, Pass Out Of Existence has a more industrial feel to it. This is not a reason for me to dislike it, though. Chris Spicuzza is heard quite a lot on this album, while his work isn't as much a part of the music as Sid Wilson and 133's from Slipknot is. On the tracks Abeo
Chimaira strays away from their hardcore sound and actually pulls off a couple of rather mellow songs, demonstrating their considerable flexibility.
One con to the album is the very simple guitar work. At times, it is beaten even by some Korn riffs. However, Rob Arnold makes up for it on some good solos, especially on The Impossibility Of Reason. So apparently, he is a skilled guitarist. Another con is the drumming. Andols Herrick is a truly underrated drummer, but he doesn't do much to much to prove himself on this album. Sure, he provides some fast, pounding beats, but the drumming relies far too heavily on the double bass. He does not utilize the snare and toms like Joey Jordison of Slipknot does. However, as with Rob Arnold, he went on to create better music on their second album.
One final con to the album is Mark Hunter's lyrics. They are very simple, as most nu metal lyrics are. He does not prove himself on The Impossibility Of Reason, either. Oh well, the lyrics aren't the most important thing when it comes to music. There are many good things in this album that make for the whiney lyrics.
One of these pros is Mark Hunter's voice. He does not sing especially well, using the same voice all the time. However, his screaming his amazing. His blood-curldling vocals express real rage and fury, better than most other singers do.
A few of the songs on Pass Out Of Existence, like Forced Life
and Painting The White To Grey
, sound way too much like other songs. The powerful, unique songs make up for this, though. Dead Inside
was the first song I heard from this album, and it is relentless. Another great song is Rizzo
. It breaks down into an erie and moving 7/4 section at different points in the song. Also, Sphere is an awesome song, despite its unbelievably simplistic guitar riffs. Mark Hunter sings behind clenched teeth, and when I first listened to this song, I felt that I was fully familiar with his voice. Another standout song for me is Options
. Options is one of the softest songs on the album, save Abeo and Jade. Mark Hunter actually sings well during the chorus, and the guitars play a nice harmony. The last track of the album is Jade
, which also stands out. Not necessarily in a good way. Jade is very long song, coming in at nearly 14 minutes. It is not by any means an epic, despite its length. It is very monotonous and repetitious, similar to Slipknot's Iowa (the song).
Pass Out Of Existence is quite a limited album, falling victim to some of the cons inheritant in making nu metal music. However, they proved themselves to be talented musicians in their sophomore album, so I cannot take points away from this album for them being poor musicians. Their dull riffs evolved into fantastic heavy-metal shreds, and Andols Herrick's drumming improved greatly after this album.
Lack of musical variety
I give this album a 2.5/5. Had I only heard this album, I would have probably given it a 2/5, but I know what potential they had when they made Pass Out Of Existence. From the monotony and simplicity of Pass Out Of Existence, they moved on to the more technically proficient and consistent Impossibility Of Reason.
Mark Hunter: vocals
Rob Arnold: guitars
Chris Spicuzza: electronics
Jason Hager: guitars
Jim LaMarca: bass
Andols Herrick: drums