Chimaira
Chimaira


4.0
excellent

Review

by Apathy USER (11 Reviews)
November 17th, 2005 | 43 replies | 3,887 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


3 of 3 thought this review was well written

From the minute I heard teasers from this album at Chimaira’s website (www.chimaira.com), I knew I would love it. The trailers had the entire fast, crushing assault of previous Chimaira records, but had a new depth to them. After figuring out when this record arrived in stores (August 16th), I waited impatiently for it to come out. When it finally did, I rushed to my local HMV as fast as I possibly could and bought it. It did not disappoint me. Even though I though that it would be impossible to even touch The Impossibility of Reason, this record comes as close to it as any record could have.

Chimaira formed in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1999. This year was huge for nu-metal, which is why the sextet’s first to recordings, This Present Darkness EP and Pass Out of Existence had a very nu-metal/ industrial metal feel to them. These records were quite shallow and lacked technicality. The band’s sophomore full-length deepened their sound significantly by making the tuning of their baritone guitars higher and adding solos.

Chimaira brought about a change in drummers. Andols Herrick, Chimaira’s previous drummer, was incredible on the double bass, but rarely used blastbeats or drum solos. Don’t take this the wrong way, Andols still utilized beautiful fills, but not the way that new drummer Kevin Talley does. Talley, of Dying Fetus fame, is a monster behind the kit. On the opener, “Nothing Remains," he garnishes the crushing riffs with ridiculously fast blastbeats and double-bass. Another change about this album from the band’s previous works is the solos and the vocals. In terms of solos, they are more abundant, technical and melodic than before. And for the vocals, Mark Hunter’s clean voice has strongly improved. As for his scream…it sounds like he blew out his voice a little bit on the road. His old scream had a trace of melody in it, whereas that melody is now no more. His voice is much more crushing than it was, but whether it is for the better or for the worse I cannot decide.

The guitar riffs on the sextet’s latest effort are weighty and complex (see Save Ourselves for a prime example of this) and the keyboards are far more audible than on the previous effort (2003’s The Impossibility of Reason) but not as prominent as they were on the first album. Guitar One magazine described Mark’s vocals as “gargling" and “razor blade", and frankly I think the latter is a far better way to describe them. There is next to no phlegm in his scream, and his clean voice, though rarely used, is an asset…this album might be better if there were more light songs like “Salvation".

The lyrics are furious, pointed, and true. On “Left For Dead", Hunter beats a family member with malevolent lyrics, perhaps he is singing about his mother who may have abandoned his father?

Quote:
He’s been thrown away, left for dead. This is the only father we’ve ever had.
He’s been thrown away, left for dead…how could you choose money instead?
The song is one of the best moments on the album, as you can feel the venomous anger flowing through Hunter’s vocal chords and out his mouth. Even the riffs are aggressive and angry, making this one a great song to mosh to.

But, of course, few albums are without sore spots. When I say this, I’m looking directly at the numbers “Comatose" and “Lazarus". The former seems boring, stock and contrived, and the latter drawn-out and tiring. Again, this work could be better if these were replaced with songs like “Salvation."

“Salvation" has a ‘ballady’ feel to it. There is a lot of clean singing, and it sounds very melancholy as a whole. Plucked violins scratch their way into the mix in the intro and early bits of the song, making it diverse. The chorus is unbelievably amazing, as it the outro. This one’s for the ages.

Overall, I think that Chimaira’s latest shows personal growth as a band, and a great future is in store for them. It has more of a death metal-ish feel than that of their previous works, but I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. Kevin Talley has definitely brought new depth to the band, and Chris Spicuzza’s paycheck has gone up considerably, or so it would seem. The riffs have improved, and the guitarists have taken their skill to the next level. So far, probably the best record of 2005.

Pros
(+) Heavier
(+) Faster
(+) More complex
(+) More emotional
(+) Better riffs
(+) Better drums

Cons
(-) A couple of mediocre tracks
(-) Less unique
(-) No tracks really “jump out at you"
(-) Mark Hunter’s voice has regressed somewhat

Recommended Tracks:
Inside the Horror, Salvation, Nothing Remains and Left for Dead are all great.

84%

Mazzetti



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user ratings (491)
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3.8
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Storm In A Teacup
November 17th 2005



12688 Comments


You're getting better Mazz. Is Chimaira really a nu-metal band?

Apathy
November 17th 2005



645 Comments


Not really...more thrashcore than anything. They are commonly labelled nu-metal because of their older material.

Storm In A Teacup
November 17th 2005



12688 Comments


I didn't think they were nu-metal. I heard maybe 3 or 4 of the songs on this album that I thought were nice and they didn't sound like nu-metal at all.

Shadows
Moderator
November 17th 2005



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Really good review. Unfortunately, form what I've heard I can't say I really like these guys at all.

Thor
November 17th 2005



10158 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review, much better than the first one.

Digging: Cult Leader - Nothing For Us Here

Apathy
November 17th 2005



645 Comments


What's not to like here? Really?

Toaster
November 17th 2005



343 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good album. Much better review. Your reviews just keep improving! This is far beyond competent, this is excellent. I agree with your overall description, too. It just doesn't jump out at you, as an album its too incestuous.

ocelot-05
November 18th 2005



807 Comments


Oh, so there is a new drummer. I was listening to Nothing Remains the other day, which I got off the Roadrunner website. I thought the drumming sounded very different, and I was right.

This was a good review, Mazz. You said you would do it a while ago, but now you finally did it. This is better than your other work, well done. :thumb:

Neoteric
November 18th 2005



3243 Comments


Nice work Mazzy my boy. You finally have come to the overall side. I can't say much about this album except Nothing Remains pwns.

ocelot-05
November 18th 2005



807 Comments


I just noticed something. How is it that no songs "jump out at you," when you praised this album and gave it a 4/5?This Message Edited On 11.18.05

Leper Affinity
November 18th 2005



89 Comments


That is interesting. You listed a few songs to recommend and said they were great, but then you said no song jumps out at you.

Apathy
November 18th 2005



645 Comments


They are great...but it took me a couple (as in 4) listens to comprehend that.

ocelot-05
November 19th 2005



807 Comments


Oh, I see, Mazz.

My_sweet_Shadow
November 20th 2005



23 Comments


good reveiw, three words, fking awsome album

Cravinov13
November 20th 2005



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You forgot Lazarus as a recommend track! That was one of the best songs on the album along with Salvation.

Toaster
November 20th 2005



343 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Actually he calls that song drawn-out and boring.

Cravinov13
November 20th 2005



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hmmm... must of overlooked that. Well, mazz doesn't have a very good perspective
of what's good He's got the bases of it, but not all the details. Lazarus is probably
both lyrically and musically the best track next to Salvation.This Message Edited On 11.20.05

Apathy
November 20th 2005



645 Comments


It's all opinion, Crav.

Cravinov13
November 20th 2005



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

True, very true. You have the right to your opinion. That doesn't mean it's a good opinion, but okay.

Apathy
November 20th 2005



645 Comments


There are no "good opinions" or "bad opinions." An opinion is an opinion, and I respect that. You should too, it would make you less...uppity.



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