Chimaira Crown of Phantoms
3.4 Release Date: 2013

 Full ReviewRatings (88) Give your Rating

2.5 averageRobert Garland CONTRIBUTOR | July 26th 13

Time for Chimaira to hang up their gear. This is too streamlined, for a band that's always used hooks this is over the top almost to a commercially viable, pop/radio level. It doesn't help when the groove has less edge, less gusto, the aggression is gone for a band who really should have been able to do better than this.

3 Bumps | Bump

3.5 greatJ.H. | July 26th 13

This is surprisingly really good. Why? Pretty much: RIFFS!

1 Bumps | Bump

4.0 excellentReAnimator | January 3rd 14

Beyond impressed. Mark Hunter's average vocals and atrocious lyrics held back previous albums, marring their finest hour on the self-titled and its equally competent follow-up, but he's stepped it up in a big way. Replacing the entire band with members of Daath, who dropped a great and rather overlooked album in "The Hinderers" a few years back, really mitigates the issue(s) of Hunter's performance. "Crown of Phantoms" is essentially Hunter fronting Daath, and the results are pretty spectacular: "The Machine" is among Chimaira's best openers, and the title track features some of the strongest synergy the band has ever seen. The rest of the album is packed with riffs and grooves for days. "Crown of Phantoms" is one of the most pleasant surprises of 2013 from a band I didn't think had it in them.


0.0 (enchanted) | December 20th 13

Though it was far from brilliant, i had a soft spot for The Age Of Hell. Packing groove as much as it did atmosphere, the album's more experimental tracks displayed that they could still thrive in a modern metal environment, as the clean vocals added grungy inflections to the music and the industrial touches gave the tracks an eerie feel. There was even a saxophone solo on one song. But here all that experimentation has gone, leaving only the band's slightly dated sounding groove metal sound, which creates some decent tracks but nothing ground breaking. A pretty weak album, and one that could have been so much better had the line up from the previous record all but disintegrated.


3.5 greatRedHorizon | July 30th 13

The line-up changes have really altered Chimaira's sound, mostly in a good way, to be honest. Crown Of Phantoms is not as aggressive or in-your-face as the Cleveland-based band's prior efforts, but it still boasts a good amount of solid riffs, brutal dynamics, and Mark Hunter sounds a lot angrier and gut-wrenched than ever before. Overall, this is a good labum that shows that Hunter and (new) co. still have it in them.


4.5 superbmeeero | July 30th 13

I really like this album. great riffs. Favourite songs are crown of phantoms spineless and plastic wonderland. It is one of their best albums. Now i am looking forward to new devildriver !!!


3.5 greatJeremy Bentham | July 28th 13

This album confuses me. Even after a few listens I'm still trying to get a grasp on how I feel about it. The band are clearly giving it their all, and Emil Werstler certainly holds his own replacing Rob Arnold as the bands primary songwriter, but the songs are seriously lacking the hooks and instrumental passages that made their self-titled and Resurrection such great albums. Still though, for having the entire lineup apart from Hunter replaced this is still a solid effort, it just lacks variation and blends together way too often.


2.0 poorEmethyst | July 27th 13

The only phrase to properly describe Chimaira's latest is musical senescence. Chimaira's near death experience just prior to The Age of Hell seemed to have drained them of everything which made them good. The riffs have become stale, quickly bleeding into one another with little to differentiate them. The instrumental hooks which made tracks such as Six and Salvation great are gone, replaced by a wall of sound offering no bite. Even Hunter's once biting vocals appear tired, offering nothing to make up for what has been stripped away. Although there are some good moments, album highlight Plastic Wonderland cannot salvage what is ultimately a poor and exhausted effort. The only question remaining is how long the death throes will last.


3.0 goodNytro | July 27th 13

I don't know why I expected more, as Chimaira haven't really had a great album since
Resurrection. The Infection and Age of Hell were good, but never got to the level of
Impossibility of Reason, their Self Titled, or Resurrection. I thought Emil Werstler would
provide some life into the band. Maybe, just maybe, he could be what propels the band from
good to great. Well, the answer is no. Yet again we get Ok riffs, ok drumming, some cool
solos, but Mark Hunter sounds about as unenthusiastic as ever. There are some good
headbanging moments, but they are so few and far between that it looks like the band yet
again walks the tight rope of consistently good, but not great, metal.


2.5 averageMalenchanted | April 16th 14
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4.0 excellentYuriZakhaev | February 19th 14
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