Chimaira-The Impossibility of Reason
Fast and crushing. These are two great words that describe great music, as well as Chimaira’s music. Pronounced Kim-EAR-a, this Cleveland, Ohio quintet formed and began playing in 1999 with the EP This Present Darkness
. In 2001, they released Pass Out of Existence
, which was a solid album, but not without a nu-metal influence or some bad songs.
The Impossibility of Reason
represented a new beginning for Chimaira. The band switched from detuned, industrial thrash to straight-up, metalcore-influenced thrash. The punishing sextet is made up of:
Rob Arnold- Lead Guitar
Matt DeVries- Rhythm Guitar
Jim LaMarca- Bass Guitar
Andols Herrick- Drums
Chris Spicuzza- Electronics
So, after this short biography, on to the review:
1. Cleansation: This song begins with some menacing feedback, and then the drums kick in. Now, one thing about Chimaira that must be remembered is that they love playing chromatic riffs, and this opening riff is a prime example of a classic Chimaira chromatic riff. Mark Hunter really conveys hate for his ex-lover in this song, with lyrics like “What did you expect from me? I was never who you wanted me to be. Well, I never lived up to your standards; this is not your path to take.” This song’s only sore spot is when Hunter raps/speaks: “Yes, I taste it. Yes, I breathe it. Yes, I hate it. Yes, I feel strain.” This is a very good song, but unfortunately does not completely kick out the nu-metal influence which was evident on their first album. 4.5/5
2. The Impossibility of Reason: This song is a masterpiece from beginning to end. A simplistic but impressive riff opens it, with some really, really killer drum fills accompanying it. Herrick is a master on his kit. The chorus in this song, in my opinion, is one of the best choruses in recent metal history, with lyrics like: “I fall face down at the sight of myself, no one to pick me up, look what our lives have become.” After this, the song slows down considerably and a tasteful and melancholy solo is played. This is easily one of my most favourite songs on this album. 5/5
3. The Pictures in The Gold Room: Now this is my favourite song on this album, as well as my favourite Chimaira song of all time. Once you listen to it, it is easy to see why I enjoy it so much. The lyrics are sort of cheesy, like: “A fire that cannot be put out, can only enjoy the insanity,” but they fit the ‘going crazy’ feel of the song nicely. The highlight of the song is the bridge, though, with its slowness and odd clean chords played here and there. This song is embellished with electronics, which only add to its prowess. Download this. Now. 5/5
4. Power Trip: A very simplistic and Pantera-esque song. This song fades in with a man saying “HE WANTS MY POWER!” in the distance. Soon afterwards, DeVries and Arnold play a fast, single-note riff and Hunter joins the mix with a savage roar. This song is relatively short and fast, with an exceedingly heavy bridge with lots of double bass going on. Overall, this song is a 4.5/5
because after many listens, you get very bored of it.
5. Down Again: The first and lead single off of this album, Down Again is a lighter, more rock track. It starts with a Metallica-esque guitar harmony, but picks up speed and aggression along the way. This track, however great it is, is out of place on this album. This was the song that got me into Chimaira, but at first I thought that they were an alternative rock band. Good song, but since it is out of place on this album, it only gets 4/5
6. Pure Hatred: This song is insanely heavy, aggressive, fast, and amazing. A beautiful drum fill opens it, and then some soft distorted guitar comes in with a “classic Chimaira riff.” (See “Cleansation” review.) The song builds up from there, and this song seems like a big “**** you” to the world as it is. This was also a single, but is far heavier and less mainstream than “Down Again.” Fantastic song. 5/5
7. The Dehumanizing Process: I think that this song is about dictatorships, with lyrics like: “Clear the way, the new king has arrived, a powerful giant while I’ve got you on your knees.” This song has a killer chorus, as well as the heaviest bridge to any song I have ever heard. The bridge uses what I call the “Deicide growl” (growling and screaming at the same time) and sounds very scary. Overall, I give this song a 4.5/5
just because it may be too heavy for some.
8. Crawl: Crawl is easily the worst track on this album. It has virtually none of Hunter’s signature scream, but instead replaces it with this odd operatic type of voice. This song is very slow and plodding with a decent riff, but the poor vocals in it ruin it for me. Thrash bands should not attempt to write slow songs. 2.5/5
9. Stigmurder: This song is very good, but it could be better with some half-decent and not so violent lyrics. It has some sweet riffs thrown in, but just doesn’t add up for me for some reason. This song is also very, very heavy. The lyrics in this song are of a very graphic nature, with lyrics that relate to murder. In my opinion, this drags the song down somewhat. Also, it is quite repetitive. Overall, this song gets a 3.5/5
10. Eyes of a Criminal: This track starts quietly for about five seconds, but then a crushing riff comes in and Hunter softly speaks over it. This is another angry and raw song. The chorus riff is a little droning, but otherwise, this song is very heavy and good. Approximately halfway through the song, a clean riff is played over which Hunter sings: “Staring through my eyes” numerous times. This is another great track. 4/5
11. Overlooked: Overlooked’s opening riff sounds like a Slipknot riff, unfortunately. This is the lowest-tuned track on the album, tuned down to the low B. It is also the second-worst track on the album, as during the bridge, Hunter uses the “Crawl” voice. This song is boring, but still holds up fairly well. For this reason, I am giving it a 3/5
12. Implements of Destruction: The epic instrumental of the album kicks off with some beautiful sounding orchestration. This goes on for about thirty seconds, and then it turns into a Metallica-style twelve-minute instrumental. This song is very good, but is very cheesy sounding. After ten minutes of instrumental glory, the guitarists lock into a “Let Go” (Pass Out of Existence)-ish groove and then Spicuzza comes in with a very abrasive electronics solo. This song is too long for my taste, which is why I am rating it 4.5/5
I think that this is Chimaira’s best album, as well as one of the best albums in the current metalcore scene. If you are not into Chimaira, this is the best place to start your collection, as neither Pass Out of Existence or their new self-titled album can hold a candle to this.
+The Pictures in the Gold Room
-The album lags a bit near the end
Content Rating: 14A for strong and violent language
Slayer-Reign in Blood
Megadeth-Rust in Peace
Pantera-Far Beyond Driven
Slipknot-Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses
Album Rating: 5/5 because this was one of the greatest albums of 2003.