"Infection" (Ferret; 2009)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

I was smart enough to start my journey with Chimaira when they released "Pass Out Of Existence" in 2001 and, like that freaky thing on the cover, it stuck its metal fangs into me and I've never wanted to take them out. Yes, this disc was "Reviewed by Jeff Rogers" but I did it with my head banging the whole time and some of the time I was scratching it in wonder.

The disc doesn't start out with an expected cannon shooting metal riffs at you but rather with a somber guitar, but then it rolls into a snarling snot-slinging track that has running drums and a nasty guitar that makes me remember why I let these guys inoculate me in the first place. "Infection?" Maybe, but you can't cure the thirst for groove metal when this stuff is on the streets.

With weird guitar intros that explode into vicious cuts and vocals that sound like a demon guzzled down some gasoline I find Chimaira defining brutality. While I like a singer to actually sing, most of the metal mashers of today are listing themselves as "vocalists" on their tax forms. Mark Hunter can probably sing but don't expect any tracks from this disc to be listed at the local Karaoke bar.

"Impending Doom" (track six if you're still alive) is so odd I didn't know what to think of it. Check it out; it just doesn't fit right ... but maybe it's just me. I think I've got a fever. The last cut, entitled "The Heart Of It All," runs 14:52 and it's weird too. The guitar intro is pretty and nice sounding. It does pick up and slam you against the wall only to let you down so you can straighten your lapels. If you want a Chimaira song that is out of the ordinary then track 10 will do the job.

The Band: Mark Hunter – vocals; Rob Arnold – lead guitar; Matt DeVries – rhythm guitar; Jim LaMarca – bass guitar; Andols Herrick – drums; Chris Spicuzza – keyboard, theremin, backing vocals, electronics.

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"Resurrection" (Ferret; 2007)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Like the hulking monster which graces the cover of "Resurrection," the music unleashed here by Cleveland's Chimaira threatens with frightening might and menacing force, channeling unabashed metalcore aggression and sinewy thrash metal recklessness like never before. 

This veteran sextet's latest 11-track offering conjures up the darker side of the metal spectrum thanks to the dastardly twin guitar attack found on "The Needle" and a pummeling rhythm section highlighted by a remarkable percussive performance that keeps things brutal throughout. 

While Chimaira still haven't fully realized their own identity and can be found wallowing in metalcore lyrical cliché at times, sprawling epics like "Six" and crippling numbers like the title cut display the band's inching towards their ultimate goal of capturing the metal crown. 

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"The Impossibility of Reason" (Roadrunner Records; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Chimaira's "The Impossibility of Reason" does what many others in their genre cannot: Create a style of extreme music that leads to songs that are still recognizable as songs and not simply a chaotic cacophony of musicians playing as fast and heavy as they can.

I realize that's both high praise and faint damnation. There are a hell of a lot of fans out there who like their music out of control and chaotic. But when it comes to song crafting and successful experimenting with style, the edge goes to Chimaira. This band truly explores the possibilities of heavy metal music without simply succumbing to "the-more-extreme-the-better" school of rock'n'roll.

"The Impossibility of Reason" is more guitar-driven than the band's previous release, a lot of which- according to the liner notes - has much to do with the band's tour with Slayer and their experience of seeing guitarist Kerry King in action. The increased guitar focus is a huge benefit on this CD, with the band firing away with huge slabs of fiery riffs and atmospheric solos. When track #5, "Down Again," begins, one would hardly recognize it as Chimaira (don't worry, it kicks in and kicks ass). 

Vocalist Mark Hunter is one of those rare singers whose vocals can go from Tom Araya-rough to David Draiman-smooth and are one of the main reasons that "The Impossibility of Reason" is so successful. 

The CD ends with a sprawling 12-minute instrumental epic that, according to vocalist Mark Hunter, pays "homage to some of our favorite metal songs." 

Chimaira's "The Impossibility of Reason" is the kind of heavy metal that can appeal across various sub-genres which may speak volumes about the band's increasing popularity.

Chimaira: Mark Hunter - vocals; Andols Herrick - drums; Chris Spicuzza - electronics; Jim LaMarca - bass; Rob Arnold - lead guitar; Matt DeVries - rhythm guitar.

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"Pass Out of Existence" (Roadrunner Records; 2001)

Reviewed by Rose Grech

Chimaira's attack of pure aggression, harsh melody and lyrical content reveals the darkest side of human emotion is all encountered on their debut album "Pass Out of Existence."

Their sound is comprised of fierce guitar riffs, brutal bass lines, intricate electronics and heart-pounding drum sequences combined with refined harmonies and melodies. 

The songs focus on the misery of the human condition. Each one is a tale of the suffering we cause ourselves and each other. However, it seems most of the songs have the same sound elements, which leaves no room for variety in between them.

Chimaira were formed in 1998 in Cleveland and released an EP titled "This Present Darkness." Be sure to check out both albums to experience real metal. You can hear a MP3 at

"Pass Out of Existence" (Roadrunner Records; 2001)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Chimaira's "Pass Out Of Existence" is an impressive show of both expression and just plain talent. On this CD, Chimaira takes it to the tenth power from the first few strains of the first track through the final fading of the last. The band's sound rocks from one end of the metal spectrum to the other - sometimes light, melodic and thoughtful - and, at the very next second, thundering and commanding. Great stuff! 

Worth noting is Chimaira's use of electronic synthesizers to achieve some totally striking musical effects and their dark and twisted lyrics that dominate this CD with blistering words that pierce the soul. 

Unlike some bands these days, Chimaira uses the entire range of the singer instead of screaming all the damn time. Still, the vocals are still often too harsh for my taste. 

CHIMAIRA: Mark Hunter - vocals; Rob Arnold - guitar; Chris Spicuzza - electronics; Jason Hager - guitars; Jim LeMarca - bass; Andonie Herrick - drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright © 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09 Dec 2018 12:03:11 -0500 .