Release Date: January 10, 2006
Reviewed by Scott Olivenbaum
Much like the Browns fans in their native Cleveland, the band Chimaira is relentless and loyal. They cling to the concept that is heavy metal and rally behind it. Shrugging off any external influences to go melodic and open, Chimaira continues to produce pure heavy metal. Drums crash, guitars thunder and the bellowing vocals hit like a hurricane throughout the group’s latest release, the self-titled Chimaira.
Mark Hunter bellows “Can you feel us?” throughout the record’s second track, “Save Yourself”. It must be a rhetorical question because listeners can’t help but feel as battered and exhilarated as those in the mosh pits the band inspires.
The opening song on the disc, “Nothing Remains”, is perfect in that it gets the adrenaline flowing like the first punch in a street fight. The double bass kicks throughout the album keep it going and force you to move, lest the pent up energy cause a killing spree.
Moments of metal perfection persist throughout Chimaira. When the staccato backing guitars attack as an old school guitar solo wails in “Inside The Horror”, the impulse to headbang proves irresistible. The production of “Salvation” with the guitars switching channels along with a stellar solo and haunting backing vocals help make it the album’s standout track. “Salvation” is one of the few songs that don’t follow the yell, charge, yell, solo formula.
This is not a happy album. During the assault of “Bloodlust” Mark Hunter breathily bellows, “I never wanted this world to be better. I always wanted this world to suffer.” Hunter and company are pissed off and this music is their therapy. The best part of art is that it allows you to empathize and feel what the artist was feeling when they picked up the brush or drum stick. Chimaira were pissed off when they made this album and needed to get out that rage; listening to it provides the same rush.