Release Date: May 13, 2003
Reviewed by Vin Cherubino
In what has been one of the biggest surprises of the year, Chimaira has shed its former nu-metal skin and released an album of pure, uncompromising metal similar to the likes of Slayer and Fear Factory. Once portrayed as a band lost behind the shadow of Slipknot, TIOR shatters any of these preconceptions of Chimaira, and has created many new followers from this new material (including myself).
The album possesses immense power, complete with solos Kerry King would be proud of. Slayer’s influence on Chimaira has helped create music worthy of being compared to Slayer classics such as “Reign in Blood”. The music flows at an unrelenting pace, never letting up, and never disappointing. The introduction of solos, the improvement of Mark Hunter’s vocals, and the massive improvement in the drumming are just a few of the enhancements that were made for this album. The electronic elements from their previous album “Pass out of Existence” have been stripped down, and have been replaced with a much stronger rhythm section focusing on speed and powerful riffs. The intensity and precision that is present on future classics such as “Down Again”, “Pure Hatred”, “Pictures in the Gold Room”, “Eyes of a Criminal”, “Power Trip”, and “Overlooked” put most other metal bands to shame. Not only are the songs brutal, but they are damn catchy as well. You’ll be shouting every chorus in no time.
The production and mixing is top notch. Producer Ben Schigel (Switched), and Colin Richardson have fine tuned the sound to perfection. Had the latest Lamb of God release been given the same beautiful production this album had, it could have become a classic. Chimaira and Lamb of God’s newest releases have restored my faith in Metal.
Chimaira has written a new testament in the resurgence of American heavy metal, music long thought to have been replaced by the simple chords and hip-hop influences of a lesser, more prevalent metal. The transformation this band has gone through is the musical equivalent of transforming from Bruce Banner to the Hulk. So much has changed, yet it’s the best thing that could have ever happened to them. Based on the hard work Chimaira has put into this album, purchasing it will be the most self rewarding experience a devoted metal fan would have for the rest of the year. Seeing them live wouldn’t hurt either. Given the proper exposure, this band will dominate anything in its path. Ozzfest fans have no idea what they’re in for.