After kickstarting their career again with Resurrection Mark Hunter and Co returned to the studio to record its successor. As was the case with the other Chimaira albums, the band decided to embark on a different course with The Infection, so let’s see how that turned out.
Rest assured, The Infection still sounds like a traditional Chimaira album. It still has the familiar growls and barks from Mark Hunter, the solid guitar work from Rob Arnold and Matt DeVries, the electronic effects by Chris Spicuzza and the ever reliable rhythm section in the form of Jim LaMarca on bass and Andols Herrick on drums. The previous album Resurrection contained some more groove orientated songs, especially on the second half. That angle forms the blueprint for most of the material on The Infection. The band also stepped up in terms of diversity and complexity, making this a rather less accessible record.
This new approach becomes perfectly clear in songs like The Venom Inside, Frozen In Time and Coming Alive. The trademark Chimaira intensity is still there, but it’s pushed to the back in favour of more depth, groove and atmosphere. A daring and interesting move, which is further underlined on Secrets Of The Dead, Impending Doom and Destroy And Dominate. The lack of some faster paced songs in the form of Resurrection, Left For Dead or Power Trip becomes more and more apparent as The Infection progresses. The album tends to bog down towards the end. This is a shame really, because The Infection features some of the very best songs Chimaira have ever written.
As tradition demands the production of The Infection is top notch, thanks the considerable skills of Ben Schigel and Zeus.
In terms of musical adventure and complexity I favour The Infection over its predecessor. It does miss the impact and directness, which made Resurrection and The Impossibility Of Reason such pleasurable albums. Despite this, The Infection is still a killer record by any account.
Written by Raymond Westland