Chimaira – Chimaira

Chimaira were part of the so-called New American Wave Of Heavy Metal, together with peers like Killswitch Engage, God Forbid and Shadows Fall. The band was never too happy with that tag, so after the touring cycle of The Impossibility Of Reason they decided to do things a little differently. The result of that is the self-titled album, which is still an incredibly savage affair years after its initial release…

The Impossibility Of Reason was all about well-written and pointy songs, such as Power Trip, Down Again and Pure Hatred. The material on Chimaira is way darker, more complex and contains more layers. This makes the album less accessible, but it does add a lot of depth and texture. The savage character of Nothing Remains, Inside The Horror, Salvation, Left For Dead and Bloodlust is further underpinned by Kevin Talley’s thunderous and intense drumming style and Rob Arnold’s angstridden guitar solos.

What has remained is Chimaira’s knack for song writing, Mark Hunter’s instantly recognisable growls and the electronic effects by Chris Spicuzza. Compared to the previous album his role is somewhat diminished, but his skills can still be heard on Pray For All, Salvation and Lazarus. Mind you, Chimaira is above all a guitar-  and drum driven record.

The album is produced by Ben Schigel and Chimaira’s own Mark Hunter. The sound is direct, crisp and heavy, giving the material some additional aggression and drive.

Chimaira’s self-titled album is arguably the band’s most intense, complex and aggressive affair. Despite the higher level of technicality all the typical Chimaira antics are still there. It’s still my favourite album by Mark Hunter and Co to this day

Written by Raymond Westland

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