Ferret Music, 2007

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


Angst and hostility. Rage and disorder. Getting screwed out of a good deal and not taking it laying down. Plotting revenge to right the wrongs imposed upon the world.

Those aren't just kind sentiments -- it is the basis for the way metal is played now, which Chimaira embodies with lots of double bass and lots of influence from Lamb of God, Fear Factory, and Slayer. Chimaira holds its own on this, their 4th release, turning it into a solid listen.

The title track is a compelling call to arms. Vocalist Mark Hunter declares that "We have become so goddamn powerful / all the beatings you gave us / we will use them against you." And he means it. "Pleasure In Pain" kicks off with a fierce guitar riff that is amplified when the drums and rest of the band enter. Hunter is joined on vocals by keyboardist/vocalist Chris Spicuzza and the duo complement each other vocally.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Lyrically,"Worthless" sounds tired and covers a theme that is familiar and reminiscent of other metal bands. "Nobody cares if you die / worthless / you are f*cking worthless" are just some of the lyrics that sound familiar. The music for this track balances out the lyrics to make it acceptable, though. Lead guitarist Rob Arnold rips into an especially well-thought out solo that introduces a new musical theme before Hunter returns with his ranting.

"Six" is stellar and almost the best this band can get, featuring a long instrumental section that is equally well-constructed as the solo in "Worthless." Drummer Andy Herrick and bassist Jim Lamarca lock into a tight groove while rhythm guitarist Matt Devries provides the melodic theme for this section. Hunter's vocals are intense and adds to the music's power.

Chimaira hits its stride with track seven. "The Flame" deals with incest or some other form of parental betrayal of the child. Hunter's gutteral vocals declare "His madness only fueled the flame / and now the angels / have lost their wings / in Daddy's playground" while the haunting guitar riff and Herrick's frantic drumming drive the song. The next track "End It All" is appealing lyrically as well; Hunter sings "Another day another town another city / it's all the same / and I used to find comfort in all of this / it's an excuse to deviate from the norm / pathetic isn't it / after all these years, still not content."

The closer "Empire" is a tribute to Lamb Of God, and if one liked Sacrament they will appreciate this track. From the Chris Adler-ish ride cymbal syncopation in the beginning of the track to the guitar riff, it's LOG.

While Chimaira is a solid and powerful band, they are not the most original. The best moments are when Hunter is diving into serious subject matters like in "The Flame" and "End It All." The rest of the material is hit and miss.

Rating: B

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© 2007 Paul Hanson and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Ferret Music, and is used for informational purposes only.