Chimaira - Resurrection review
|Release date:||March 2007|
02. Pleasure In Pain
05. No Reason To Live
06. Killing The Beast
07. The Flame
08. End It All
09. Black Heart
12. Kingdom Of Heartache [bonus]
13. Paralyzed [bonus]
People can say whatever they want about Metalcore, but when a band with the talent of Chimaira comes along, credit must be given. This American sextet has improved with every new release, and this one, their fourth, is no exception. "Pass Out Of Existence" did nothing for me back in 2001, even though I was much more tolerant to the kind of Nu Metal/Hardcore-ish kind of blend the band was exploring than I am now, but "The Impossibility Of Reason" and "Chimaira" were and are, in my opinion, very good albums of very tight Metalcore, drinking from the best fountains of extreme Thrash and Melodic Death there are, bound to please a large group of Metalheads.
"Resurrection" perfects that formula. "Resurrection" is Chimaira re-invented, improved. "Resurrection" is Chimaira's best effort to date. The songwritting is brilliant, so precise and detailed that you will listen to one song and think there is no way it could've been written differently. The sound is full, multi-layered, shifting from fast and relentless, to epic and dark as often as a consistent but diverse album of this kind needs to be. The music is fluid, there's progression, there's logic, there's the joy of listening to a band that actually knows what modern Thrash Metal should be, add in their own personality, and get back at you with a work that is clearly very produced, but still sounds raw, oppressive, and occasionally epic.
Something that makes Chimaira so good to hear these days is the fact that each member is clearly trying to take his work even further once again, just like they seemed to be doing in "Chimaira," just like they seemed to be doing in "The Impossibility Of Reason." Andols Herrick is the perfect drummer for the band, he always finds the right pace and the right patterns, without completely overshadowing the guitar work, which, in the clear tradition of Thrash Metal, is here as well as being the basis of the music. This duo may not be the most virtuous on the scene, and they may lack the ability to produce the solos of Shadows Fall or God Forbid, but they sure can pull off extremely dynamic and violent riffs. Mark Hunter doesn't disappoint either, and there was a clear intention not to overuse his clean vocals, which I think will please many, though I'm personally not affected by that characteristic of his, I like his style. There's less electronics than usual, which I think really favours the final result.
I would say that the song that represents the best of what Chimaira is all about, both musically and in terms of attitude, is the closing "Empire" (actually I also thought "Lazarus" was the essential song to retain from their previous full length, which, I suppose, means Chimaira really knows how to end an album). Now, "Empire" may not have the best lyrics ever (not a particularly strong point with Chimaira), but it is definitely and extremely enjoyable and rewarding composition. It starts as a grand Thrash anthem, and keeps on mutating in several different bridges, all linked by a simple but effective "empire!" screamed chorus. "Six" is also a relevant song, especially if you consider its 9:44 minutes. Think "Implements Of Destruction" but, well, better. There's a bit of everything here, too, and though I questioned the purpose of "Implements Of Destruction" on "The Impossibility Of Reason", "Six" has its place on "Chimaira".
I wish "Kingdom Of Heartache" and "Paralyzed" had been released in all versions, but that's a minor criticism, that doesn't detract from the quality of the album. This is good. You may be wondering if this is the band you listened to a few years ago. You may be asking yourself if you're going to like this. If I was selling some new detergent I'd say I would give you your money back if you find a better deal. I doubt you will, not in the Modern Thrash or Metalcore areas. Shadows Fall was a disappointment. Killswitch Engage? Not this year. Sanctity needs to grow. Try this and you can forget those others.
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