(Today marks the official release of the new album from Chimaira — The Age of Hell — and Andy Synn provides this review.)
Brothers and sisters, the time is at hand, The Age Of Hell is here… but what, precisely, does this mean, both for fans of the band and the group themselves as they enter this “new age”?
For a long time Chimaira have been a band in search of an identity, from their early days as a semi-industrialised scrappy contender, through their more epic aspirations, their stripped down thrash-based years, their expansive and ambitious resurrection and their darker, more death-tinged recent days of darkness. Perhaps then both the greatest strength, and the greatest weakness, of the band remains their occasionally amorphous style?
No one sounds quite like Chimaira, this is true, yet by the same token it’s often difficult to describe what exactly the Chimaira sound is. Though the crushing, powerhouse core of the band always remains intact, the accentuating sonic characteristics of the band are often diverse to the point of diffusion.
I can see this being a particularly polarising record for Chimaira fans, and would be interested to see how it divides the fan-base along certain lines. This is due to the band’s conscious choice to reach back into their own past to recall certain older styles and influences into service. Different tracks recall moments from each of their albums, from the electro-stomp of Pass Out Of Existence right up to the monolithic lumbering death-metal the band toyed with recently on The Infection. True to their mythical namesake, this record is a chimaera of all the styles the group have employed thus far, serving almost as a “best of” collection, updating and improving on all aspects of their sound, yet without ever really defining itself definitively. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »