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Review: Chimaira; The Age of Hell

It seems that in the short amount of time by music standards that metaller's from around the world are taking longer and longer to release records than ever before. I know that they aren't metal, but it's took Emerson, Lake and Palmer 4 years to release their latest work, making it a 4-side EP so they can all have their extended solos. Guns 'n' Roses were the worst culprits, taking over 15 years for Axl Rose to write that incredibly bad record 'Chinese Democracy'. In that time, your career's died, resurrected, died again, new record, dead again. It's completely pointless.

It's been 2 years for Chimaira to rise from the depths of their hellish world to bring out this record, which by the way, is £10 worth of record sellotaped onto a magazine worth £4.25. You work that out. Far from me to criticize a band which I enjoy listening to. I enjoyed their last album The Infection, being one of my favourite metal albums of the decade. Anyway, Chimaira are back with a new album, The Age Of Hell. I expected a lot from a band which I like, and I was not disappointed. It sounds as powerful as you'd expect them to be, and offered. The schism of fans which believe them to be "selling out and leaving their true followers behind" are completely wrong, as I'd like to demonstrate to you now.

Their first song is the title track, a virtual powerhouse of metal, throwing you into a mosh pit almost instantly. Incredibly written lyrics, incredible guitar shredding and powerful drumming throw you into the fray, with a perfectly placed mix of genres, the first being metalcore, then mixing in some thrash-style metal roots, just to add a little bit of extra zest into the track. A true beginning to the album. Oh, and this song has an truly amazing solo, cementing the song into the album, leading off the tracks to come.

The next track is Clockwork, immediately playing a lyrical masterclass and driving the song into the heart of the open air. A cross between dark metalcore, thrash and plain old heavy metal. With a slower mix towards the end of the song, it keeps you hooked, hoping for more, and it delivers. It kicks back into the throes and makes this song one of my favourites on the album.

The end of Clockwork leads off expertly to Losing My Mind, my favourite track on the album. A wall of death, with dark, sinister roots, with the constant sense of doom lingering. A real headbangers track, reminding me a little of Lamb Of God. My favourite track just because it reminds me of other bands, all of them influences to this behemoth of a band. This song holds a great solo within as well, short but powerful.

Time Is Running Out is a true Chimaira track, and reminds me a lot of Cavalera Conspiracy. It has a really decent tune to it, and is an incredible track to this album. I would be surprised if this song doesn't become a single. A gargantuan tune, which is the sort that if it were a person at a party, it'd tell you to hold its beer and then walk off with your girlfriend. This track also houses a solo, reminiscent of the Chimaira of old.

Next track is Year of the Snake, a dark, mysterious tune, forming slowly into a dark, evil, heavy idea in Victor Crowleys mind. a heavy, evil, dark, mournful, deep track, shrouded in an enigma of heavy metal. Dark lyrics, written to a precise audience of post-adolescent guys who want to get into a fight on a friday night with a bouncer outside the local metal nightclub.

Beyond the Grave is closely following, and again is a dark, mournful, dreary track. Like a fog on a moor, enveloping everything and shrouding everything in a thick layer of dingy, gloomy smoke like vapor. A dark track, slow, deep. Certainly not a thrash track this time. This track is the sort of thing you'd expect to hear in a dark, smokey, gothic bar. The basic sound of the song, along with the vocals provoke imagery inside your mind, making you imagine some bleak, dark outset somewhere in the undiscovered world.

Born in Blood is the complete opposite of this. The quickest song on the album, and a real headbanging anthem. I actually headbutted the table moshing to this song. This track also holds the best solo on the album, and is an incredible tune to defy everyone who said that they have sold out to make this album. It is a middle finger to everyone who have doubted them.

Stoma is the next song, and is heavier than a lot of the songs on the album, and features distorted drumming, and the sounds of what seems to be an alien/machine orgasm over my speakers. It breaks up the album, and keeps you glued to it, wondering what to expect when you continue the album.

Powerless is a dark, deep song. It sounds ultra-dark, grungy, deep, mournful and soulful. A decent track to actually relax to if that's possible. For some reason, this song reminds me of the heavier Lamb Of God tracks, like Walk With Me in Hell and Foot to the Throat.

Trigger Finger is an incredible song, again, a lot like Lamb Of God on steroids, and offers a dark twisted song to an already dark, twisted album. A decent headbanging track, and offering metal up the wazoo. Deep and dark, this song is one of the best on the album, my 3rd favourite, after Losing My Mind and Time Is Running Out.

The albums swansong is Scapegoat, which is so reminiscent of Lamb Of God it's not even funny. A solid track through and through, this song also reminds me of On Broken Glass from their previous album The Infection. This song, however, reminds me that there is only 1 more song on the album, which is a sad thing considering that this album is one of their best.

Samsara is a slow starting song, and sounds a little bit like Welcome Home (Sanitarium). Taking a while to kick into the song, it finally boasts heavy everything. A truly good song on a truly good album. A solely instrumental song holds the longest solo on the album, at around 2 minutes long. A farewell from the album to cement itself into my computers My Music library forever.

Overall, a great album, I really couldn't have expected better from this band, who've gone through hell and back to get this album done. 
Review: Chimaira; The Age of Hell Review: Chimaira; The Age of Hell Reviewed by Matt Large on Saturday, September 03, 2011 Rating: 5

2 comments

  1. Well,it certainly sounds like something I would enjoy. I'll try to get my hands on it then.

    ReplyDelete

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