Chimaira are certainly not a band to rest on their laurels. I got into Chimaira back when Nu Metal was still popular, back with Pass Out of Existence, which may be seen as almost embarrassing by modern standards but Chimaira have since become one of the greatest metal bands of all time, and have proven time and again their artistic prowess while never sacrificing their core metal qualities.
After The band became the darlings of the metal community with The Impossibility Of Reason Chimaira have set out on a path to create the perfect metal album, with their very progressive and dense self titled album they proved they could be artistic as well as brutal and with Resurrection the band mixed super slow numbers with break neck speeds to create a varied and interesting listening experience.
With The Infection it almost seems like Chimaira are fearlessly taking the parts of their debut album that did work (Think 'Severed' and parts of 'Sphere' or 'Painting The White To Grey') mixing them with the slower moments from Resurrection (Think 'Killing The Beast,' 'Six' and 'The Flame') and making the whole mix both fun and relevant to modern metal.
The whole album forges along at a mid tempo pace, sounding for the most part like the breakdowns from your average NWOAHM song turned into an entire song. The emphasis, for the entire album is firmly on 'Groove.'
This is by no means a bad thing, as The Infection is one of the most intricate, fun and heavy releases modern metal has to offer. Chimaira fearlessly seek groove after groove without once resorting to killer speeds just for the sake of balance, a refreshing attitude by any band.
Mark Hunter; one of the greatest vocalists in Metal has the admirable quality of growing with each passing release and The Infection is no exception, Mark displays a wider array of voices and styles than on any other Chimaira record from soulful singing, to straight up Death Metal vocals by way of his trademark screams.
The band's underrated additional sound man Chris Spicuzza is at his most noticeable since the band's controversial debut album, laying down keyboards, theremin and other electronics in a way which is both tasteful and exciting, revealing hidden depth in the music and adding an additional layer of complexity to the already virtuosic music.
All this praise to levy and the three string players still remain uncredited, the dependable Jim and Matt perform as well as everyone expects and guitar legend Rob adopts a more subtle approach on these songs, making the whole affair seem like a more concrete band collective, rather than Rob's solo project.
Standout tracks include the varied opener 'The Venom Inside,' the catchy 'On Broken Glass,' and the epic instrumental closer 'The Heart Of It All.'
Chimaira's newest album is far from a rehash of their previous work, but rounds out their career in such a way as too make every one of their previous albums seem to form a complete set. The Infection takes direction from all of the bands previous works; be it the high in mix electronics from the debut, the guitar tones from Impossibility, the artistic outlook from the self titled and the slow heavy menace of Resurrection and combines them to form the band's most vital and interesting album to date.
The music is as heavy as its ever been, the production is top notch, the songs are memorable and well written and the lyrics fit well with the rest of the band's repertoire, The Infection is arguably the band's finest album to date.
**** This limited edition contains the Bonus track 'Warpath,' which is more than up to the same standard as the rest of the album, and fits well altogether. It also contains a brilliant 'Making Of DVD' made by the same people who made the last 2 Chimaira DVDs. If you've seen one of those you'll know what to expect; if not rest assured you're money is well spent, Chimaria always release stylish and informative documentaries which display large amounts of artistic performance, band interviews and flow at a surprisingly well designed pace.
If you are a fan of Chimaira, do not hesitate, order this as soon as you can, It really is that good. ****
on 23 May 2009
I am a massive Chimaira fan, and i have been since 2003. This album takes a good few listens to get used to it, compared to their other releases it has a slower, heavier, groovier sound to it, some reviewers have called boring, but this is not the case. You have to have the right frame of mind to understand what Chimaira have done here, if you want rifftastic speed, more notes per second technical metal then this is not the album for you. If you watch the dvd you will understand, Chimaira had no issues going on, such as label woes or drummer problems fear of getting dropped, etc. With that in mind the band basically had fun making this album not worrying about the what ifs. If you are looking at this and have never heard Chimaira, then buy the Impossibility of reason then their self titled album and then resurrection and work your way through to this!