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Chimaira – Chimaira

Label: Roadrunner Records
Format: CD
Released: 2005
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Of all the bands who fit into the “mallcore” “metalcore” category, Chimaira are one of the few who create riffs and arrangements that are offering a little more than others. One reason is their ear for solid thrashy riffs and rhythm changes amongst the also modern pummeling that is very characteristic of these type of angst ridden bands. ‘Nothing Remains’ and ‘Save Ourselves’ start off the onslaught of crushing riffs, grooves, and a constant pounding. Also, which is rare for this sound, is the guitars solos which are rather vicious and fit nicely into both tunes aggression. Actually I really like their use of guitar solos throughout the disc and find it a much needed part to each song. Solos just add so much done the right way. Chimaira also incorporate keyboards but as just a backing to add some subtle mood and bring out parts to arrangements.

 

On the negative aspect…the voice is another thing. Again, it’s a constant guttural yelling just like all the other bands of this genre. None of these singers have any character to their voice. It’s very one dimensional, not like the distinctive voice you can recognize from say Blitz from Overkill or the late Paul Baloff of Exodus. Most thrash bands from the 80’s had a distinctive voice which was a key factor in at least the bigger names individuality, but that’s not the case with the current wave of extreme metal.

I will say though that Chimaira do have some excellent riffs, a tight rhythm section and their attention to varied speed and groove is very good. A better choice in vocals, or use of, would really bring this together.

 
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