On their last release The Infection, Cleveland sextet Chimaira travelled down a darker path in the songwriting area and as good as that album was, things were different and out of the ordinary for the band.
As the tour proceeded, things changed and band members retired, quit or got fired. In the wake of such changes, the core of the band went back and started writing what has become their latest release, The Age Of Hell, a focused, intense and diverse album driven by a newly retooled, reinvigorated and inspired Chimaira.
In comparison to the dark cloud hanging over The Infection, there is light shining through the darkness on The Age Of Hell. The band looks to their earlier days in a vein similar to the Impossibility Of Reason when they were young and hungry, with a middle finger up at the world. There are plenty of angry and venomous cuts with that attitude, such as “Year of the Snake”, the violent “Scapegoat”, “Powerless”, the infectiously catchy “Trigger Finger”, the title track and the stomping, bludgeoning, kick-you-when-you’re-down “Losing My Mind” (featuring some killer guitar work from Rob Arnold and Matt DeVries).
But instead of being just a 12-song pounding jackhammer, Chimaira pull out some different stuff like the stoner metal/doom groove in “Beyond the Grave” and “Time is Running Out”, melodic ambience/post rock in “Clockwork” and an all out musical jamming session in the closer “Samsara”. It’s like a sequel to The Impossibility Of Reason’s “Implements of Destruction”, but it flows with its own identity and merits.
To remain relevant in the ever changing music scene, Chimaira had to sit back and take a good look what they had become, go back, strip everything down to the core and re-invent themselves. That ethic is ever present in The Age of Hell. You could say it’s an album that saved Chimaira from completely imploding and destroying themselves, presenting a new Chimaira coming out from the corner, swinging wildly with the intention to kill.
1. The Age of Hell
3. Losing My Mind
4. Time is Running Out
5. Year of the Snake
6. Beyond the Grave
7. Born in Blood
10. Trigger Finger