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Rhythm & Views

Chimaira

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From a brutal debut album to an even more phenomenal sophomore effort, Cleveland's Chimaira have returned to break all boundaries with their self-titled third release.

Chimaira shows a matured band evolving into a stronger entity, while maintaining their ferocity. Vocalist Mark Hunter's screaming and crooning is much angrier, but the guitar duo of Rob Arnold and Matt DeVries have grown tremendously in their craft. Songs are much longer on Chimaira, with all but one track surpassing the five-minute mark, proving the band's musical evolution since 2001's Pass Out of Existence.

The extremely angry and heavy "Nothing Remains" kicks off the epic listening experience. Midway through the track, and also at the climax, you'll find the most damaging riff the group has ever recorded. Heavy and off-timed at certain sequences, the song hits listeners in the groin when Hunter screams the song's title and the words, "Don't tell me that I am taking the easy way out."

"Nothing Remains" also features the work of Chimaira's new drummer, Kevin Talley (formerly of Misery Index and Dying Fetus). From the opening of the track, Talley lays down some strong double-bass work and blast beats. Talley's drumming on the album is very similar to his live performances--intense and in your face.

"Lazarus" is a seven-minute-plus dynamic epic that concludes Chimaira. Having nothing to do with the Biblical character, the track is about a friend of Hunter's who committed suicide--making the track the band's most personal song. The chorus features a layer of lyrics from Hunter that concludes, "No reason why."

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