The band that made some amazing music in the new millennium, and in devastating fashion, never made it big.
Chimaira survived long enough to release one EP, and 7 studio albums. Their documentary DVD’s are just as important. Trust me.
They ended suddenly in 2014, and it took a couple years before we ever really heard what had happened. Things haven’t been the same since.
If you’re not familiar with Chimaira, let’s run through their discography, shall we?
7. “Crown of Phantoms” (2013)
With an entire new lineup, vocalist Mark Hunter attempted to keep the ball rolling. With some time now passed, I can say that I enjoy the album much more now than when it was released, but it still falls short of overall expectations. Still, I recommend listening to it. The most disappointing factor is that Chimaira ended shortly after the release.
6. “Pass Out of Existence” (2001)
Chimaira was definitely on the brink of something with their debut full length album. There’s some real gems on here (Let Go, Dead Inside, Severed, SP Lit, Pass Out of Existence, Painting being among those) and the potential was soon to be realized. In the grand scheme of 2001, there was simply too much competition and output within the realm of this style of Metal that they didn’t completely hit the mark. Very much an album, and a victim, of its time.
5. “The Age of Hell” (2011)
The first Chimaira album with a drastic lineup change. You wouldn’t really know it though. There was some experimentation and new influences brought in, including Mark clean singing more, again. I always thought he had a great voice and it was never utilized enough. It may not be a classic album from them, but it’s super solid and very much worthy of your attention. I’ll never forget the goosebumps and smile I got when I first heard Whitechapel’s Phil Bozeman guest on Born in Blood. Take note of that one.
4. “The Infection” (2009)
A much slower album, but as heavy as anything else they’ve done. This was their moodiest work. Keyboardist/Sampler Chris Spicuzza finally got to shine more, and unfortunately it was his last album. In fact, this was the last release with the classic Chimaira line up. I compare “The Infection” to being a combination of “Resurrection” and “Pass Out of Existence”.
3. “Resurrection” (2007)
Incredible drummer Andols Herrick came back to the band and they fired back in full force. With the epic production style of “Chimaira” and the shorter, tighter songwriting approach of “The Impossibility of Reason”, they created their 3rd masterpiece in a row. Don’t worry, they wrote a long progressive style song by the name of Six and it’s fantastic. They even went a little Black Metal with Empire.
2. “Chimaira” (2005)
Each album was a progression. Their 3rd album, which was self titled, truly let their inner 80’s Metallica shine. Long, epic songs. A serious groove factor. Chimaira was at their creative peak. Apparently their label at the time didn’t believe so, and they received lackluster promotion for a highly approved piece of work. An essential for any Metal fan.
1. “The Impossibility of Reason” (2003)
This is a definitive “How to Metal”. This was released at the PERFECT time in 2003, just when the music industry, as well as the Metal scene, were changing at a very rapid pace. The production was perfect. The songs were as catchy as they were ass kickingly heavy. Sure, some of the lyrics had a little cheese factor, but the band was still young and it was 2003 so, that’s completely acceptable. Even Pantera (not talking their 80’s stuff!) had a little cheese. If you’ve never heard of Chimaira, this is where you start. Even the B-sides are among their best work. If you don’t like it, try the self titled or “Resurrection”. If you still don’t like what you hear, I don’t know what you’re into, but it’s probably lame.
Rankings by Marcus Miller