Chimaira - Resurrection
Nuclear Blast
Modern Thrash Metal
11 songs (59:06)
Release year: 2007
Chimaira, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Goat

Despite the encouraging critical response to Chimaira, there were problems with the American promotion of the band, Roadrunner seemingly losing interest in keeping Chimaira’s name alive. When you add problems with new drummer Kevin Talley, which according to gossip led to actual fistfights, then few would have been surprised if Chimaira had given in and split up. The band soldiered on however, bringing back original drummer Andols Herrick and releasing fourth album Resurrection on Nuclear Blast (Ferret in the US), to a considerably mixed reception.

Firstly, you’ll notice the raw, slightly murky production that the band opted for. It’s nothing that, say, Darkthrone would even consider using, but grimy productions do seem to be the first port of call for those bands wanting to make their underground leanings known, and Chimaira desperately needs to find itself a stable genre to fit in, being somewhere between the Metalcore and Extreme Metal scenes at the moment. And that’s the second point that needs to be made; the band’s previous album was a rip-roaring riff machine to the point of obnoxiousness, and by building on that and experimenting the band is taking a huge risk. Yes, it could open the band’s fanbase up and make it the Modern Thrash band that it’s okay to like, but it could annoy the die-hard riff junkies and leave the band fanless. Depressingly, the stigma of the first two albums means that most Extreme Metalheads dismiss the band out of hand, and the newer wave of headbangers have enough other bands shoved beneath their noses to make it not unlikely that Chimaira will miss out on the attention that it deserves after ten years in the game.

So, what form does this experimentation take? The opening title track is typical enough, fast, ferocious riffing backed by subtle Industrial effects. The ‘we have become so goddamn powerful’ chorus is guaranteed to annoy straight-laced types, but it’s a kickass song and amongst the band’s best. As it fades into static, Pleasure In Pain starts up seamlessly with Tool-like noodling and greater usage of clean vocals – throughout Resurrection the songs have been designed specially to fit together, and it certainly makes it feel more of a whole than previous albums have.

Worthless is as Meshuggah-like and headbangable as ever, but it’s fourth song Six where things really take off, female wailing and acoustics as an introduction before epic riffs shoot forth, speedy Thrash dynamics developing into clean, almost Avenged Sevenfold-y vocals that thankfully don’t hit the squeaky heights (depths?) of M.Shadows, and instead prepare you for a wonderfully little proggy instrumental section that really shows the band’s skills off. It’s hard to imagine it fitting in live with all the usual moshpit anthems, but it shows that Chimaira is much, much more than your typical fly-by-night ‘New Metal’ gang.

The album isn’t quite as good from then on, although it comes damn close at times. There’s an experimental approach to songwriting that never does what you’d expect, such as Killing The Beast’s atmospheric groove or The Flames’ disturbing samples in the midst of an almost perfect Post-Thrash riff meltdown. End It All shows you what Slipknot would sound like if it changed markets for the Extreme Metal crowd, with some wonderfully odd usage of clean vocals. Closing tracks Black Heart and Needle aren’t anything far from the formula, but they’re great songs nonetheless, hitting all the right spots and leaving you wanting more.

Overall, then, it’s not quite as good as the previous album, the added experimentation working well when viewed from afar, but not being as complimentary to individual songs. The problems are essentially the same: Chimaira needs to unlock a wider fanbase, as otherwise the reactions to a new album will be all too predictable: those that have been with the band all along proclaiming it a masterpiece, everyone else seeing an above-average band struggling wildly to stay relevant. If Resurrection was released three or four years ago then the band would be on top of the world – as it is, something pretty seismic will have to happen before Chimaira become all that was once promised.

Killing Songs :
Resurrection, Worthless, Six, Killing The Beast, The Flame, End It All, Black Heart
Goat quoted 74 / 100
Other albums by Chimaira that we have reviewed:
Chimaira - The Age Of Hell reviewed by Goat and quoted 64 / 100
Chimaira - The Infection reviewed by Goat and quoted 61 / 100
Chimaira - Chimaira reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
Chimaira - The Impossibility of Reason reviewed by Aaron and quoted 36 / 100
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