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Chimaira - "The Age Of Hell"


Chimaira - "The Age Of Hell"

7.5 / 10

NWOAHM band Chimaira returns with brand new studio album "The Age of Hell", along with a brand new drummer, brand new keyboard player, and a brand new record company.

Readers may recall that Chimaira is a massivley popular metal band with previous release "The Infection" landing at No. 30 on the US Billboard 200 in its first week of release (the album "Resurrection" preceding the latter landed at No.42 in its first week). Having signed to a new label there would no doubt be heaps of pressure to secure a decent entry into the charts with "The Age of Hell", and accordingly the pressure to play it safe. That means, essentially, do the same thing as before but louder and faster and put as many clean-vocal catchy choruses in as you can, as this is what appears to be selling at the moment in the dismal record industry.

Given the above one might be forgiven for expecting a boring regurgitation of "The Infection" but with too many clean vocals and cheesy choruses. Let me warn that the new record does feature more clean vocals than infection, should appeal to a broader audience, and does not have the same heavy morbid undertone as "The Infection", but overall I was positively surprised by "The Age of Hell".

The album is a pleasant heavy listen. Nice groove metal sound to it, with lots of bits and pieces of classic post-thrash metalcore. The tracks "Trigger Finger" and "Scapegoat" are clear crowd pleasers and together with "Year of the Snake" should propel it to close to 15,000 units in its first week of release.

It must be said that with the exception of a few outstanding tracks quite a bit of the album is perhaps not that imaginative in terms of variety in chord progression and tempo. Everything works as it should on the album; i.e. clear singles, good vocals both clean and growl, nice dry powerful groove metal guitar sound, solid drum and bass, but quite a few songs lack some spice.

Overall very solid album not bowing in to too many commercial pressures (see Trivium - "In Waves" review for contrast). Would have been great if the record contained a bit more variety in places, but definitely suitably angry and entertaining overall. 7.5 / 10

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