Resurrection by Chimaira
Release date : March 2007
Reviewed by Anthony Morgan
Resurrection marks Chimaira's debut effort for Nuclear Blast, Records (Europe) / Ferret Records (US), the group having turned down a contract extension by Roadrunner Records. Also noteworthy is the return of drummer Andols Herrick, helming the drumkit for proper studio recordings for the first time since 2003's The Impossibility of Reason. An apt title? Only Chimaira could answer that question, though rest assured the Cleveland outfit will wish to prove their commercial success can continue well after their terminated relationship with Roadrunner.
With tracks like “Resurrection” and “Worthless”, guitarists DeVries and Arnold meld spontaneous breaks randomly in the tracks – brief, storming charges of thunderous zest. A question of blink and you'll miss it (or shut your ears in this case), they possess all the hallmarks of quality Thrash soloing. Innovative it isn't, though the pair score top marks in homework studies – Slayer axemen Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King's influences figure heavily, shredding pierces introduced to younger audiences. Instrumental segments accentuate the tub thumping beats of the returning Andols Herrick. A ferocious slab of mid paced pummels ensue, the ever reliable formula disposable fodder for moshpit loving headbangers.
Vocalist Mark Hunter commands the Chimaira ship with relative ease and sense of purpose, clenching the microphone to launch a welcome barrage of menacing spittle that's expected of any self respecting Metal release nowadays. Quieter, lowkey moments capture Hunter faintly speaking the lyrics as though sharing his thoughts with the listener, something which makes a great marriage alongside the heavier leanings. One true sign of an efficient frontman is when he can let his crewmates roam, breathe and get their hands dirty while unattended. This is an asset Hunter displays, and the material benefits from this approach.
“Six” injects a very different type of beast into the album, an experimentally fraught jam carefully crafted. Seeping with multi-shaded pastels, it marches into several territories much like the six minute plus epic numbers written by the more unconventional Thrash heroes. Roaring speed marries reflective, melodious chimes - here the growling sentiments of Hunter are mostly absent, letting the music speak and shine for itself.
Certain tracks the listener will not immediately fall in love with, though they may gradually soften one's defences over numerous spins of the offered material. Each new spin reveals yet another hidden quality that the previous listen failed to unearth, prompting curiosity to wonder what the next listen will unveil. Though does this grow to the extent of love? It hasn't yet for this reviewer? Another question is if “grower” songs are a hallmark of CDs whose reputation and prestige evolve over time? Does this merit inclusion? It depends on the material, but thus far one or two highlights have hatched despite the commendable use of the instruments. Chimaira fans may as well find their copy as they hold nothing to fear, while others may reap dividends though only if they have the time and investment to plug into the album.