Chimaira - The Age Of Hell
Even with all of the changes I'm still a huge Chimaira fan and eagerly awaited this release. I've got to listen to this about 3x beginning to end so I figured I'd give it a shot and do a review. I suppose if I wanted to get more people to read this I would have found someway to incorporate the word deathcore in the title since apparently deathcore = views on this board. :cool:
Since both Rob & Matt are still in the band I knew that this would still sound like Chimaira. I liked Andols as their drummer but honestly they've been through as many drummers as Spinal Tap so I knew the drum sound wouldn't be much different either. The only thing that sounds different is the backing vocals going from Chris to Sean. Not saying one is better or worse, just different. Mark is still Mark. If I had to give a compairison I'd say it's most like Resurrection, stronger songs than Impossibility, not as long as S/T & alot faster and upbeat than The Infection. I liked Infection but it was too midpaced and just kind of drug along sometimes. It took alot of listens before I could get into it. That being said... I'll just briefly go song by song:
1. [B]Age Of Hell[/B] - Great opening song. First thing I was thinking was how much better of an opener this is than "The Venom Inside" did for The Infection that kind of drug along as far as openers go.
2.[B]Clockwork[/B] - Probably one of my least favorite tracks on here. Don't care for the clean chorus. Kind of a weak chorus IMO. I did do a double take in the middle of the song when it slows down and there is some electronic samples and thought I was hearing things but all be damned if there wasn't a saxaphone in all of those samples.
3.[B]Losing My Mind[/B] - Another solid track, has a great chorus and a great groove to it that you can't help but move your head to.
4.[B]Time Is Running Out[/B] - This is yet another song that I feel has a really strong chorus as well. This is the first song where you can really hear a difference in Sean & Chris in their back up singing and honestly I think Sean's voice really works well in the background in this song. If there was a "radio" song on this album this would probably be it b/c of the strong chorus but still a heavy song.
5.[B]Year Of The Snake[/B] - If anyone has heard anything off of this album this would probably be one of them so maybe some already know the song. Mark's voice sounds like it's on steroids in this song. Chorus got a little old on here for my liking but still a great song. Definitely a song that will get the crowd moving.
6.[B]Beyond The Grave[/B] - Another song that should be skipped. Another slower song that should have only been a B side off The Infection.
7.[B]Born In Blood[/B] - Another highlight on this album for me. I had no idea what the other vocals were until I remembered that Whitchapel guy did vocals on here. Those seconds he was on here was alreadly the longest I'd ever heard Whitechapel, and I'm OK w/ that. My one question is why did the riff from Resurrection get recycled again? [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yv6QpPamKA[/url] go to :45 into the song and someone tell me that's not the riff from Resurrection? Outside of that yet another great song.
8.[B]Stoma[/B] - Instrumental filler, totally unnecessary.
9.[B]Powerless[/B] - Another song that sounds like something that should have been on The Infection cutting room floor. Song just doesn't ever really go anywhere.
10.[B]Trigger Finger[/B] - OK so this one of the first songs released, probably as a single but I can't help but keep going back to it. Badass grove to it, very catchy chorus. Everything I love about Chimaira is in this song. Maybe I'm lame for this being my favorite song on here b/c it's the single off of it but it's just a catchy song.
11.[B]Scapegoat[/B] - Still kinda on the fence about this one. I like the riffing, just don't know if I like hearing the chorus saying "I'm not your scapegoat, not your fucking scapegoat" seems like it gets repeated alot to me. Not sure if I like this song yet or not.
12.[B]Samsara[/B] - This is another instrumental song, it's not like some of their other instrumentals they've done, this is actually a pretty heavy song. I really kinda wish they would have put words to this. Anyway, this will be example #2 of me saying this. 1:15 when the drums and heavy riffing start it sounds like "Everything You Love" off of their S/T album. Maybe I'm crazy but if anyone is curious I'll post links to both.
Samsara: [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbjXe8w8OVQ[/url] - starts 1:15 in
Everything You Love: [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AF8RqQPrypg[/url] - about 1 min in.
Curious if anyone else hears it to or not. I love Everything You Love So It Doesn't really bother me.
If I had to give this album a rating I'd say probably 7/10. The Chimaira I prefer most is their S/T album, sadly that didn't get the promotion that it really deserved. There were a few songs on here that would have sounded more like they should have been on The Infection. I don't forsee them getting any new fans but I think it will keep their fanbase quite satisfied. More than likely I can see this making it on my end of year list.
Dude Sean Z. isn't on the album. The album was done before he, Emil, and Austin joined.
How can you say Andols' departure won't be missed??? He's one of the better and more creative drummers in metal today. You can definitely notice a different presence to the songs because he's not on there. Kevin Talley did an amazing job on S/T, but that's because he's amazing as well. Andols will always be the perfect drummer for Chimaira, and I know Rob loves working and writing with him. Also, Chris only did one recorded backing vocals on Chimaira's entire discography and that was for the song No Reason to Live. You're making it seem like he recorded all backing vocals. It's all Mark. He does do a great job live, but only once in studio.
I do agree that the riff from Born in Blood is a rip off of the riff in Resurrection, but besides that it is still one of the best songs on the album.
Now that I'm really into this cd I wanted to revisit this review. Strangely enough I think it's one of their best cd's and one of my favorite cd's of 2011. I think had I reviewed it after 2 or 3 listens I would have agreed with most of your observations but after 10 or so spins some songs really grew on me.
Weird thing is while I always prefer faster/thrashier music I love the slower songs on here. Powerless, Beyond the Grave & Clockwork are not only my 3 favorite tracks on this cd, they 3 of my 20 favorite songs of 2011.
The harmonizing vocals on Clockwork are awesome. I'm really curious if they can pull them off live actually. Kinda Fear Factory-ish song with it's only flaw being the middle ambient part is a little long.
Beyond the Grave is Dead Skin Mask-ish with really cool simplified riffs. It is kinda commercial but I like it. I'll probably get tired of it at some point but I think it fits the cd perfectly where they put it and wouls be cool live.
Powerless is one of my favorite Chimaira songs every penned. I had a debate earlier this year about Protest the Hero lyrics and was made aware a song I was ragging on was about a girl dying of cancer. This is a very simiar topic and lyrically is so much more up my alley. Very dark and emotional and puts you in that place much more that the PTH song in my opinion.
I could never really get into The Infection at all. Even after seeing them live the songs just didn't compel me or translate well live. I like this cd start to finish, every song with the only weaker track being Scapegoat. Can't wait to see them live!
Chimaira has been my second favorite band for the past five years and I consider myself a die hard Chimaira fan. Impossibility, self titled, Resurrection, and the Infection are all in my top 15 albums of all time. While I do really like this album, I have to say it isn't Chimaira. I hate how people think that Austin D'Amond drummed on this album when he didn't, it was their producer Ben Schigel.
I thought they'd release Resurrection part 2 (a fast paced album) after the slower paced Infection. The way I look at The Age of Hell is a B-side to The Infection. The songs are still slower paced, and with exception to Year of the Snake I don't believe a single song off this album can make any of their previous four albums.
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