Review: Chimaira, The Age of Hell

By Jake Rivett

This is potentially Chimaira‘s best album to date, containing 12 mini-slabs of pure catchy, powerful metal.

The opener and self-titled track blows your mind by being completely unrelenting with vocalist Mark Hunter sounding heavier than ever, yet keeping the short, sharp catchiness that made their first album so damn endurable.

Clockwork has a part-screamed, part-sung chorus that keeps things really rhythmic and is surprising at only a minute long; it seems like the song turns into something from a jazz album, and really works, an interesting track.

Losing my Mind is the first track that hasn’t burst in at a thousand miles per hour, the chainsaw chug over a nice drum rhythm before the inevitable vocal growl that kicks it all off. A catchy growled/sung chorus tops this song off while keeping a lower tone, distinguishing it from the others.

The album has a tendency to fall into a nu-metal 90s trap, with DJ samples played over the top. The uniform: stop, start, growl, sung choruses are rife throughout.

 


Time is running out is so rhythmic in the vocals section it doesn’t really sound like Hunter at some points, still a great song, and a tad slower pace from the rest of the album helps it stand out

Lead single Year of the Snake stands out as the most brutal track so far and has possibly the best, yet most simple, riff on the album. Lyrical subject is the same as usual, abandonment, pure rage, anger, becoming a better person, etc. There is so much about this album that should feel cheesy but doesn’t.

Born in Blood has chainsaw guitars and an intro scream to blow the roof off! Sweet riffs and a simple chorus make this the favorite, and with Whitechapel vocalist, Phil Bozeman featuring, your mind will be blown. It’s also the first tune to feature a solo! Finally!

Stoma is a 1:29 music track that isn’t anything special and would have been better as an intro to Powerless; with an addictive chorus bleating on about an evil god. Once again, blistering guitars, angry vocals, catchy chorus, great song, great album.

The Age of Hell is out now via Koch Records

 

 

 

 

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