Chimaira’s Coming Alive is an absolutely tremendous package, a true must-own that no Chimaira fan should even consider being without. The set contains a concert DVD taken from the band’s tenth annual hometown Christmas concert, a CD of the same concert minus the final song and as the main feature, a three hour Documentary in four parts that covers everything the band have been up to in the two years prior to its release. First off, the concert DVD is simply put and without hyperbole the greatest concert DVD I have ever bought (and this compliment comes from someone who absolutely loves concert DVDs)
Director Todd Bell is a genius and this film is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before, his unique and inspired cinematography really pushes the boundaries of what a concert film should look like. It almost seems like up until now concerts were just filmed and edited in a utilitarian way and Todd Bell is the first person to really ask how else it could and should be done. The only thing that is even close in style is Nine Inch Nails’ amazing looking `Beside You In Time,’ concert and `The Slip,’ bonus DVD, but this goes even further. From the choice of shots, the unusual choices in depth of field and framing and the band’s own excellent light and video show you really get a truly unique and fantastic viewing experience.
From a purely visual perspective this is the finest looking concert DVD on the market, not just from metal bands but even from million dollar rock bands who can afford the best. Don’t think however, that this is just a treat for the eyes because the performance which Chimaira lays down is practically unrivaled and again this is without hyperbole, the energy and passion in the practically note perfect and ferociously heavy concert is breathtaking. Every musician either plays or sings their heart out, with Chris’ cutting backing vocals and Rob’s guitar solos being particularly noteworthy.
Highlights include an extended slightly version of `Severed,’ a Mark-on-guitar featuring `The Flame,’ with a very passionate vocal performance and the stupidly good performance of `The Disappearing Sun.’
The track listing is really great and no Chimaira album is left unrepresented, the band do a good job mixing obvious choices and fan favourites like `Power Trip,’ and `Pure Hatred,’ with surprise inclusions like `Dead Inside,’ and the instrumental closer `Implements of Destruction,’ (which is intermittently inter-cut with credits but not in an intrusive way) and the result is a varied and hugely entertaining concert.
The sound is fantastic, at first unusual given the trend in sounds of recent music DVDs but by the end of the first song you will realise how excellently the actual live sound of Chimaira has been captured, any drummer will love the live tom and snare sounds and everyone can enjoy the guitar tones which actually convey the fact that musicians are playing the instruments rather than a soulless studio perfect style that masks the musicians performance. Palm muting especially sounds fantastic here and I hope more bands adopt this recording and mixing style in the future.
This concert is only one of the two features; The four part documentary on disc one is superb (in addition to the bonus feature of the previous released `Making of Resurrection,’ documentary on disc two.) Only one part has been previously released on the `Making of The Infection,’ bonus disc with the majority of the content being completely new.
The content in question involves following the band around in the build up to the release of The Infection, on release day and on the subsequent tours in a similar manner to Lamb of God’s `Walk With Me In Hell,’ documentary.
If you’ve seen a Chimaira Documentary before you’ll know what to expect and if you haven’t this package includes most of them anyway. If you thought that the band couldn’t make a package to top ‘The Dehumanizing Process,’ you may be in for a pleasant surprise.
Overall this is a truly astounding package featuring over three hours worth of excellent and entertaining documentary footage from a very likable and down to earth band, a live CD and possibly the greatest Live DVD ever made.