CHIMAIRA — The Age of Hell

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CHIMAIRA - The Age of Hell cover
3.67 | 9 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 2011

Filed under Groove Metal
By CHIMAIRA

Tracklist


1. The Age of Hell (03:32)
2. Clockwork (03:44)
3. Losing My Mind (04:57)
4. Time Is Running Out (04:13)
5. Year of the Snake (03:41)
6. Beyond the Grave (04:55)
7. Born In Blood (04:09)
8. Stoma (01:28)
9. Powerless (04:32)
10. Trigger Finger (03:54)
11. Scapegoat (04:33)
12. Samsara (06:12)

Total Time 49:50

Limited edition / USB edition:

13. Scum of the Earth (05:05)
14. Your Days Are Numbered (03:02)
15. Wild Thing (The Troggs cover) (02:29)

Total Time 60:26

iTunes edition:

13. Clockwork (Remix) (04:20) *
13. Scum of the Earth (05:05) *
14. Your Days Are Numbered (03:02)

* varies by country.

Line-up/Musicians


- Rob Arnold / guitars (lead)
- Mark Hunter / vocals
- Matt DeVries / guitars
- Emil Werstler / bass
- Sean Zatorsky / keyboards

About this release

CD released 16th August 2011 on E1 Music (EOM-CD-2140) / SPV GmbH (SPV 309492).

Recorded at Spider Studios, mixed and mastered at Planet-Z Recordings.

Thanks to UMUR for the addition and Bosh66, Unitron for the updates

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CHIMAIRA THE AGE OF HELL reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Time Signature
Clockwork...

Genre: modern thrash metal

On The Age of Hell, Chimaira play a sort of modern thrash metal with references to both industrial metal and alternative rock. Think slayer meets Fear Factory meets Alice in Chains – sounds like a combination destined to be a failure, but it actually works quite well.

The album starts out pretty aggressively with the title track 'The Age of Hell', which is quite the kick-ass track, but on the second track 'Clockwork', Chimaira shows that they are much more colorful with the insertion of melodic choruses sung in a clean, but sort of grungy voice, while the verses are growled. The entire album is a well balanced combination of aggressive furious Slayer-esque thrash metal riffs combined heavy and groovy riffs, some of which have a Machine Head feel to them while others are more in the vein of Fear Factory's mechanico-nightmarish riffage. And as a nice dynamic touch, there are these passages where the guitars a clean and have a more alternative rock feel, and these ar often accompanied by the above-mentioned clean, but grungy, vocals. There are also a couple of really nice metalcore-like breakdowns every now and then, without Chimaira ever susceptible to accusations of relying on breakdowns.

The Age of Hell is a nice reminder that, amidst the horde of retro thrash metal bands (and don't get me wrong, I really like how old school thrash metal has stormed back onto the metal scene over the last couple of years), there are also artists, like Chimaira, who look ahead and move thrash metal forward, while still remaining true to the essence of the art form that is thrash metal.

(review originally posted at seaoftranquility.org)
UMUR
"The Age of Hell" is the 6th full-length studio album by US thrash/groove metal act Chimaira. The album was released through E1 Music in August 2011. After a couple of lineup changes Chimaira is back with a new hard hitting assault. I´ve followed the band sporadically over the years and while they´ve always maintained a quality level higher than most of their contemporaries, my interest in their releases has been a bit up and down. I think they´ve had a hard time topping "The Impossibility of Reason (2003)", which IMO is their best album. "The Age of Hell" is fortunately in the better end of the scale when it comes to releases by Chimaira.

The music on the album is not easy to tag, as it is essentially a hybrid of thrash, metalcore, deathcore and alternative metal. It´s always been like this with Chimaira though, so it´s not like they´ve changed their core style much on this album. However they´ve written more memorable tunes than usual this time around and I find myself greatly enjoying the album. The groovy mid-paced riffing, the occassional fast paced thrashy Slayer-type riffing, the ultra heavy breakdowns, the aggressive vocals (which a few times are close to growls), which are occasinally spiced up by clean Alice in Chains-type clean vocals, and the powerful sound production are all elements that make this album quite the effectful listen if you desire to have your head bashed in, but also desire an occasional more commercially assessible sound. The tracks aren´t terribly adventurous, sticking pretty closely to a vers/chorus formula, but there are little surprises along the way that keep the album fresh. An example is the ambient part a couple of minutes into "Clockwork".

I wouldn´t say Chimaira have reinvented themselves or anything like that, but they´ve upped their game with "The Age of Hell", and the album is certainly a worthy purchase if you´ve enjoyed earlier releases by the band but it would also be a great starting point if you are new to the band´s music. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is warranted.
Kingcrimsonprog
Chimaira have had a rough time; it seemed as though the world was at their feet in the wake of their zeitgeist grabbing second album The Impossibility Of Reason which was released in 2003, but after that album had passed the press never kept up the same level of interest in the band.

In 2009; Chimaira released possibly their strongest album to date, ‘The Infection,’ and no one seemed to actually notice outside a circle of existing fans. One would frequently hear people say things like they though Chimaira had broke up, or that they only made one good album anyway.

This was quite unfair as Chimaira have been one of the most consistent bands in the entire genre; continually churning out extremely strong albums, constantly improving as musicians and songwriters and genuinely putting in huge amounts of effort live and in relations with their fans.

Now it is 2011 and the band have lost three members (Jim La Marca, Chris Spicuzza and Andols Herrick) but returned to the studio with long time collaborator Ben Schigel, who has both produced the album and performed as the drummer as well to create their sixth studio album, The Age Of Hell.

As always vocalist Mark Hunter and lead guitarist Rob Arnold form the core songwriting unit, so the album still retains the overall Chimaira sound. Rob’s guitar style anchors the album; Mark’s vocal range has always expanded slightly with each new record and The Age Of Hell adds a few new dimensions to the man’s repertoire.

The songs are all a lot shorter and more direct than on previous Chimaira albums and mostly faster than on The Infection, which focused more on the band’s groove side, you almost get the sense that the band seem to have made a concerted effort not to repeat The Infection.

The Age Of Hell at times seems as though it is trying to evoke The Impossibility Of Reason, for example on the pre-released ‘Trigger Finger,’ and “Born in Blood” (featuring Phil Bozeman of Whitechapel on guest vocals,) which feature a few riffs here and there that sound a lot like “Power Trip,” “Pure Hatred,” or “Cleansation.”

Also like their popular 2003 record, the album closes with a grand, guitar solo filled instrumental track. Some fans will see this as a good thing and others may view it as a cynical move to counteract waning public interest.

The Age Of Hell isn’t all rooted in the past however; tracks like ‘Clockwork,’ ‘Powerless,’ and ‘Year Of The Snake,’ add new dimensions to Chimaira’s sound, be they Pink Floyd style ambient moments, or just fresh takes on metalcore that you haven’t heard before.

The overall quality of songwriting and musicianship on is phenomenal and the album is a great listen, full of creative riffs, interesting solos and a drumming performance that fits the band so well you wouldn’t know Andols had left if no one told you.

If you are one of the people who didn’t give up on the band, you will find The Age Of Hell to be another strong Chimaira album that still features enough of what made the band great and that has a unique place within the band’s overall catalogue.

Overall, The Age Of Hell is a good album which I hope reignites a wider interest in Chimaira, who really deserve it based on the effort and quality they put into touring, any of their products and how they interact with the fans.
Diogenes
Let it be known that I think the whole “New Wave of American Heavy Metal” thing is a bunch of garbage. Aside from it being a lame rip-off of the NWoBHM moniker, it reminds me about the problems plaguing American metal bands everywhere: repetitive, generic, and unwillingness to get out there and play something original. Chimaira’s latest, The Age of Hell, embodies this about as well as any other modern metal album from the States, being an unfortunate step back for a band that once held a boatload of promise.

If you have heard anything by Chimaira before (save for their first one), then you probably know what to expect on this album. That would be a combination of groove metal and metalcore, with your occasional delves into thrash metal. Here’s why this isn’t very appealing: they did basically the same thing on The Impossibility of Reason, and again on their self-titled, and again on Resurrection. The Infection was a hint at a “logical continuation” sort of thing, but on The Age of Hell it sounds like the band is going backwards, with lazier songwriting than before. There’s a riff in Born in Blood which might as well be the same as the one from Resurrection…and these riffs aren’t even that good! They’re just your same old chugging. I can think of maybe four riffs on the album that are good: one on Year of the Snake, one on Trigger Finger, and the other two on songs that I can’t remember because the rest was so bland.

So, Andols Herrick left the band again, and in comes Austin D’Amond to take over behind the drums. He does a very nice job as far as following the usual Chimaira drum patterns goes, which could either be a testament to his skills or how overhyped Herrick really is. But here’s another take: there’s also a new synth guy, Sean Zatorsky, and once again he fills in for the former without much of a thought. Not that electronics are (or should) be a big part of this type of music anyway, but the fact that Chimaira got two people to do what the previous members did shows just how little the band has progressed on this release.

Taking the musicians argument a bit further, there is no reason why The Age of Hell should sound so half-assed. Rob Arnold and Matt DeVries proved themselves as very competent guitarists a while ago, so why can’t they come up with riffs that sound good? Mark Hunter is the only one in the band that sounds interested in trying something new, incorporating more (better) clean vocals and layered effects to give The Age of Hell its only shred of freshness. A few years ago, this would be unthinkable, as Chimaira seemed to be a band on the rise being held back by a mediocre vocalist, but here it’s just the opposite.

Granted, The Age of Hell isn’t a total rehash of old ideas, because here there is even MORE groove than on previous releases! This means even more repetition and lack of variety. Most of the songs are all slow and uninteresting, which stinks considering that this band has put out some pretty killer thrashcore in the past. I’d love to blame the record label for rushing the band, because some of the songs definitely sound slapped together, but this wouldn’t hold much water since Chimaira has been on an every-other-year release schedule forever. The songwriting is not very good, plain and simple.

I want to like this album. I really do. Chimaira isn’t a band I hate by any means, but it seems that whenever they’re primed for a huge record that will separate them from the rest, they stagnate and put out something like this. The Age of Hell isn’t as heavy as the self-titled, isn’t as angry as The Impossibility of Reason, isn’t as technical as The Infection; it’s just there, standing for everything the New Wave of American Heavy Metal really means. Disappointing, to say the least.

Members reviews

Double-D
The godfathers of the so called "New Wave Of American Heavy Metal" are back! For some reasons Chimaira didn't reach the success they deserved which is really poor because they have their own unique style that puts the band above the cliches of mediocre metalcore often labeled to their music.

The Age Of Hell is their sixth studio record. There are some line-up changes but the core of the band consisting of guitarist Rob Arnold and vocalist Mark Hunter are still here so all the typical Chimaira elements have found their place on the album. Of course as usual they added some new nuances to their music. In contrast with it's predecessor The Age Of Hell is much more diversed and complex. In fact the album is some kind of combination between "Resurrection" and "The Infection". All songs clock around 4 minutes. The exception is the great closing instrumental track called "Samsara".

The production of the album is clean and powerful. Rob performs some really impressive guitar solos and Mark alongside with his typical aggressive harsh vocals makes some clean parts where the vocal harmonies remind of Alice In Chains.

With The Age Of Hell Chimaira prove themselves as one of the most innovative bands in metal music today. I really hope they'll get the reaction this fantastic album deserves. The Age Of Hell is highly recommended to all open-minded metal fans.

Ratings only

  • Unitron
  • aglasshouse
  • kx1992
  • DefinitionOfHatred

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