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Age of Hell

4.2 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

To live in Cleveland, Ohio, more of a sunken hole than a driven notch in the Midwest rustbelt, is to not only encounter, but embrace the crippling winters, the broken jawed economy, and the expectations of defeat. None of this is lost on Chimaira. After twelve years of defining what Cleveland metal and brutal music should sound like, Chimaira advances their trademarked brand of heavy with their latest monster, The Age of Hell.
As with most Chimaira records (and everything Cleveland) the composition of the record was fraught with adversity. Longtime drummer Andols Herrick, bass player Jim Lamarca and electronic knob twister Chris Spicuzza had fallen away from the band. This left Chimaira s flagship member and singer Mark Hunter and guitarists Rob Arnold and Matt Devries with an album to record for their debut on eOne Music / Long Branch with no rhythm section or an effects specialist. The splintered Chimaira could have stared at the sun dissecting separate fires then converging into a singular sphere of blinding defeat. Most bands would have. But most bands aren t from Cleveland. The eponymous opening track summons the ferocity of a band hungry and disgusted. Mark Hunters guttural barks declare a twisted war while the guitars shift from ravenous chugging to soaring leads. Clockwork, a song that refuses to grow stale after countless plays provides a chorus that sees the band tastefully using layers of clean
vocals while not sacrificing Chimaira s severity, a theme throughout the album. Tracks like Losing My Mind and Time is Running Out lyrically reflect the tribulations of a group under the gun and both include the band s signature groove that is utterly crushing. But its songs like Trigger Finger, Born in Blood, and Scapegoat that will leave janitors mopping up blood from venue floors across the world. Throughout the record the sonic layers are far from trite ear candy, giving an oceanic depth to each track. Solos and leads by Arnold confirm his status as the next shredder to beat. Schigel on drums goes from syncopated to bar room brawler and back again with no regrets for the jaws he dropped along the way.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 16, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Entertainment One Music
  • ASIN: B0058U80F4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,967 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
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.
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Ok to start i love Chimaira & i think they are underrated & never were treated and marketed properly. The band i have followed and been with since the beginning,got Pass Out,Impossibility,Ressurection,Infection & Age signes by various band members. They stayed true to their own unique style & never changed for anybody. This album i thought would surpass Infection,which would be hard to do. But this album at first i was distracted by,i spun it multiple times as songs grew on me and i found favorites which remain heavy as hell. The questionable tracks are more or less more experimental and actually unique & diverse. Best tracks that are heaviest are Born in Bllod,Age of Hell,Year of the Snake,Trigger Finger & Scapegoat. The more experimental & almost like a return to melodies and harsh harmoniea which make me think of Pass Out,& Present Darkness. Those songs are Clockwork,Losing my Mind,Beyond the Grave,Powerless & the ambient Stoma & Samsara. The album is Chimairas most uniqe,not necessarily as heavy as Self Titled,Ressurection,Infection or Impossibility but it is worth buying if your a fan,you will not be disappointed. It takea a few spins to get into the groove.
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Nothing, it seems, can stop Chimaira. Not a bus wreck; not video shoots that literally go up in flames; not being dumped by their record label--twice (after stints on Roadrunner and Ferret, they're now on E1); not even losing half their lineup. Drummer Andols Herrick, who left the band in the middle of a tour in 2004 and returned two years later, split for good earlier this year. Around the sane time, bassist Jim Lamarca and keyboardist/sampler/backing vocalist Chris Spicuzza also walked. Left with just three members--vocalist Mark Hunter and guitarists Rob Arnold and Matt DeVries--no one would have blamed Chimaira if they decided to call it quits. Instead, they retreated to a studio in their hometown of Cleveland to lick their wounds, called on some talented friends, and turned out an album that, in spite of everything, still slays.

In some ways, "The Age Of Hell" harkens back to Chimaira's past. The band got artist Garett Zunt, who did the artwork for their early discs, to design this CD. The Age Of Hell was produced by Ben Schigel, who worked on past Chimaira albums like "The Infection" and their self-titled third disk (Schigel also plays drums on this record, and does an outstanding job.) Many of the standout tracks, like "Trigger Finger," "Year Of The Snake," "Born In Blood" and the title song have echoes of the nu-metal-meets-thrash sound that defined Chimaira's early work. But Chimaira also takes some big creative leaps on The Age Of Hell and manages to land on their feet, like the ambient touches on "Clockwork" (including a saxophone solo - yes, you read that right) and the Alice-In-Chains-esque clean vocals found on several tracks, particularly (dare I say it) the almost-radio-friendly songs "Time Is Running Out" and "Beyond The Grave.
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Chimaira seems to deliver on every other album. I liked the Infection, but not nearly as much as Resurrection. This album is probably better than both. Don't look for any hit songs, but inhale deeply, and listen to this hardcore 21st century metal album. If you can't enjoy the hardcore offering of the opening title track, I might judge you. This album builds, and from the Age of Hell, through the next several tracks, the mood just progresses, and takes you on a journey of pain, and sorrow, and emptiness, yet we can appreciate it well.

Each song after that builds the mood. This just might be the most classic Chimaira album of all. The sound is not quite as brutal, but just as heavy as their earlier work, and probably better put together as an overall album. The record just flows from one song to another, more so than any other of their album, or any other modern metal album for that matter. Seriously, rip a couple hits from the b**g, and listen to this from front to back. This is a good album, maybe the best album from this Cleveland metalcore outfit.

The first four songs almost run together better than a Pink Floyd album, and yet it is the back half of the CD that really rocks. Beyond the grave is mellow, and stoner, but born in blood is as brutal and awesome as any other metal song from this era. Powerless and Trigger finger are amazing Chimaira songs, and help finish the album. I know, most metal fans say this band never lived up to their potential, but I say this album helped exceed it. This is definitely in this bands top three with Impossibility, and Resurrection.
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