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Chimaira - "The Infection" (CD)

Chimaira - "The Infection" CD cover image

"The Infection" track listing:

1. The Venom Inside
2. Frozen In Time
3. Coming Alive
4. Secrets Of The Dead
5. The Disappearing Sun
6. Impending Doom
7. On Broken Glass
8. Destroy And Dominate
9. Try To Survive
10. The Heart Of It All

Reviewed by on July 10, 2009

"The album actually has some carefully calculated moments of lightness throughout that let the listener recover from the sturm and drang before plunging straight back into it."

Chimaira named their latest disc well. "The Infection" will hit your soon-to-be-bloody eardrums straight off with "The Venom Inside," give you some "Impending Doom," and thoroughly "Destroy And Dominate" you — in the best way possible.

Mark Hunter's vocals on "The Venom Inside" hit just as hard as the guitars and drums, with a great moment about two minutes in that turns a vocal growl into a breathtaking rhythmic component. It doesn't hurt that Hunter's screams and growls aren't just the seemingly tuneless shouting metalcore sometimes features, but instead seem meticulously planned for maximum effect.

Drummer Andols Herrick is in fine form, with "The Disappearing Sun" featuring a hard-hitting kick-drum part that changes speed in interesting ways.

Guitarists Rob Arnold and Matt DeVries do reliably well, with the opening of "Coming Alive" standing out for its interplay between the two. Arnold also has a nice, melodic solo in "On Broken Glass" that perked my ears up.

The two really shine on "The Heart Of It All," the instrumental that closes the album in splendid style, alternating between heavy and light in some interesting ways. The album actually has some carefully calculated moments of lightness throughout that let the listener recover from the sturm and drang before plunging straight back into it. That said, those moments also contribute to an occasional by-the-numbers feel that gets stronger — but never overwhelming — as the album goes on.

Also, I have a minor gripe about the last track on the disc, which goes on for 14 minutes, even though the actual song ends after about seven. That just annoys me, because I have better things to do than listen to seven minutes of silence waiting for something to happen. Still, when you've got an album this good, it's a pretty easy sin to forgive.

Chimaira fans and anyone looking for some brutal, melodic metal should be sure to catch "The Infection."

Highs: The superb vocals on "The Venom Inside," and great guitar work on "The Heart Of It All" and "Coming Alive."

Lows: Some repetitiveness, but not enough to be overwhelming.

Bottom line: This "Infection" is one metal fans need to catch.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)