Reviewed! Chimaira - 'The Infection'

‘The Infection’
Ferret Music

You could certainly call Chimaira survivors. Hell, they survived nu-metal, and there are probably only a handful of bands that could say that for themselves. Not only have they survived throughout the years, they have evolved, and only gotten bigger and stronger. Need proof? Check their latest, ‘The Infection,’ their first release with new home, Ferret Music.

This album is flat out heavy. You can’t really say that Chimaira has ever changed their sound wholesale, and if there is any change on this disc from their previous releases, it might only be that they are even more brutal now and vocalist Mark Hunter sounds even more pissed at the world. Again we see famed metal producer, and former Sw1tched frontman, Ben Schigel in the producers’ chair, which definitely has something to do with how heavy this record is. If you remember, he also handled the producing duties for the bands 2003’s release, ‘The Impossibility of Reason,’ and 2005’s self titled record.

‘The Infection’ is the bands most uncompromising work yet; unapologetic in sound and take no prisoners in approach. But this record is also a demonstration of the art of diversity. In addition to all of the circle pit inciting, soaring guitar diatribes that comprise the majority of this disc, ‘The Infection’ also features some interesting different looks, songs like the mountainously trudging thrash effort ‘Impending Doom’ and the albums closer, ‘The Heart of It All,’ a 15 minute instrumental. ‘Impending Doom’ features some clean singing bridges, a plethora of cacophonous breakdowns, and even some subtle ambient noises. Oh yeah, and a kick ass guitar solo. ‘The Heart of It All’ showcases the bands supreme handle on progression, while also stating that it all doesn’t have to be loud and fast all the time. Think of the beginning of Metallica’s ‘Battery,’ only 15 minutes long and seriously progressive.

The track ‘Walking on Broken Glass’ is also an interesting study. At first listen you might think that this is a cover of Annie Lennox’s 1992 hit, but upon reading the lyrics it doesn’t seem to be. It sounds awfully close to it, and while it still could be a cover in some fashion, the track still rips.

Depending on who you talk to, ‘The Infection’ might be the bands most triumphant work to date. It certainly sounds like it. It isn’t too early to include this record in Metal Album of the Year or 2009.

Grade: B
Listen to ‘Impending Doom,’ ‘Walking on Broken Glass’