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Music / Chimaira

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Chimaira was easily one of the genre's most consistently hard-hitting and passionate bands. Formed in the year of 1998, the band was, with Lamb of God, a notable member of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal, the modern equivalent of NWOBHM. They originally started off with a Nu Metal / Groove Metal hybrid, eventually dropping the influence from the former and mixing the latter with Metalcore, Death Metal, and Thrash Metal. Well-known in the metal community for their vocalist Mark Hunter and their guitarist Rob Arnold, the band has had several lineup changes since their formation.

Musically, they were noted for their extensive use of double-bass drumming and their brutal, rhythmic vocals. Despite the many influences in their music as stated above, they are labeled by most as a Metalcore or Groove Metal band, though they are far, far more respected than most bands in the former genre.

On September 3, 2014, Mark Hunter officially announced the end of the band shortly after Emil Wrestler quit, which had led to the rest of the members leaving prior to Hunter making said announcement. In 2017, they announced a one-off reunion with the original lineup. As of 2022, they are active on an extremely infrequent live basis and have no plans to ever record music or be a fully active band again.

Last Known Members:

  • Mark Hunter – lead vocals (1998–2014)

Notable Past Members:

  • Rob Arnold – lead guitar, bass (1999–2011)
  • Andols Herrick – drums (1999–2003, 2006–2011)
  • Matt DeVries – rhythm guitar (2001–2011)
  • Kevin Talley – drums (2004–2006)
  • Ben Schigel – drums (2011)
  • Richard Evensand – drums (2003–2004)
  • Austin D'Amond – drums (2011–2014)
  • Sean Zatorsky – keyboards, synthesizers, backing vocals (2011–2014)
  • Emil Werstler – lead guitar (2012–2014), bass guitar (2010-2011), rhythm guitar (2009)
  • Jeremy Creamer – bass guitar (2012–2014)
  • Matt Szlachta – rhythm guitar (2012–2014)

Studio Albums:

  • Pass Out of Existence (2001)
  • The Impossibility of Reason (2003)
  • Chimaira (2005)
  • Resurrection (2007)
  • The Infection (2009)
  • The Age of Hell (2011)
  • Crown of Phantoms (2013)

Chimaira provides examples of:

  • Angrish: Mark Hunter's signature vocals sometimes embrace this.
  • Body Horror: Resurrection 's artwork.
  • Darker and Edgier: Their later albums are much angrier than Pass Out of Existence, which itself was already really angry. In general, they're this for Groove Metal and Metalcore
  • Deathcore: Have skirted the line here and there, with The Infection being the closest that they've ever come to actually being this.
  • Eldritch Abomination/Goddess Of Evil: "Six" is apparently about one.
  • Epic Rocking:
    • "Jade" is 13 minutes long
    • "Implements of Destruction" as well.
    • "Everything You Love" and "Lazarus" are 6 and 7 minutes respectively.
    • "Six" is 9 minutes long
    • "The Heart of It All" is the longest song by far, being 14 minutes
  • Heavy Meta: "End it All" was largely about Mark's love-hate relationship with touring.
  • I Am the Band: Mark Hunter
  • Important Haircut: Immediately after Resurrection dropped, Mark cut off his dreadlocks.
  • Instrumentals: "Implements of Destruction" and "The Heart Of It All."
  • Jerkass: Kevin Talley was known to be one when he was younger, but became a genuinely nice and engaging person later on. Mark Hunter is apparently a straighter example based on what various former members and bands who have toured with Chimaira have said.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: ALL of the protagonists in their song.
  • Metal Scream: All three types, with type 3 being the most used.
  • New Sound Album:
    • The Impossibility of Reason was a Genre Shift to Groove Metal and Metalcore
    • The Self-Titled Album brought some extreme metal traits, resulting in a heavier album than with the debut.
    • Resurrection cranked the death and thrash influences up, being even heavier and faster in favor of longer, more varied songs.
    • The Infection toned them down in favor of a more Doom Metal sound and was probably the closest they came to deathcore.
    • The Age Of Hell was a return to the old sound present in Impossibility, along with some nu-metal elements ("Clockwork" being the most overt).
    • Crown of Phantoms had an industrial tinge to it thanks to some of the members also being from Daath, as well as bringing back the slower grooves
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Listen to their first album and listen to every other one.
  • Metalcore: One of the heaviest bands in the genre.
  • Nu Metal: Their first album. Elements of it intermittently popped up in their later material.
  • Revolving Door Band: The HUGE turnover rate was what eventually killed the band.
  • Signature Style: Hard hitting, fast paced metal music that borrows from the more extreme styles of metal while still having a modern sound.
  • Special Guest: Stephen Carpenter of Deftones on "Rizzo", Jason Suecof doing sampling on all of Resurrection, Jason Popson of Mushroomhead on "Convictions, and Phil Bozeman of Whitechapel on "Born in Blood"