Textured Aggression

It’s the sound of friction, of frayed nerves, black skies and white knuckles.

And it comes from Cleveland, a town of deep grays and callused hands, broad shoulders and the sunny disposition of an undertaker.

Yeah, Ohio metal troupe Chimaira seems sufficiently angry, with a dark, dense rhythmic thrush abetted by an undercurrent of doleful electronics, forest-thick guitars and a possessed-by-demons vocalist who sounds as if he could spit pea soup in your direction at any given moment.

But for these dudes, the pathos isn’t just for show.

Upon releasing its third, self-titled disc in 2005, a caustic firestorm of knotty thrash riffs and raw-throated bloodletting, the band split with its drummer and longtime record label, resulting in plenty of real life angst.

“The relationships were certainly hurt during that time period,” guitarist Rob Arnold confesses, chatting before a recent show in Minneapolis. “Some guys were at wit’s end. It was really just a strain on everything, where we were kind of thinking, ‘Could this be the end? Are we getting tired of it?’ ”

“The band started to deteriorate a little bit,” he continues. “We weren’t really getting along with our drummer at the time, Kevin Talley, and with Roadrunner (the band’s former label), we felt held back.”

All that tension is painted across Chimaira’s latest album, the seething, galvanized “Resurrection,” in big, bloody broad strokes.

The disc sounds like a band clawing its way out of its coffin, with the group having reunited with original drummer Andols Herrick and scored a new label deal with Ferret Records.

“We’re kind of past the point where a struggling band thinks, ‘All right, is this it? Have we gone over the hill and we’re on our way down?'” Arnold explains. “We realized that we’ve made it in a sense. We’re doing it for a living now, people know the name.”

And just what does that name imply?

For this bunch, it’s manic aggression with an emphasis on nuance and texture. The band employs a full-time keyboardist/sound effects manipulator who adds a sort of noisy depth to Chimaira’s repertoire, filling any crevice in the band’s catalog with pockets of enveloping sound.

This creates a bleak, perpetually shifting backdrop for the group’s brusque metal, which pairs dueling, high flying guitars with a vengeful lyrical fatalism.

Frontman Mark Hunter mostly sings of alienation, being dead inside and the occasional horror flick — one of his favorites is “The Shining,” and Chimaira seems out to match that film’s claustrophobic atmosphere at times.

“We’ve always been a very layered band, we’ve got six members and we want to try and have everybody stick out as much possible,” Arnold says. “We’re into real in-depth compositions, trying to tell a story with our songs. In terms of the production, we’re there for every little thing. Mark and I listen to every note, we sit there for 12, 15 hours a day for two, three weeks while mixing the record. We’re definitely perfectionists. We put a lot into it.”

Still, having come of age at the tail end of the nü metal era in the late ’90s, when bands such as Korn and the Deftones paired a bottom-heavy rumble with radio-friendly melody, the band was continually pressured by its former label to try and add some harmony to its tunes in hopes of scoring a breakout hit.

Chimaira resisted, and this ultimately played a big role in the two sides parting ways.

“I’m glad we stuck to our guns,” Arnold says. “It isn’t easy to just pop out a radio hit. Radio bands are radio bands for a certain reason, because they write that type of music. But we’re an extremely brutal metal band that’s best at writing brutal metal songs. Even if we tried to pull the wool over the peoples’ eyes and write some radio song in an attempt to blow up, it just isn’t true, in my opinion, and therefore isn’t going to be as good. We realize we’re on a slower train, but we’re constantly moving forward.”

Chimaira has settled comfortably atop the second tier of nouveau American metal bands, occupying a space that bands such as Testament and Overkill did a few decades ago.

And that’s fine for Arnold, an easy-going metal lifer whose band is as devoid of frills as the setting from which they sprang.

“When I would stare at the Metallica and Megadeth poster on my walls, I would say, ‘Man, I want to do that,’ ” Arnold recalls of growing up a metalhead in the Cleveland suburbs and eventually realizing his dreams of becoming a full-time musician. “We do all right, fortunately. I’m not digging ditches or working at Pizza Hut any more.”

Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or (702) 383-0476.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Tim Burton's imaginative artwork coming to Las Vegas
Tim Burton's imaginative artwork coming to Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holiday poultry with Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine
Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine explain the different types of poultry available for the holidays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Spring Preserve kicks off its Holiday Express
Springs Preserve hosts its Holiday Express, which includes a train ride, visits with Santa, SNOW, and a village winter wonderland.
Artists from Cirque du Soleil contribute art to Las Vegas art exhibit
Artists from Cirque du Soleil contribute art to Las Vegas gallery exhibit
Red Plate on the Las Vegas Strip serves a cocktail made with blooming jasmine tea
Red Plate on the Las Vegas Strip serves a cocktail made with jasmine tea
Benny the Ice Skating Dog
Benny is a Las Vegas Labrador who was rescued by former pro skater Cheryl Del Sanyo, and trained to ice skate. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Nevada State Museum
The Nevada State Museum of Las Vegas, located at the Springs Preserve, covers all eras of the state, from prehistoric to today.
Throw a better dinner party
Cash appears at Baseball Winter Meetings
Lights FC mascot Cash plays the electronic drums at the EZ Inflatables’ booth on Tuesday at the Baseball Winter Meetings trade show at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
5 albums to soundtrack your holiday gatherings in style
1. Various Artists, “Holidays Rule," with Rufus Wainwright, The Shins, Calexico and more. 2. Various Artists, “We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year," with Lemmy Kilmister, Alice Cooper, Chuck Billy and others. 3. Various Artists, “Christmas on Death Row," featuring Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg to name but a few. 4. Bright Eyes, “A Christmas Album.” 5. Various Artists, "The Motown Christmas Album." (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
WinterFest
WinterFest in Henderson.
Miss Rodeo America Fashion Show
The 28 women contestants of Miss Rodeo America compete in a fashion show at the Tropicana on Dec. 7, 2018.
Tournament Of Kings Holiday Show
Wizards and warriors are ready for the holidays at Excalibur's Tournament of Kings Holiday Dinner Show.
Take a dive with the Silverton mermaids
A visit to the Silverton Casino Hotel is not complete without taking in the popular, and very unique, mermaid show.
Cowboys and western aficionados can buy virtually anything at Cowboy Christmas
Vegas Golden Knights Christmas Display
In the Las Vegas Valley, the chances of getting a white Christmas are slim. But this year, you can have a “Knight” Christmas. A Henderson resident has a Christmas lights display that is synchronized to the entrance music for the Golden Knights. GG Misa’s Knights light show is played every 30 minutes from 5 to 10 nightly. His light show consists of two songs: Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and the entrance music, “Le Castle Vania,” from the movie “John Wick.” The display is located at 730 Bollons Island St. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Reivew-Journal)
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez is Just in Time For Repeal Day And Christmas
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez Is Just In Time For Repeal Day And Christmas. Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal
TV's LGBT superheroes
Green Valley Ranch's Winter's Village
The Mob Museum
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Quick Chat With Criss Angel
James D. Gish and Susan Anton rehearse
Susan Anton will be special guest at James D. Gish’s holiday concerts Dec. 7 at Summerlin Library and Dec. 9 at Clark County Library. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Winter Wonderland
"Majestic Holiday Magic" at the Bellagio Conservatory.
Underwater Santa At The Silverton
Santa takes a dive Sunday, December 2, at the Silverton Casino Hotel. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Cowabunga Bay Christmas Town
Las Vegas Natural History Museum
Las Vegas Natural History Museum, which opened in 1991, has exhibits of mechanical dinosaurs and taxidermied animals, along with live snakes, fish and sharks. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Magical Forest Lights
Cirque Du Soleil Performers Team Up For New Show "Kinekt"
Through dance, acrobatics and aerial arts, “Kinekt” tells a story all too familiar to modern families: how to maintain a human connection in the digital age. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like