Saturday, July 27, 2013

Chimaira: "Crown of Phantoms"

The singer of this band pretty much stole all of Daath to keep this going and is making an effort to shift out of being more of a mall metal sorta of thing into death metal. The opener is very straight forward despite some angular bleep and bloopers at the onset. The keyboard playing of former Daath vocalist Sean Z is especially pointless as it doesn't really bring anything to overall sound and the coolest effect employed are from post production. The guitar playing is the bands strong point.

They keep things out of the nineties with staccato riffing, and to the harder left hand of falling into the realm of being Meshuggah clones, the vocal line is  repetitive in an almost  Fear Factory or Pantera manner whose audiences this sort of thing might have more appeal, than a death metal crowd who unless they think In Flames is death metal is going to find this still to nu metal.

Like Machine Head they sometimes flirt with thrash like on the song "All thats Left is Blood' but it does have more of  a Swedish take on the sub genre, with more commercial death metal delivery, in the way of the vocal grunts and faux growls. The pitch harmonics keep the seas of cheese flowing though the drumming under the solos is impressive as the groove flows smoothly. It's well produced but very lowest common denominator.

The guitars while the strong point can drag it down into that Swedish melo-death thing but with the mall metal  cheese whiz and none of the epic harmony parts. " I Despise" does stray into the realms of djent. The growls on the chorus are an improve because they sound like what I imagine Obituary might if they sold out and is a pretty solid hook.

A clean guitar tone surfaces on " Plastic Wonderland"  which shows improvement by creating a creepy intro that gets ruined for speed metal riffing and the vocals which remind me of Coal Chamber. There could be some Pantera comparisons here, but Devil Drivers seemed a better fit. It should also be said that the worse thing about this album are the childish lyrics which sound like they were written by a goth kid pouting at Melrose High, but that would give them more focus than some kind of pseudo angry poppy cock, they the came out of the book of spare metal clichés.

The little flash of clean singing on the title track makes this sound like Korn, the solo break sweeps in like the arpeggios it relies on to save the day.  "Spineless" start off with "these words will cut you like a knife " which is giving his lyrical ability to much credit. The Marilyn Manson like synth pads make it hard to take this seriously. This is a fine example how connecting  the dots to all things that should make a band heavy don't work if they are faking the funk.

"Kings of the Shadow World" the riff gets a little more interesting and comes closer to being real death metal than they have delved at this point. It seems like Werstler  could have established himself as a metal guitarist to be reckoned with is really dumbing it down on this album. If you want big dumb metal that equal parts 90's cheese cheese and angst posing than you have come to the right place.

The Adias jump suits are back on for the groove to "Wrapped in Violence" which is infectious for being as dumb as it is. " Life is chaos, wrapped in violence" are lyrics written by a full grown adult. The romance is one for "Love Soaked Death" that goes over the top in wanting to be Korn, the bass player is thumpin at his strings like an idiot, leaving the drummer to salvage their dignity til the solos.

If you are a Juggaloo you will think this is pretty mind blowing next level shit, if you are a fan of death metal ....real death metal like Deicide you will be appalled, if you still buy your cds at the Best Buy across from the mall you will love this as you have yet to find real metal on the Internet and aren't likely to even be reading this , so I'll round this down to a 4.5. Well produced some cool grooves here and there but for glue sniffers only.


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