Games Meet Metal: Chimaira's Coming Alive DVD: The Riff Review

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Chimaira's Coming Alive DVD: The Riff Review

I am, what you call, an unapologetic Chimaira fanboy. I became a fan of theirs on their first U.S. tour, and have been following them ever since. I still say their best show was when they co-headlined with a not-yet widely known Lamb of God. I've bought every cd and dvd of theirs on the release day and have only missed a couple of their shows in the Detroit area. So, yeah, me likey them very much.

Naturally, it was due to me to pick up their latest magnus opus, Coming Alive, which chronicles Chimaira's life during the Infection recording and tour cycle. the package itself comes with three discs. Disc one is the documentary portion, itself in four sections. The second disc is a full-on live show Chimaira does every year near Christmas for their hometown crowd, this one being the 2009 show. It also houses all the special features and deleted clips. The third disc is the audio portion of the Christmas show for all your portable needs.

Fair warning on the documentary disc: this sucker is LOOOOOOOOOOONG!!!!!! A little over three hours, if my player is correct. The doc's four sections cover the band's trips through many land; Ohio, where they recorded the album; Dubai, where they started their tour; The U.S. Music As A Weapon tour, Chimaira's first ever stab at arena shows; Europe, where they pretty much went everywhere. The whole doc is beautifully shot, which each band member, and even crew members, all getting equal time on screen. That time is usually to poke fun at each other, in which bassist Jim Lamarcha is king at. The doc is an extremely entertaining ride, but there are points where the camera stays too long on the roadies tuning everything up before a lot of shows. It kind of makes it feel like unnecessary padding just to maximize disc space.

The Chimaira Christams show was also wonderfully shot and sounds phenomenal in 5.1  digital audio. The band goes through a pretty good chunk of their music history, which the track list proves:

1. The Venom Inside
2. Resurrection
3. Power Trip
4. Empire
5. The Disappearing Sun
6. Severed
7. Destroy and Dominate
8. Six
9. The Dehumanizing Process
10. Dead Inside
11. Painting The White To Grey
12. Nothing Remains
13. Salvation
14. Secrets Of The Dead
15. The Flame
16. Pure Hatred
17. Implements of Destruction

The extras are a mixed grab bag of pranks, jokes, and just silly bits of conversation. They also included the Resurrection dvd contents, which were previously available with the cd of the same name. Owners of the cd might feel a little bit like they got double dipped here, but newcomers will appreciate the added material.

The audio disc is cd only, and lacks the final track from the dvd, but you're not gonna be minding that much when you're blasting it from from your car stereo. Great audio quality from the disc itself.

For a package that usually runs about $20, Coming alive is an insane deal for the hardcore Chimaira fan. You might want to take it in several doses, as the sheer amount of content is pretty staggering. If you plan to watch the doc in one sitting, you might want to prepare one hell of a sammich and a very tall glass of iced tea, as you're gonna be there for awhile.

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