Games Meet Metal: Thine Eardrums Erupting: Now With More Chimaira!

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Thine Eardrums Erupting: Now With More Chimaira!

I've been waiting a long time for a proper sequel to Chimaira's The Impossibility of Reason, and I think it has finally arrived. Not that their previous several records haven't matched up. Their self titled was an unappreciated masterpiece, Resurrection began an awesome progressive trend, and The Infection was a full-blown metal concept album for the ages. However, I had kind of missed the youthful anger of Impossibility. Then, Chimaira were forced to replace half their line-up and SHAZAM!! Youthful anger has been restored thanks to a new injection of members and ideas. The core writing team and dual guitars of Rob Arnold, Mark Hunter, and Matt DeVries have kept the Chimaira sound, but have brought back the playfulness and experimentation of the early days that made Impossibility of Reason such a groundbreaker for the band. Personal high point is track 7, Born in Blood, as I'm pretty damn sure I just heard some guest vox from Whitechapel's Phil Bozeman.

Oh boy oh boy!! More home grown Detroit metal! And it's... uh... er...., like, who are these guys? My dumb ass oughta know them. God knows I've been around to enough shows and heard opening bands aplenty, and yet Battlecross fell totally under my radar. Well, I'm a big fat doufus for letting that happen, as Battlecross are an amazing throwback thrash band that are just firing on all triggers. That youthful exuberance that I wanted Chimaira to rediscover is all over the place on Battlecross's debut, Pursuit of Honor. The first impressive moment was hearing the twin guitar attacks of Tony Asta and Hiran Deraniyagala. It's like hearing super early Megadeth combined with the theatricality of Judas Priest. Then there's lead singer Kyle Gunther, who could pass as a present day Paul Baloff.

I tend to have a kind of weird relationship with horror-induced death metal. While I love Cannibal Corpse to death (and even to undeath), I was just never able to put them into a Top 20 of bands I liked. Maybe because as awesome as a band as they are, singing about gruesomeness just makes me giggle a bit. Enter Exhumed, who have their horror button next to their "yeah, we know it's silly" button, and totally go gleefully overboard into the macabe. At least we get to be in on the joke. The album cover for starters shows a good of what to expect: blood, blood, more blood, and maybe a tendon thrown in from time to time. With titles like "Your Funeral, My Feast" and "Through Cadaver Eyes", you'll also have an idea as to the record's vocal content. The best part is that these guys are really talented musicians who play their ass off at incredible speed. All Guts can go from typical thrash to full-on grindcore in the snap of finger, then those fingers will break and rot to the awesomeness of the record.

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