Chris Collins – Platform
Little known (and largely useless) fact, the first gig I ever attended way back in December 2005 was a Chimaira show. While since then my taste in music has changed and diversified, as the night approached I found myself unexpectedly excited to kick back, enjoy some nostalgia and headbang like a crazy person, and I wasn’t disappointed.
From the opening strains of “The Disappearing Sun” to the moment they end their groove-metal assault with “Resurrection” they leave with the audience begging for one more song, Chimaira seemed tight and in control all night long. But while they played a set littered pretty evenly with old and new material, going as far back as their debut album alongside new tracks such as Year of the Snake, sounding even better live than on record, it’s little surprise the biggest reactions are saved for fan favourites Nothing Remains, dropped early on to an all too eager crowd and Pure Hatred. However while the audience never stops moving, they seem to fall just short of going truly wild.
Frontman Mark Hunter jokingly asks if it’s due to feeling the effects of the night before, and it seems either that or the thought of the oncoming Monday morning leaves the audience a little restrained and timid. Of course, restrained and timid by metal standards can still be pretty crazy, with a fan climbing onto the stage before jumping back into the audience, but it still feels stuck a notch below true chaos. It’s a shame because as a band, Chimaira seem to do everything right. New guitarists Jeremy Creamer and Matt Szlachta, on bass and rhythm respectively seem to fit in near seamlessly with the rest of the group and as a whole the band manages to interact near constantly with the audience, with Hunter in particular a creepy, intimidating presence on stage.
When the departures of Matt DeVries and Rob Arnold were announced in November last year, fans were eager to brand it the death of the band. If indeed it was “The Death of Chimaira” as some fans would seem to have you believe, then someone better find those fans and let them know that while no-one was looking, they had one hell of a Resurrection.