Chimaira – Pass Out of Existance

It’s fast, but not too fast. It’s brutal, but not too brutal. It’s heavy, but not too heavy.

Ok, strike that last part. It’s pretty damn heavy.

Hailing from Cleveland, the six members of Chimaira have built a solid fanbase over the past three years. Their hard work and dedication began to pay off after an appearance on got the ball rolling. Appearances on two compilation albums (ECW’s Anarchy Rocks and a Cure tribute titled Disintegrated) and intense touring got their name out to even more people. Like the mythological creature of the same name (but different spelling), Chimaira lies in the shadows, ready to take over the world.

Their debut album, Pass Out Of Existence, could help them do just that. Pass Out Of Existence contains 14 brutal tracks that I GUARANTEE will put Chimaira on the map. They are the best band of this genre I’ve heard to date.

What genre is that? That’s a question easier to ask than to answer. Rapid blasts of kick drums, futuristic sounding keyboards and an intense vocal presence will almost certainly draw comparisons to Fear Factory. That’s not a bad thing. Where Fear Factory’s songs are either extremely mechanical or extremely non-mechanical, Chimaira mixes the two approaches fluently in each song, presenting a driving yet emotional sonic attack to the listener. Pass Out Of Existence takes the genre further than Fear Factory has over their last five albums. The thought of what Chimaira will be doing five albums from now gives me goosebumps. The dual guitars and keyboards give Chimaira an extra “thickness” that other bands are often missing — and yet, the band is amazingly tight. The band remotely reminds me of early Machinehead and Vision of Disorder, with maybe even a touch of Sepultura, but make no mistake, Chimaira is not a direct copy of anything I’ve ever heard.

This disc contains no filler. Each song is as aggressive and brutal as the last. Although the band has obviously invested a lot of hours into developing it’s own “sound,” each song is unique. Mudrock (producer, Godsmack, Powerman 5000) has done a good job of focusing on the differences between the songs and bringing those slight differences out. While the songs are always changing things up, it’s still straight forward rock – no Meshuggah-like time changes here or anything. Good, good stuff. The only break you’ll get while listening to this album is by using your pause button — from beginning to end, this disc does not let up.

A few months ago I went to an Ill Nino/Factory 81 show, and walked away a Chimaira fan. Ill Nino, Factory 81 and 40 Below Summer all put on good sets that night, but Chimaira totally blew me away. It was very similar to the first time I stood in front of Slayer and watched them play live. Part of me wanted to mosh/jump/hop, but I was too afraid of missing even one drop of their performance. Their live performance sounded great, and the CD sounds even better.

I could spend hours coming up with witty metaphors and beating around the bush, but let me instead use the direct approach: Chimaira has managed to crank out the best album I’ve heard this year. Not since Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power have I actually planned on skipping work to go pick up a new album. Ten out of ten. Five stars out of five. Two thumbs up. What else can I say?

I’ve done my part. Chimaira has done theirs. Now it’s time for you to do yours. Check out their website, listen to the songs they have available online, and pick up your copy of Pass Out Of Existence on October 2nd. Beat the rush. Go early.

01. Let Go
02. Dead Inside
03. Severed
04. Lumps
05. Pass Out of Existence
06. Abeo
07. Sp Lit
08. Painting the White to Grey
09. Taste My
10. Rizzo
11. Sphere
12. Forced Life
13. Opinions
14. Jade

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