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Chimaira - Destroying Haarlem
This would be my first visit ever to this Haarlem-based venue, and it left a hell of a first impression. I had seen Chimaira four times already, but this would prove to be the best show yet.

Now I’ve had some interesting experiences with Hatesphere in the past already, but it is still a band that hits you like a brick wall when playing live. They proved to be quite nice people as well who didn’t care about the nasty review I wrote about their last album The Sickness Within at all. Now I don’t remember any songs, except for “The Fallen Shall Rise In A River Of Blood” from that particular album. The show was very tight and aggressive which made this a perfect opener for this evening’s headliner.

Dark Tranquillity on the other hand, isn’t such a band. For starters they play a genre (shall we say göthenburg metal or something?) that you must really be into, otherwise you’ll be bored as hell. Also they can’t manage to put up a decent live show that knocks you of your feet, which makes it even more irritable. To make things even worse, their vocalist (who I find to suck anyway) has no charismatic appearance whatsoever, an asset that I find quite important with bands lately. So, all in all they did play their set quite tight, but to say that they got the crowd pretty rowdy for the mayhem yet to come is a bit far-fetched.

Then it was time for the band we had all been waiting for, Chimaira. After a way too long intro we got our heads busted in with the track “Nothing Remains” of their latest, self titled album. Immediately my jaw dropped to the floor, the sound was excruciatingly well, and stayed so throughout the entire show. Their performance was smashing as well and vocalist Mark Hunter proved to be on the peak of his abilities.

More new songs were thrown at us, that proved to sound much better live than on album, but also some of the classics from the previous album like “Power Trip” and “Pure Hatred” were played. This time we were finally treated to some songs of the first album, namely “Let Go”, “Jade” and of course “Severed” which in the end where the drums get really weird featured a display of great expertise in death metal drumming by Kevin Talley. That motherfucker was tight as hell, contrary to his show at the Fields of Rock festival this summer. As the last tones to “Lazarus” slowly faded away I slowly started to realize that I had just seen one of the best shows of this year, and this evening had only just begun. But that’s a different story, coming soon… a night out with Chimaira