Chimaira - The Dehumanizing ProcessChimaira
‘A new legendary Metal band’ is the phrase that’s still in my mind. When last week Chimaira’s DVD was dropped into my mailbox I watched it immediately.
Chimaira can be described as a band that has built up a huge reputation in a few years. Kerry King even describes them to be the Slayer of this time. After selling 60.000 copies of their first full length ‘Pass Out Of Existence’ they got another chance from Roadrunner Records. The band knew that the album had to be huge, and it was time to let the people see how much energy this band had put into the new effort which is called ‘The Impossibility of Reason’. When they started working on ‘The Impossibility of Reason’ in 2002 the whole process started. When they released the album in May 2003, it marked both the end of a journey and the beginning of a new one. An impression of both journeys is what you get to see in the 90 minutes lasting documentary.
It all starts in the practise room where the rehearsals and writing process is up and running. Every member of the band, as it was at that time, gets his short introduction. It’s just a couple of days before they will enter the studio, not knowing what’s to happen in the next period of their lives.
After this introduction it’s time to hit the studio, the DVD shows us the recording sessions which take place with the drums, bass, guitar, samples and of course the vocals. During this process everybody gives their comments about the new album and the process of making it. A funny fact is that this album is recorded at the Spider Studios, a local studio that normally only does small local albums. This album was the studios first album to come out on a major label. Because all the band members were really unhappy with their last album ‘Pass Out Of Existence’ for them this was THE moment of truth. Now they had to make an album which would be printed in everybody’s minds as a legendary metal album.
After the recording process it’s time for the band to make a decision: which tracks will be on the new album and which won’t? Besides that, the band is busy with promotional tasks.
'The touring starts, first at a local Christmas show and shortly after that it’s time to hit Europe.
After their return the trouble starts: drummer Andols Herrick leaves the band. The band chooses Ricky Evensand to replace him and after a quick and stressful rehearsal process it is once again time to hit Europe. The tour turns out to be a huge success and ends in their hometown Cleveland (OH), where they support Slipknot (and a naked Corey Taylor in Red Hot Chili Peppers-style), playing one of their best shows ever.
However, once again the drummer leaves Chimaira two weeks before a tour begins. Due to personal reasons and visa problems Ricky leaves Chimaira immediately and moves back to Sweden. Chimaira now follows Kerry King’s advice to try out Kevin Talley to be their next drummer. That’s the current situation and the band is curious for the future.
Live Show – Roadrage 2003 – 013, Tilburg – The Netherlands
I was present at the Roadrage show in 2003 in Tilburg and, to be honest, the sound that night sucked big time. I couldn’t hear Mark singing and the drums were way too loud. I was looking forward to the production of this show on DVD and it sure surprised me. The sound is of extremely good quality. The video footage is not always as great as I had hoped but for a live show with (around) 5 camera’s it is sure a pleasure to watch. It is great to see a lot of friends in the crowd and the Wall of Death is taped like it should be taped.
Besides the live show (30 Minutes) and documentary (90 Minutes) there is much more material included on this DVD. All videos of the band are on it, including the modified video of ‘Down Again’ of which the set completely burned down in only 2 minutes (see documentary). These extras, along with the bonus EP and liner notes by Mark Hunter make the package complete.
This Present Darkness – EP Re-Release
Another great extra which is added to this DVD is the first EP of Chimaira called ‘This Present Darkness’, because it wasn’t for sale in the Netherlands before, I downloaded this one but never paid much attention to it. Right now I’m listening to this EP again and realize it is different, but was sure a good reason to sign a band like Chimaira. When you see the DVD and afterwards listen to it you still get a special feeling. One thing can be said: Chimaira has changed over the years, changed in a positive way. With ‘The Impossibility of Reason’ they created their own sound and show. Something that I miss on the EP.
This DVD is one of the best I have seen it its genre, combining a documentary and a live show. The package you get is worth the money you pay for it. A few minuses on our version of the DVD are the subtitles, which aren’t always correct, and the filming of the live performance which isn’t always done satisfactorily. But overall it is great to learn more about a band you love and having all their experiences shared with you. For me (and I think all Chimaira fans) a great DVD to enjoy.
Chimaira, Unearth, Throwdown, Daath - 'Our Hate Will Destroy You' Tour presented by Baroeg (Live Review)