The Infection

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Band Name Chimaira
Album Name The Infection
Type Album
Released date 24 April 2009
Music StyleMetalcore
Members owning this album258

Tracklist

Also available on a Digipack Edition, with a bonus DVD.
DISC
1. The Venom Inside
2. Frozen in Time
3. Coming Alive
4. Secrets of the Dead
5. The Disappearing Sun
6. Impending Doom
7. On Broken Glass
8. Destroy and Dominate
9. Try to Survive
10. The Heart of it All
Bonustrack (American Digipack)
11. Revenge
Bonustrack (European Digipack)
11. Warpath
DVD (DIGIPACK VERSION ONLY)
1. The Making of "The Infection"

Review @ LeviathanIsGodofMeta

30 May 2009
Chimaira is not a band that you'd think of as "old", but in fact they've been around for eleven years. So, after over a decade Chimaira bring us their fifth full length, The Infection. Chimaira started as a great underground band with their debut EP, This Present Darkness. Then they released Pass Out of Existance and nobody gave a s*it anymore. Okay, just kidding, but really, Pass Out was a huge step down from their exiting, fresh debut. After Pass Out, they released their breakthrough/comeback record (odd combination), The Impossibility of Reason. This featured a renewed focus on groove/thrash. Their self-titled album took Impossibility's sound, made it more epic, and refined it. Resurrection, their finest, picked and chose the best bits from each album and mashed them together to create the perfect Chimaira album. That's why The Infection is so strange.

The Infection abandons the thrash element on their sound almost entirely to focus on the groove. This means most songs are mid-tempo or slower save for one fast part on "The Venom Inside" and a few other exceptions. A recent review of the album I read said that it wasn't odd that Chimaira changed direction a bit for the new album, though it was odd in terms of the WAY they changed. I pretty much agree with this opinion. Look at Chimaira's past. They've never been afraid to experiment. They did the whole s*itty nu-metal thing on Pass Out of Existance, the chilling Alice In Chains-style breaks on The Impossibility of Reason, and the went for the out-of-this-world epic feel on the self-titled album. But they never completely abandoned the thrash element; it was integral to who they are.

But no longer. Chimaira successfully show us that they don't need the thrash element to bring on a great album. This time around, the groove is met with electronic and death metal influence. A weird mix? Groove, electronic, and death don't sound like they'd pair well. However, Chimaira is a talented band, and they manage to pull it off.

Kind of like their self-titled album, there aren't really any standout tracks, though my favorites are "The Venom Inside", "Frozen in Time", "Secrets of the Dead", and "The Disappearing Sun" (God, I love the devastating intro to this song). If you look at the track listing, you'll notice that these songs all come from the first half of the album. I don't know how this is possible, but even though there aren't any true standouts, the album does drag a bit towards the end. "Impending Doom" is like a failed experiment in doom/industrial metal. "On Broken Glass" is okay, but nothing special, and it certainly couldn't stand against anything on Resurrection. "Destroy and Dominate" fails to impress as well. "Try to Survive" is a synth enhanced track that works incredibly well, and the epic closing instrumental "The Heart of It All" is great, even better than Impossibility's "Implements of Destruction". I'd recommend buying the special edition as well: the DVD's fun and the bonus song, "Revenge" is one of the best on the disc; I have no idea why it didn't make the main record.

All in all, this is a great record. I'll certainly be listening to it again despite its flaws. I'd say besides Pass Out of Existance, the worst Chimaira album is either Impossibility or this. That's not to say they're bad, they just aren't as good as the self-titled album or Resurrection. Don't start with this if you are new to the band, as it will give you the wrong impression of Chimaira. This is a record made for fans of Chimaira, those dedicated die-hards that will stick with them no matter what kind of music they churn out. Though it's not what I personally wanted to hear from them (I'd rather have an album in the vein of Resurrection, only more refined), it's nice to see they're doing more than sticking to the status quo. A successful experiment.

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Comment @ Flynn

30 May 2009

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