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The Impossibility of Reason (Special Edition)

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Album Review

The Impossibility of Reason is the debut Roadrunner full-length for Chimaira, a Cleveland sextet that likes to think of itself as advance scouts of the NWOAHM, or New Wave of American Heavy Metal, a metal movement to rival the British heavy metal onslaught that conquered the world in the 1980s. And while almost two decades of metal music have made a fully original sound almost impossible, Chimaira comes out of the gate with enough key of C attitude to turn heads and get them banging. Metalcore is the name of the game here, as vocalist Mark Hunter channels the anguish and anger of hardcore's solitary vocalists over the two-headed muted riffing of guitarists Matt DeVries and Rob Arnold and Andols Herrick's stuttering, impossibly fast double bass clapping. While the presence of electronics and programming man Chris Spicuzza nods to modernity, contrived rock rapping and the pomposity of nu-metal have been mercifully removed from the equation. In this sense, Chimaira really is carrying forth with a revolution of sorts. Plus, they've grown long hair and mustaches, which is more genuine even than a set of Venom cover songs. At its best moments (the extended outro to "Eyes of a Criminal," the self-explanatory screed "Pure Hatred"), Impossibility recalls the furious intensity of Slayer. And when the band twists itself into a particularly adept hardcore hit squad for workouts like "Overlooked," it can really get the hair flying. "Cleansation," too, is a brain-warping excursion into classic-minded thrash, complete with right-angle stops and starts. If there's a fault with all of this sword-swallowing sonic fury, it's that Chimaira seems to only have one gear. The Impossibility of Reason starts to sound uninspired whenever it lingers on Alice in Chains-style vocal histrionics and (slightly) less hard guitars. But even this slight misstep is better than the vacuous posturing of countless other metal also-rans that have clogged the loud rock ranks in the last few years. The 16-plus minute epic that Chimaira closes The Impossibility of Reason with is just a little too ambitious. But the fact that it's on the album at all rings with genius in the halls of metal's fathers.


Formed: 1998 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Formed in 1998, the Cleveland, Ohio-based hardcore sextet Chimaira consists of singer/screamer Mark Hunter, guitarists Matt DeVries (who replaced Jason Hager in mid-2001) and Rob Arnold, bassist Jim LaMarca, drummer Andols Herrick, and electronic specialist Chris Spicuzza. The band's mixture of hardcore, metal, and electronics proved to be a big hit back home, as they sold 10,000 copies of their independently issued debut EP, This Present Darkness, leading to an appearance on the now-defunct USA...
Full bio
The Impossibility of Reason (Special Edition), Chimaira
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  • £14.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal, Hard Rock, Alternative, Punk
  • Released: 05 May 2003

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