JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

August 1, 2013
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Mike DiQuinzio
Photos by Mike DiQuinzio

Chimaira - Chimaira, The Browning

Chimaira Unleash Pure Hatred On Dallas

By the looks of the crowd - or lack thereof - at Trees on August 1, you'd be forgiven if you thought Chimaira had cancelled their set. You'd also be forgiven for thinking that their opening bands sent whatever crowd there was running for the smoking patio. Kansas City's appropriately-named support act The Browning was playing as I entered the legendary Dallas venue and they were the metal version of why pop music sucks today.

At first listen, The Browning seemed to have some pretty interesting playing going on. However, when I looked at the stage and paid attention to what was going on, I realized that the most interesting playing was supplied by a pre-recorded track. Using samples as part of your sound is fine, but it's time to reevaluate your career path when the best musician in your band is your laptop. This is as evil as auto-tuning to me. Simply put, if you can't play... don't.

However, when Chimaira hit the stage with "The Flame", it was with all the power and heaviness that earned them their reputation as one of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal's most promising bands over a decade ago.

Chimaira's future seemed uncertain after recent lineup changes left singer Mark Hunter as the sole original member, but their machine gun-tight performance benefitted greatly from the crystal-clear sound system at Trees and left no doubt that this band isn't going down without a fight.

Speaking of fighting, their selections from 2003's excellent The Impossibility of Reason, inspired a reaction that looked like a small prison riot. "The Dehumanizing Process", "Power Trip", and the adrenaline rush of the "I HATE EVERYONE" chorus of "Pure Hatred" served as the soundtrack to the most violent mosh pit of the entire evening with the small crowd making full use of the ample space available.

Chimaira's new material from the just-released Crown of Phantoms went over just as well as the classics, particularly "All That's Left Is Blood", a song that is destined to remain in their live set for many years to come. This was followed by "The Venom Inside" and "Secrets of the Dead" from 2009's The Infection and "Everything You Love", the night's only song from 2005's underrated self-titled album. Chimaira then returned to The Infection for crowd favorite "Destroy and Dominate" before closing their brutal set with 2007's "Resurrection" and the only selection from their 2001 debut, "Severed".

Although Chimaira's set completely pulverized all in attendance, I was left wanting more from their debut and self-titled albums. Minor requests aside, this was an excellent show by a well-respected metal band that deserves the same success that their peers have achieved. Hopefully they will secure slots on larger tours as they have in the past to show that Chimaira is still here and they hate everyone.