01. Cleansation 02. The Impossibility Of Reason 03. Pictures In The Gold Room 04. Power Trip 05. Down Again 06. Pure Hatred 07. The Dehumanizing Process 08. Crawl 09. Stigmurder 10. Eyes Of A Criminal 11. Overlooked 12. Implements Of Destruction2003 Roadrunner Records
When the contrived subgenre known as nu-metal died, it brought with it Chimaira, ironically the same band that it gave birth to years ago. Their debut EP "This Present Darkness," released in 2000 and hot on the heels of Slipknot’s near overnight platinum success story, was anything but original and the same could be said about their quick follow-up and Roadrunner Records debut, "Pass Out Of Existence" which was an album too short on creativity and generally too long of an album, considering its lack of fresh ideas. It is then not only bizarre that the band chose to pull out their guitars for the first time on "The Impossibility of Reason" just as traditional metal has been regaining popularity, but also hard to ignore, since this is one of the most unrelenting metal albums to have been released in years, no matter what their motivation was for making such drastic changes to their sound. Nothing but remorseless viciousness is delivered on this album, which should be considered Chimaira’s proper debut as a heavy metal band. Their previous trepidation towards letting their talent speak for itself has all but disappeared, revealing the true machine-like abilities of drummer Andols Herrick, whose performance is one of the album’s highlights, along with the defining accomplishment of Mark Hunter’s young career as a metal vocalist. Though aided by the profusion of overdubbing, the voice is entirely Hunters’. His hellish screaming, the predominant style used throughout the album, save for some fleeting moments of singing, has improved tenfold in energy. When Hunter opted to experiment tastefully, Alice In Chains’ Layne Stayley must have served as an extremely close point of reference on the tracks "Pictures In The Gold Room, Down Again and Crawl," on which a Stayley guest appearance would have been conceivable. Chimaira has finally stepped out of Slipknot’s once ever-looming musical shadow, possibly setting the stage for an unexpected international metal success story not unlike that experienced by the latter after releasing their debut album in 1999. With the anthemic choruses of Pure Hatred and Power Trip, the Slipknot element remains only in spirit rather than being a direct musical source. With the magnificent guitar riffage put forth by Rob Arnold on lead (who newly executes impressive solos on the album) and former Ringwormguitarist Matt DeVries on rhythm, "The Impossibility of Reason" exhibits a clear-cut musical onslaught of such excellence that it raises up Chimaira sturdily alongside veteran metal bands whose legacies are founded on godlike guitar performances; it has now become clear why Slayer axeman Kerry King praised Chimaira profusely during their joint tour in 2001, much to the confusion and disgust of the ever-judgmental thrash metal faithful who loathed Chimaira at the time due to their apparent nu-metal association and overtones. Most noticeably, Chimaira has drastically reduced the prominence of electronics although the man who occupies this position, Chris Spicuzza, remains in the fold. Moving away from the futurisms that plagued and pigeonholed their previous releases, "The Impossibility of Reason" is a double-bass driven heavy metal album that producer and subsequently Switched frontman Ben Schigel lets speak for itself. The type of production treatment used to represent a band in its finest form can ultimately make or break the potency of the delivery of a band’s musical and ideological intent. It is evident that Schigel took an unreserved approach to this record, leaving Mudrock’s job on their last album in the dust to say the least and securing "The Impossibility of Reason" as one of the most brutal and precise albums of the year. Bottom Line: Labeled and disrespected for years, Chimaira have finally made the album to silence all naysayers. "The Impossibility of Reason" is not an album that has its moments; it is the moment, coming to a giant climax with the nearly fourteen-minute long instrumental metal epic at the album’s end. Both brief and extended guitar solos are found on select songs, which clearly shows the band coming out of its nu-metal hibernation once and for all.