I moved away from traditional and power metal bands in about 2004 or 2005 when I moved to uni in Glasgow. I was a big Iced Earth, Iron Maiden and Metallica fan, Blind Guardian, Motorhead, Sabbath too. I didn’t quite get heavier stuff at that time, I was a late bloomer shall we say. Chimaira changed that. I’d heard some of their stuff before that, particularly ‘Power Trip’ and ‘SP Lit’ but never really went further with it. That changed when I heard opening track of their self titled record. Holy shit, ‘Nothing Remains’ destroyed my mind. This was the most brutal groove I’d ever come across that I had actually liked. It was a watershed moment for me. I suddenly found a new appreciation of metal, particularly since the New Wave of American Heavy Metal was truly taking hold at that point.
Suddenly, I had Lamb of God, Shadows Fall, Killswitch and Chimaira to get stuck into. But Chimaira’s self titled is still my favourite record from that time. As much as I’ve drifted away from then in more recent years towards darker and more extreme music, I still fucking adore the groove of that record. Be it the head cavingly heavy ‘Inside the Horror’, the powerful ‘Salvation’ or the epic ‘Lazarus’, ‘Chimaira’ should still be held high as a high moment in NWOAHM. It was insanely catchy, heavier than a planet, and filled with more grooves than Abdullah the Butcher’s head (obscure wrestling reference points!) I saw them on tour for this record, and they had the most insane pits I had ever experienced up to that point. Only Decapitated a few years later has ever beaten that.
I was only mildly disappointed to hear about Chimaira’s split recently, however after spinning this record again I must say I’m more upset now. It stands proud with ‘Alive or Still Breathing’, ‘The War Within’ and ‘Sacrament’ as a Big Four must have. All together now, ‘NOTHING REMAINS!!’