Cleveland’s Chimaira heads home for Coming Alive, a three-disc set that features two DVDs and a CD. For the purposes of this review, I was given the CD. The two DVDs feature a documentary on the process behind Infection and the full concert of the Chimaira Christmas 10 show in the band’s hometown.
Priced reasonably just about anywhere I’ve seen it listed, I can think of no reason not to purchase this set.
The CD is essentially the audio version of the second DVD, meaning it’s the Chimaira Christmas 10 show from December 30, 2009. The band is electric, greeting the Cleveland faithful with a furious blend of aggression and surprising beauty.
Chimaira has been crushing heads with its brand of metal since 1998. While I wouldn’t consider myself too familiar with the group’s work, I found myself unable to turn down the pounding hostility from the CD of Coming Alive.
The band’s interaction with the crowd is frequent and meaningful, offering hints of the real connection between Chimaira and their local fans. The fact that such a connection transfers through the mere audio of the release is a testament to the group’s dedication to delivering the goods. They are frequently grateful, entirely honest and always belligerent.
Coming Alive’s CD begins with “The Venom Inside,” a cut from Infection. The crowd chants the band’s name as guitar sweeps into focus and the song’s build appears to blossom with the sheer energy of the fans. When the first power crowd strikes, the atmosphere is clearly electric. Guitarists Rob Arnold and Matt DeVries blend with looming guitar as vocalist Mark Hunter growls with throat-shredding force. It’s one hell of a way to open a live disc.
Chimaira never lets up, either. They smash and crash through 16 tracks (the DVD version of the concert adds a 17th track with “Implements of Destruction”) and give the crowd exactly what they want.
The nine-and-a-half-minute “Six,” taken from 2007’s Resurrection, is one of my favorites. Electronics whiz Chris Spicuzza provides atmosphere as Hunter blends screams with melodic shouts. The punishing musical assault is ferocious and the pit must have been a madhouse of flailing limbs and broken noses. Fucking awesome.
Other tracks on the disc include “Nothing Remains,” “The Flame,” “Empire,” and the closer “Pure Hatred.”
So while I unfortunately cannot gauge the entirety of Coming Alive as a package, I can highly recommend the CD. You can purchase MP3 downloads from it on Amazon for a taste of the action, but this release has me convinced that it’s a must-have for Chimaira fans. The band’s performance is extreme and exact, with searing solos and hard-line vocals coursing through like a river of blood and body parts.