Sound — 8
Anger was probably an essential emotion that drove the making of the latest Chimaira record, particularly considering this was the first release since being dropped from Roadrunner Records back in 2006. Resurrection has a lot going for it aside from the passion, with guitarist Rob Arnold supplying some incredible riffs along the way. While it never breaks that much new ground in the general metal scene, the band has still succeeded in adding in some unusual styles into their songs. The CD starts out with the perfect song in terms of re-introducing itself as a band post-Roadrunner. Resurrection is pretty straightforward in it's delivery, but it still features a cool song structure. The intro effectively builds in intensity, and later on brief, manic guitar solo sections from Arnold are thrown in at various times. Considering this album follows a fairly dark period of the band, the song does relay that the band has recovered musically unscathed. One of the most intriguing tracks on Resurrection is Six, which starts off with an almost mystical-sounding intro. You can hear hushed, enigmatic vocals in the beginning, with a touch of Middle-Eastern music backing it up. Several different turns are taken in the course of Six, but it continues to come back to a pure melodic line much of the time. It's cool to hear the band balance out the metal with something more stripped down, and if nothing else, it proves the band has a lot to offer under the distortion and double bass pedal. There are moments on the CD when the band does get stuck in the same place. Worthless is a bit monotonous at times and doesn't quite match up to the creativity heard in Resurrection and Six. That is, however, until you get to Arnold's solo, which is every bit as strong as his other work. This is the first album that Arnold didn't write most of the songs, but it's good to hear that his influence is still ever-present in the solo work. The gruff vocals will undoubtedly annoy some people, but vocalist Mark Hunter does experiment with some other vocal styles along the way. While some have said the new record is a completely different turn Chimaira, the band is still staying true to its sound and should please its dedicated fans.
Lyrics — 7
It's not always easy to make out all of the lyrics, which may be a problem for some listeners. But once you get past the inaudible aspect of the songs, there are some cool lyrics behind it all. The title song is undoubtedly influenced by the band's tough times, and you can hear the passion come through Hunter's vocals. He sings, Free at last; Finally tasting happiness; Five years of hell for nothing; Trapped inside minds of failures. The fact that Resurrection seems to be speaking to the Roadrunner label (Chimaira was at Roadrunner for 5 years) makes the song all the more biting. It's great to hear a band get that kind of aggression out after being dropped from a label. Quite a few songs deal with anger and frustration, which is probably understandable considering what the band went through before recording Resurrection. However, there are those who will undoubtedly find these themes a bit cliche (Black Heart, End It All).
Overall Impression — 8
For fans looking to get the most Chimaira music that they can, there are 2 versions of Resurrection out there for the taking. The regular CD will include 11 tracks, while the bonus edition will also include 2 bonus songs (Kingdom Of Heartache and Paralyzed), as well as a DVD showing the making of the album. We didn't receive the DVD version, but that is probably the one to go for, if only to get more insight into the mood that was present while making Resurrection. On the record the band is at its strongest with a song like Killing The Beast, which never needs to go insanely fast to make a chilling impression. It's kind of a creepy song -- in a good way. Songs like that give listeners the chance to see the band is not just rehashing roaring vocals and lightening-fast tempos song after song. The fact that the band is able to introduce interesting chord changes and even the Middle-Eastern musical touch really shows Chimaira is thinking outside the box. There are more than a few standout tracks on the record, and it's likely that Roadrunner might be reconsidering their decision to drop the band.