The Age of Hell (Deluxe Edition)

The Age of Hell (Deluxe Edition)

Chimaira’s sixth studio album almost didn’t happen. The Cleveland death-metal band nearly broke up in the two years between The Infection and The Age of Hell. But singer Mark Hunter and guitarists Matt DeVries and Rob Arnold forged ahead recruiting guitarist Emil Wrestler and keyboardist Sean Zatorsky from the band Daath as well as new drummer Austin D’Amond. The title-track opens ferociously, sounding like a muscled upgrade of the band as Hunter’s sinister vocals prowl and attack between winding guitars and an arsenal of detonating rhythms. “Year of the Snake” is similarly savage, including an Alice In Chains-inspired chorus that recalls moments from Chimaira’s preceding album. The frenzied performance of “Born In Blood” makes the tune a true standout, especially with guest screaming by Whitechapel’s Phil Bozeman and D’Amond’s drum work, which sounds steeped in Norwegian black metal. “Trigger Finger” is an equally strong number with chant-along vocals. Of the two bonus tracks, “Your Days Are Numbered” throws heavier punches as Hunter howls like a demon.

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