Very few bands have dealt with half of their lineup leaving in the space of a few months. One member leaving is difficult, but manageable. Dealing with two departures is considerably harder, and most bands would need considerable help from friends and a lot of good luck to come back from that. To recover from three members leaving, though, is nearly unheard of. Doing so would require the utmost dedication, perseverance, and good fortune possible.
Chimaira lost longtime bassist Jim LaMarca last December to retirement, while both keyboardist/programmer Chris Spicuzza and drummer Andols Herrick split with the group due to creative differences. With the loss of three members, it seemed like Chimaira was in dire circumstances. But just days after confirmation of Herrick’s departure, the band revealed their new lineup to the world and also clarified that their new album was already in progress. Now that new album is finally ready to be unleashed!
Chimaira, The Age of Hell (eOne)
This album has many firsts for Chimaira, the foremost of which is the new lineup. Joining the band to replace the departing members are Dååth guitarist Emil Werstler on bass, Dååth vocalist Sean Zatorsky on keyboards and backing vocals, and drummer Austin D’Amond from Bleed the Sky. The band’s label is also new, having signed a contract with eOne back in January. The only question left now is what guitarists Rob Arnold and Matt DeVries will do about their commitments with Six Feet Under, as both of them joined the death metal group earlier this year. It seems obvious, though, that both of them will stay loyal to the group that they’ve helped make into one of the biggest names in metal.
Revocation, Chaos of Forms (Relapse)
Since their Relapse debut Existence is Futile came out two years ago (and even before it officially was released), many sites have debated whether Revocation is the next great metal band. The group certainly has the accolades to go along with such a distinction, having earned praise from reviewers, publications, and fans all over the place. The Boston-based group plays their difficult style of thrash and technical death metal with seeming ease, and they’ve paid their dues via touring with a plethora of the biggest bands in metal. Due to how well Existence is Futile lived up to and exceeded the hype surrounding it, it’s only natural that the hype about Chaos of Forms is even greater. With any luck, Revocation can once again beat expectations and set a pattern for themselves of doing that with each release.
Today is the Day, Pain is a Warning (Black Market Activities)
The seminal grindcore/noise rock group is on their ninth full-length album, and even after nearly twenty years of existence, the band still causes just as much mayhem and destruction as they did in their early days. Oddly, Pain is a Warning is not being released on vocalist Steve Austin’s label, SuperNova Records, unlike its predecessor, Axis of Eden. This is the first release for the band on Black Market Activities, and the presence of Today is the Day on the label’s roster adds some much-needed veteran depth to the roster. An interesting bit of trivia about the band is that their lineup once included Mastodon members Bill Kelliher and Brann Dailor.
Eyes Set to Kill, The Best of ESTK (BreakSilence)
Yes, I know, we had a new release from Eyes Set to Kill just last week. So this may seem a bit strange. Call it what it is, though – BreakSilence Records has timed this release so that any new fans of Eyes Set to Kill that bought White Lotus will, in turn, pick up this collection as a way to familiarize themselves with the band’s older work cheaper and quicker than it would be to buy all three albums from ESTK. Admittedly, though, this collection is pretty solid, as it contains all the singles and fan favorites from Reach, The World Outside, and Broken Frames. On top of that, it also has three highly popular acoustic tracks, giving additional appeal to fans of Lexia, the side project of singer Alexia Rodriguez that features ESTK acoustic tracks as a big part of her repertoire.
Also being released this week:
YOB, Atma (Profound Lore)
Attila, Outlawed (Razor & Tie)
White Arms of Athena, Astrodrama (Prosthetic)
Impiety, Skullfucking Armageddon (Agonia)
Creations, The Gospel (Mediaskare)
Looking for an Answer, Eterno Treblinka (Relapse)
All Pigs Must Die, God is War (Southern Lord)
Hibria, Blind Ride (Cleopatra)
The Cleansing, Feeding the Inevitable (Deepsend)
Totimoshi, Avenger (At a Loss)
Konsortium, Konsortium (Agonia)
Design the Skyline, Nevaeh (Victory)
Voices of Extreme, Break the Silence (Metalville)
Next Week: A few solo projects take over the limelight, along with some less-heralded bands in their respective genres. It promises to be a very interesting release calendar next week, so get back here and be ready for the fun!