"Can't sleep with this frustration," Chimaira frontman Mark Hunter growls midway through his band's fourth LP, sounding like he hasn't had a good night's rest in about two years. And in a way, he hasn't. After touring for nearly twenty straight months following the release of 2003's The Impossibility of Reason, the Cleveland band went right into the studio, knocked out Chimaira, its latest disc, and hit the road again. Chimaira's rising status has heightened expectations -- not to mention the band's blood pressure. Hunter's pained bark has become more guttural and distinctive; he avoids cleanly sung notes as if each took a year off his life. New drummer Kevin Talley heightens the velocity with blast beats. And guitarist Rob Arnold makes his bid for the cover of Guitar Player with persistent shredding, highlighted by his knuckle-busting minute-long solos. The songs are longer these days -- just one of Chimaira's tracks clocks in at under five minutes -- and are equally impenetrable and anthemic. It should make Chimaira the belle of the Headbanger's Ball.
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