CD Review

Chimera – “LIeFE”

By Marcus Pan

LIeFEMelding the words "lie" and "life" together to form the name of their second demo release, LIeFE, Chimera is a black metal band that hail from Italy. Combining elements of electronic soundscape with very fast thrash and black/death metal guitars, the mix is an interesting concept even if it is extremely difficult for many sensible palates to taste.

Five tracks here, four of which are new and the last being an instrumental from their previous release, Chimera's work is decent and extremely loud and brash. The extremely heavy guitars scrape against the electronic backdrop creating an at once soothing yet terrifying effect.

I'm not a big death/black metal fan. I like to know, in most instances, what's being said. And while a lyrical listing is provided with the low budget jacket (low budget yes – but rather well made) it doesn't help much to apply against the screaming of the duo's (Vishtasb & Andrea D.) vocals. Of the four new songs, three are in all english. Dell'io e la Percezione Dio opens and closes in Italian, though it really doesn't matter to black metal enthusiasts who can rarely understand what their favorite bands are saying anyway. The English portion is actually understandable for a while, but this particular song goes off into time signature changes that instead wreck the solidity of the music and in this particular instance the thrash and electro combination can be a bit trite.

Still Unrestful Self Expanding Ego suffers in translation as the Itailians get a little broken English going (much like their press kit). Lines like "needs of a while consuming fast" or the closing "venture through the blackest hole of mind" can't help but steal from the song as a whole. This song does attempt to slow down the thrash at times and even the screaming nature of previous vocals showing that there is a real voice hidden in Chimera. But the duo find it difficult to hold together a song that switches between two very radical styles – the almost goth-electronic breakdowns surrounded by thrash. More practice might be necessary to keep things going without losing its way musically. It manages to catch up to itself near the end and close well, even if "the blackest hole of mind" makes me want to giggle.

And they can hold things together in the electronic and not-as heavy style. When Mankind Abandoned Earth for Cosmos, the closing instrumental of the album, is actually a very surprising way to end LIeFE and does so very nicely. Almost classical in its sensibilities, Cosmos combines a very well played guitar that almost trances away into the sky while the electronic arrangements form a gorgeous backdrop of clouds and the percussion acts as the wind setting the speed and tone of the compilation.

Like I said, I'm not a big black metal fan. But I've heard my share and can say that Chimera have a great example of taking it to the next level. The electronics and guitars are usually complementary and can sometimes even take it to a black metal version of the heavy metal dirge (a'la Iron Maiden or Pink Floyd).

Contact Information:
Post: C/O Benetello, VLA Gualchiere, 6, 351ae Dadova, Italy