On Saturday I received the assignment: make your way down to the Odeon for a top-secret viewing of the new Chimaira DVD. I was excited to get this job for a number of reasons and it lived up to my expectations.
Unfortunately for reviewing purposes I did not see the full package that comes with the DVD including Chimaira’s first album and some other goodies. What I did see however was the full-length movie entitled The Dehumanizing Process while sandwiched between two of its stars. When it was all over I had to admit to myself that these guys just made one hell of a band documentary.
The first thing that confronts you is some of the most foreboding and beautiful footage of Cleveland that I have ever seen. Todd Bell, Garrett Zunt and the rest of the crew infuse a great texture to the film, it really looks great. The next thing that becomes clear to me is this: love ’em or hate ’em, Chimaira ain’t going anywhere.
This film (and it definitely deserves the term) plunges the viewer headfirst into the inner workings of this band. For those of you looking for a concert film with the obligatory backstage antics and boob shots turn back now. Those things are all here mind you but to get to them you must first live the last year and a half with the band as they struggle to continue as a unit while uncertainty about their future constantly keeps you company.
Through recording, rehearsing, touring, partying, playing and LIVING with these guys during this time in their career you get to know that they want this so bad its almost palpable. For those of you out there that wish to be in a band for a living please go see this. You will have a much greater appreciation for the dedication and perseverance it takes to make it in a band.
Watch as singer Mark “Metal Moses” Hunter , wracked by nerves, throws up in a backstage toilet before a show. Watch guitarist Rob Arnold’s concentration as he writes a solo in his bedroom. Watch bassist Jim “Meatball” Lamarca get pissed off recording bass lines. Watch Matt “MFA” DeVries intensity while he consumes a beverage that was mixed with someone’s dirty finger.
Watch as the band both implodes and explodes following the news that drummer Andy Herrick is leaving the band. Watch the aftermath as another drummer is brought in to learn the whole band catalog in twelve days and ultimately doesn’t work out. Watch as a third drummer in a year joins the chaos that is Chimaira.
This film takes you right to the heart and soul of this band, offering the public a real feel for the ups and downs of being in a band in general but also focusing on this bands particular struggles and triumphs that are usually seen only by the band and their innermost circle
This is hands down the most intimate band film I have ever seen. Chimaira are leading what some people are referring to as the new wave of American heavy metal. Well bottom line, if by the end of this film you aren’t rooting for these guys to become the next Slayer, than you and I didn’t watch the same film.