Formed in 1998, the Cleveland, OH-based hardcore sextet Chimaira consists of singer/screamer Mark Hunter, guitarists Matt DeVries (who replaced Jason Hager in mid-2001) and Rob Arnold, bassist Jim LaMarca, drummer Andols Herrick, and electronic specialist Chris Spicuzza.
The band's mixture of hardcore, metal, and electronics proved to be a big hit back home, as they sold 10,000 copies of their independently issued debut EP, This Present Darkness, leading to an appearance on the now-defunct USA Network TV show Farmclub. The band opened for the likes of Soulfly, Hatebreed, Spineshank, and Snapcase and was eventually signed to Roadrunner Records, issuing their 14-track debut full-length, Pass Out of Existence, in August 2001. The Impossibility of Reason followed on Roadrunner in May 2003, and Chimaira supported the effort with extensive touring, including dates with In Flames and appearances at Ozzfest 2003. After the release of the DVD collection The Dehumanization Process and addition of new drummer Kevin Talley (ex-Misery Index) in 2004, the band unleashed their third album, Chimaira, in 2005. Though a strong record, internal problems and ones with their label threatened to tear the band apart in the months following its release. They soldiered through it all, however, and by fall 2006 Chimaira had moved on from Roadrunner, inked a new deal over at Ferret, and began work on new material. Earlier that year, the band also welcomed back original drummer Andols Herrick. More of a team writing effort than their last album, the resulting Resurrection appeared in early March 2007 courtesy of a rejuvenated band, and Chimaira supported its release on the road with Killswitch Engage and Dragonforce. In 2009, the band released their fifth album, The Infection. The album did well, hitting number 30 on the Billboard chart, but the news was quickly dampened the following year when bassist Jim LaMarca announced he was retiring from the band to settle down and focus on his family. The band recruited Dååth's Emil Werstler, who had previously worked with the band as a touring guitarist, to fill LaMarca's shoes in 2011. There were more lineup changes that year with Spicuzza and Herrick leaving the band, with Sean Zatorsky and Austin D'Amond replacing them. Despite this whirlwind of changes, Chimaira managed to release their album, Age of Hell, in 2011. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi