Crown of Phantoms
Napalm Records
Street: 07.30
Chimaira = DevilDriver + Lamb of God

I just can’t get behind this album as much as I’d like to. I’ve been a fan of these dudes for years, and it’s not that the album is poorly played or written—it’s just not as dynamic as I’ve heard them prove to be in years past. Chalk it up to an almost complete lineup change. I think it’s going to take a bit more time for this new Chimaira to really sink into their roles and bring the pain. “The Transmigration” was the most interesting track, and it’s a soft melodic interlude, so not the best of signs for what’s supposed to be a heavy-hitting album from one of the granddaddies of New American Metal. It’s not a bad album—it’s groovy and punchy as all get-out, and even though the songs tend to blend together, there are some stand out riffs and sections. But I think the real potential magic of this ensemble is still waiting to be unlocked. –Megan Kennedy