Ohio metal maulers, Chimaira assaulted the Upstate on Saturday, July 27 when they descended upon Spartanburg, S.C’s temple of the underground Ground Zero. Accompanied by Dark Sermon, Threat Signal, The Browning, and Spartanburg’s own Avast, the men of Chimaira were set to put on one hell of a show. It had already been previously announced via the Ground Zero (GZ) Facebook page that Chimaira would be doing an hour and a half set, and the club was alight with the anticipation of the masses ready to be brutalized.
While all the bands of the night were rife with energy and vigor, the MVPs were clearly The Browning and the men of the hour, Chimaira. The Browning brought their raw energy and electronicore A-game to the plate when they took the stage, owning it like it was theirs for the taking. This was this Examiner’s first time seeing these guys, but it will absolutely not be the last. Rocking the crowd into a stir pit frenzy, frontman Jonny McBee was like the conductor of a metal orchestra, egging on the rigor of the crowd and working the stage like professional hit man-blowing people away. Power-edged with heart and spunk, the band cascaded waves of incandescent excitement across the club while inciting a small scale riot. Their core electronic sound and brute force resonated across the building, drawing in bystanders still lingering just outside; it was infectious and undeniable. While usually a skeptic when it comes to the combination of electronica with metal, The Browning has joined a list of a select few bands that have managed to ease some of that leeriness. If you have similar suspicions when it comes to that potentially toxic combination definitely check these guys out and rest a little bit easier!
Chimaira couldn’t get on stage fast enough for the clamoring horde that awaited them, soaked in sweat and starved for the tunes they knew and anticipated. Unleashing an unadulterated aural assault, Chimaira released the beasts. The whole room ate it up like animals at a trough, inhaling the metal onslaught that was released upon them. It didn’t take long for the band to get GZ’s undivided attention and it became clear pretty quickly that they weren’t going to lose it any time soon. Mixing it up with old-school staples and upcoming Crown of Phantoms tunes, Chimaira delivered a performance that was both engaging and captivating. Vocalist Mark Hunter was like the host of a house party, engaging the crowd at every turn, never isolating the masses or distinguishing himself as better. He was that guy spiking the punch and handing out drinks, asking if you prefer vodka or tequila, rum or whiskey- sociable, approachable and gregarious. The rest of the men of Chimaira- Jeremy Creamer (bass), Austin D’amond (drums), Emil Werstler (guitar), Matt Szlachta (guitar), and Sean Z (keyboards/vocals)- joined Hunter in the festivities and shenanigans displaying the same kind of relatable approachability.
While the entire ninety minute set went by like a hurricane of pit stirring, head banging, body rocking madness and whirlwind. Even 93.3 The Planet “Planet X” host Diesel was seen mixing it up in the pit a few times, proving that even radio hosts can be hardcore. After much jubilation, tons of inspiration and buckets of perspiration Chimaira began to bring things to a close, playing their classic song “Resurrection” which elicited a club-wide sing/scream-a-long that seemed to unite the horde. Finishing up with “Severed” and “Thuglife,” these guys left the Sparkle City crowd exhausted, sore, sweaty, and insatiable. The band themselves happily drudged off stage breathless, soaked, and sporting unwavering smiles as they waved goodbye to all the old and new friends they’d just partied with. The party was over. The shots had been taken, the house was trashed, and it was time to pack it in and head home- a little drunker, a lot happier and willing to do it al over again at any time…
You can check more about all the bands via the links in this review, and be sure to pick up your copy of Chimaira’s Crown of Phantoms on July 30!