After the Soundgarden concert, I hurried my rump up to Diamond Pub and Billiards to see a heavy metal band that I like, Chimaira! I got there kinda late, but in time to see South Central Kentucky’s Granshaw let loose for a few songs. At first, when walking up to the gig I heard the music and thought Granshaw was Chimaira! But it was our Kentucky boys in action. A good band, and I am happy to report that I have made a mistake by saying the vocals of Bo White weren’t very good when I reviewed their demo some time back. The truth is, this is a band that shines live in action. The demo did not do Bo White justice. White was ripping it up and was killing on some vocals! So yeah, I was wrong. It happens. But at least I admit it! I talked to Bo (nice guy) after their set, and he said that they had reduced the lineup to only one guitar, but I said that was fine because guitarist Corey Arnold was rockin’. He has nice guitar tone, and his rig was crushing. All those guys were rocking, for real. The bass, the drums, I was digging it! So much, in fact, that I booked them for July 5 at Phoenix Hill showcase. Don’t miss these Central Kentucky metalheads in action.
Cleveland’s Chimaira came up next and I was tired but still wanted to see them yet once again (I’ve seen them at least four or five times). This is another band that I do not know the names of their songs, so work with me here on this.
I like this band because they are heavy as hell but still maintain massive amounts of groove and feeling. They have beats you can actually get into, stuff that isn’t too heavy for the mainstream heavy metal fan. They stay right on the cusp of going too far, like some of the darker more brutal metal bands do.
The vocals of Mark Hunter are awesome. Dude has range, power and can sing when needed. He seems like a good dude too, as he always makes a connection with the fans whenever they play.
I noticed with great sadness that guitarists Rob Arnold and Matt DeVries were no longer with the band. (It had been a few years since I had seen them play.) That is a huge loss, as Arnold was a guitar monster! Rhythm guitarist Matt DeVries (now playing bass with Fear Factory) had been replaced because he had to be there for his girlfriend who had just given birth to their first child. Matt DeVries was no pushover on guitar, either. Together Arnold and DeVries were a lethal combo that was hard to beat. Many fans did not like this turn of events, even saying it would be the death of Chimaira. The new guitarists Emil Werstler and Matt Szlachta are awesome, don’t get me wrong, but they aren’t as good as the DeVries and Arnold juggernaut that I had come to know and love as Chimaira. The new guys aren’t bad at all though, and the Chimaira guitar sound was still there, still powerful, still rockin’. New bassist Jeremy Creamer was all over the place with great stage presence and killer bass sound. Sean Zatorsky’s keyboards were good, and he looked like a Norwegian black metal keyboardist as he threw his hair back, headbanging during the songs. The band played “The Flame,” “Year Of The Snake,” “Severed,” “The Venom Inside,” “Pure Hatred,” “Power Trip,” “Nothing Remains,” “The Dehumanizing Process” and, for the last song,” the crushing “Resurrection.” The band still sounded good, but it wasn’t quite the same without Arnold and DeVries. I still give all credit to these guys for hanging in there and moving on the best they could. The new guys are pretty good musicians and I wish them the best with re-creating Chimaira and finding success in the future. I had fun at the show. There weren’t as many people there as I had hoped, maybe a hundred, but the ones that were there made up for it. They were totally into the music. It was cool to see the metalheads soooo into the music. No one gets into music more than metalheads. Thanks to Diamond Pub and Terry Harper for the kindness to us here at LMN.
We were starving towards the end of the show, and we saw that Diamond Pub serves food, so after my bro Jared recommended the Cajun chicken sandwich, we ended up eating there and OMG, they had one of the best chicken sandwiches I’ve ever had. Their homemade chips are the bomb, too. Where can you watch some badass metal bands AND get a delicious meal at the same time?
You can at Diamond Pub and Billiards! Amen!