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chimairadvdCleveland’s CHIMAIRA have come a long way since first hitting the national radar through an appearance on the short-lived USA series FARMCLUB.com in 1999. Like many of their peers that appeared on the program (Kittie, Powerman 5000, etc.), the band has had it’s share of ups-and-downs with label switches, rotating lineups, and  the rough waters of  an increasingly difficult musical climate. In the decade that has passed, Chimaira have persevered, amassing an increasingly loyal fanbase – quite evident with their annual series of hometown Christmas shows.
With the release of COMING ALIVE, a new triple disc set (2 DVD/1 CD) out now on Ferret Music, the band presents it’s fans with the ultimate live package, capturing the Chimaira experience on stage and off.

The set is MASSIVE, with the “Coming Alive” documentary clocking in at nearly three hours in length. Directed by Todd Bell (who also helmed the video for “Resurrection”), the doc follows the band throughout the album cycle for THE INFECTION in four parts: The Infection, Dubai, Music As A Weapon, and Europe. Aside from the comedic opening (a faux trailer for THE CONSTRUCTION WORKER 3: BLOOD BROTHERS), the film is beautifully shot, comprehensive, and engaging in a way that looks both expensive, and like a film about a much “bigger” band. Those already invested in Chimaira will appreciate the depth in which the film covers the band, while viewers unfamiliar with the band (or even non-fans) will likely find themselves intrigued and immersed as well – although making it through the doc in one sitting is easier said than done. From their snow-covered home in Ohio to rocking out and riding sand dunes in the U.A.E., to opening for Disturbed and trekking across Europe, the whole experience is covered. You’re right there with the band and crew as they gamble on first-week sales for THE INFECTION and  hit Best Buy and Target in search of their album upon release date. 

The live DVD, filmed December 30, 2009 (the audio is featured on the accompanying CD) captures the band at their 10th Annual Christmas show, and feels almost like a bonus feature after watching the documentary. And there are bonus features…

There’s only so much praise you can pour on a release like this without getting to straight to the point: Buy this one. At $20 bucks, the first disc alone is worth the price of admission. I sat down to start writing this review on Tuesday, and it’s now Wednesday. Now that’s value!

Rating: 5/5

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