The Alternative-Metal combo Chimaira was formed in Cleveland, Ohio USA, back in 1998 by vocalist Mark Hunter and guitarist Jason Hager; the two were eventually joined by Rob Arnold on guitar, Rob Lesniack on bass and Andols Herrick on drums.
As a five-piece, the band released an indie EP titled "This Present
Darkness" in January 2000.
Superseding countless trials, the Chimaira's six-man line-up was finally completed through the addition of keyboardist + electronics manipulator Chris Spicuzza and new bass player Jim LaMarca in preparation for the recording of the first full-length album and their Roadrunner Records debut "Pass Out Of Existence"; the disc came out in February 2001, shortly thereafter Hager left the band to be closer to home and to raise his family, he was replaced by rhythm guitarist Matt DeVries. The group then toured with Metal heavyweights such as Soulfly and Spineshank.
Two years later the Cleveland rockers returned with "The Impossibility Of Reason" reaching #2 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers Albums chart.
When Chimaira commenced the writing process of their third, eponymously titled album, they were coming off a marathon, two-year road trek in support of their sophomore CD. They had toured as headliners, with Lamb Of God, as well as with Ozzfest 2003, Jagermeister Spring 2004, which featured Slipknot and Fear Factory and co-headlined the Summer 2004 Road Rage tour with Machine Head. The band played a spate of European festivals and clocked 330 shows in 21 countries. "Chimaira" was the first album since the departure of drummer Andols Herrick; this time, the drummer is Kevin Talley; it was also the first album by the band to chart in The Billboard Top 200 debuting at #74.
In 2005 Hunter and DeVries had also taken part in another musical project, Roadrunner Records 25th Anniversary CD entitled "Roadrunner United The All-Star Sessions"; also taking part in the recording of several songs was former drummer Andols Herrick. These recording sessions reignited Herrick's interest of being in a full-time band. Eventually, in early 2006, Herrick and the members of Chimaira conversed and Herrick was welcomed back into the band. Talley's split from the band was amicable, however Chimaira was released from their contract with Roadrunner and eventually signed with Ferret Records for U.S. distribution and also struck a deal with Nuclear Blast for international operations. The band's fourth LP, "Resurrection", was released in March 2007; it reached #42 on The Billboard 200 and hit #4 on the Top Independent Albums charts.
The sextet's next offering, "The Infection", arrived in spring 2009 going straight into the top 3 of the Independent Albums list and also debuted at #30 on the all-genre Billboard Top 200. It included two singles: "Secrets Of The Dead" and "Destroy And Dominate".
Before Chimaira started rehearsing for the new album, Spicuzza, LaMarca and Herrick left the band; frontman Mark Hunter took over keyboards and Rob Arnold switched to fill in double duties on both guitar and bass. When "The Age Of Hell" came out in August 2011, Chimaira was again a six-piece ensemble as the remaining members were joined by guitarist Emil Werstler, keyboardist Sean Z Zatorsky and drummer Austin D'amond; the disc, which contained the Metal radio single "Trigger Finger", failed to rise above the #54 position on The Billboard 200 and not long after, both Arnold and DeVries decided to part ways from the Ohio Metal band.
In July 2013 Chimaira put out its seventh studio album, "Crown Of Phantoms", which marks the recording debut of rhythm guitarist Matt Szlachta and bass player Jeremy Creamer.