• Axl Rosenberg

FOR WHOM THE (TODD) BELL TOLLSChimaira vocalist Mark Hunter recently revealed that “Todd ‘dead-eye’ Bell has returned to do some more filming… for a dvd to come with the new record.” And while I’m sure I don’t have to tell Chimaira fans, I still want to tell everyone else: this is great fucking news.

If you’re not familiar with Bell’s preview Chimaira DVDs, you’re truly missing out. The first one he made, The Dehumanizing Process, followed the band from the creation of their breakthrough album, The Impossibility of Reason, all the way through the touring cycle for that record. It’s a very raw and honest-feeling document of a working class metal band, like the anti-Some Kind of Monster; in this day and age of spin spin spin, it’s pretty amazing to see Chimaira being so upfront with regards to their feelings on radio-friendly singles, butting heads with Roadrunner Records, the departure of drummer Andols Herrick and the problems with his replacement, Ricky Evansand (no “creative differences” here).

Bell’s follow-up was the “making of” DVD that accompanied the band’s most recent offering, Resurrection, and while it’s somewhat less detailed than Process, it is that movie’s de facto sequel. If it features less drama than Process, it never seems like it’s because Bell was censored so much as it seems like there was actually just less drama in Chimaira at the time; Herrick had returned, they were recording in sunny Florida instead of freezing ass Cleveland, they’re not all broke, and everyone seems more or less legitimately happy. Half the DVD seems to consist of band members playing pranks on one another (or, better yet, the viewer). Combined with Process, this DVD really makes you feel like you know this band, at least as much as anyone can know a band simply through a DVD. It does not, in other words, feel like a piece of propaganda (and if it is propaganda, it’s really well made).

Bell also made the documentary that accompanied the original Roadrunner United CD in 2005. It’s somewhat less intimate – again, no drama this time, for obvious reasons – but no less fun to watch than the Chimaira DVDs.

In short: I was hoping that Bell would be invited back to continue his ongoing visual biography of this band, and I’m elated that he has returned. Everything I hear about this album just makes me that much more excited for its release.

Here’s a clip from The Dehumanizing Process in which the band debates whether or not to include a radio-friendly song on The Impossibility of Reason:


Show Comments
Metal Sucks Greatest Hits