Chimaira is an American groove metal band from Cleveland, Ohio. Formed in 1998, the band is influenced by various other sub-genres of metal, and is important in the new wave scene of American heavy metal. The name of the group refers to the chimera (Chimera in English), an animal of Greek mythology composed of various animal parts. The group separates in 2014.
Singer Mark Hunter and guitarist Jason Hager decided in 1998 to create the group Chimaira after leaving their former group, Skipline. They then recruit drummer Jason Genaro - Hager's friend - and Andrew Ermlick on bass. After some inconclusive tests, Mark decides to engage Rob Arnold (ex-Sanctum) as second guitarist. From the end of 1998 and the beginning of 1999, Chimaira recorded several demos. On the advice of Rob Arnold, the group returns Jason Genaro and recruits Andols Herrick (who also played at Sanctum) in the place. Andrew Ermlick, wanting to continue his studies, leaves Chimaira and is replaced by Rob Lesniack on bass. Chimaira then recorded a demo of three names, This Present Darkness , Empty and Refuse to See , which allows them to sign a contract with the East Coast Empire Records record label.
In November 1999, Chimaira published its first EP, "This Present Darkness" , which has been a huge success locally. A week after the release of the disc, Chimaira recruits Chris Spicuzza samples. During the year 2000, Rob Lesniack is sent back to be replaced by Jim LaMarca (friend of Mark) and two demos are recorded. One of them attracts Kevin Estrada, who brings the band closer to Roadrunner Records. But Chimaira continues to shoot, in total 22 dates between the beginning of March and July 2, 2000, and it is during one of these concerts (in New York, for Roadrunner and Farmclub) that they get noticed by Roadrunner Records, and get a contract for the next album>.
Chimaira publishes Pass Out of Existence , first studio album, in 2001. Learning that his wife is pregnant, Jason Hager leaves the group just after the recording from "Pass Out of Existence" and is replaced by his best friend, Matt DeVries. The album is a worldwide success thanks to major tours alongside Soulfly, Fear Factory or Machine Head in particular.