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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Coal Chamber Rivals – Review

Release Date: May 22nd 2015

Buy the album HERE

It has been 13 years since Coal Chamber released an album having disbanded in 2002 over in-house disputes. One of the leaders in the late 90's nu metal movement, the band were always a little different from the rest of the pack in that they focused more on the darker side of music rather than the traditional hip-hop beats that were prevelant in the nu-metal genre. It's because of that style difference that brought fans across many styles of metal together and made Coal Chamber a widely successful band. the band reformed only a few years ago and now they are back with a killer new album in "Rivals".


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The one thing that is evident more so on this album than previous albums is the groove aspect. Sure the groove aspect has always been a big part of their sound but this time around it seems like the beat is more solid and sure, more simplistic but it works perfectly for the songs. Opener "I.O.U. Nothing" seems like the perfect entrance to new Coal Chamber music and even an introduction to the fans who may have missed out on the band the first time around. The trademark sound is all there but looking at all the tracks, that sound is pretty prevelant anyway. "Bad Blood Between Us" which may reference the issues that caused the band to break up, starts with a slower tempo before the heavy riff kicks into a groove beat, it's easily one of the more headbanging worthy tracks on the album. "Light In The Shadows" is another great track with a fairly familiar Coal Chamber intro before heading into another nice beat. Vocalist Dez Fafara's singing is perfect with the drum beat in a tick-tock rhymey kinda way which he definitely excels at with both Coal Chamber and his other band Devildriver. Speaking of which, it is a little wierd to hear Dez singing with Coal Chamber again after now having gotten used to his voice with Devildriver after so many years. While his voice is fairly similar with each band, with Coal Chamber musically it's a different beast altogether.

"Suffer In Silence" is purely vintage Coal Chamber with all the trademarks in place and really is a great hook to drag all those fans who remember the band so well. 2 tracks sit on the album that are not really 'songs' per say but merely gateways to the next track - "Orion" and "Dumster Drive" both take the tone of the album to a darker point but to be honest, I think the rest of the album does this pretty well on it's own anyway. Sitting at only a minute or so long, they are probably tracks that most fans will probably skip after a few listens. But the rest of the songs not mentioned yet like "Another Nail In The Coffin" and the title track "Rivals" are more gold in an album that has much less filler stuff than any other Coal Chamber release to date. Does that make "Rivals" the greatest album by the band so far? I wouldn't jump the gun yet but on a few listens to these new songs, it's looking pretty good but only time will tell whether this will be considered up there with the best. But overall, if you are a Coal Chamber fan, you will most likely love this album.

I.O.U. Nothing
Bad Blood Between Us
Light In The Shadows
Suffer In Silence
The Bridges You Burn
Another Nail In The Coffin
Dumpster Drive
Over My Head
Fade Away (Karma Never Forgets)
Empty Handed

Buy the album HERE

Review by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie