CD Review: Coal Chamber “Rivals”

coal-chamber-rivalsCoal Chamber
Napalm Records
Producer: Mark Lewis
Tracks: 13

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

The newly reformed Coal Chamber is back with their first new full length album since 2003’s “Dark Days”. The new album simply titled “Rivals” features the lineup of Dez Fafara, Miguel Rascon, Mike Cox and Nadja Peulen doing what they do best by laying do simplistic, groove oriented metal that permeates down to your inner core.

To some “Rivals” at first listen might sound like a throwback to the bands early 2000 heyday however if you dig a little deeper you will experience a more seasoned Coal Chamber. As to be expected the groups ten plus years apart certainly shows on the new album as each of the 13 tracks exudes a level of maturity that seemed to be missing from the groups previous efforts. The albums opening track “I.O.U. Nothing” instantly sets the stage with its sheer aggression and power while tracks like “Bad Blood Between Us” and “Over My Head” focus on a straight forward groove which almost instantly causes you to bob your head along to the drum beat while tracks like “Orion” and “Dumpster Dive” feature eerie, droning textures over which act like segues between the albums various pieces.

Long time Coal Chambers fans who have been wishing for the release of new material prayers have been answered as “Rivals” will certainly meet their expectations. If you are just now interested in checking out the band then I recommend going back to their earlier albums prior to checking out this latest one as you I feel you need have to have a prior appreciation of the group to fully accept “Rivals”.

Track Listing:
1.) I.OU. Nothing
2.) Bad Blood Between Us
3.) Light in the Shadows
4.) Suffer in Silence
5.) The Bridges You Burn
6.) Orion
7.) Another Nail in the Coffin
8.) Rivals
9.) Wait
10.) Dumpster Dive
11.) Over My Head
12.) Fade Away (Karma Never Forgets)
13.) Empty Handed

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