CD Review: Coal Chamber “Rivals”

Coal 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

Blu-ray Review “One in the Chamber”

Directed by: William Kaufman
Starring: Dolph Lundgren, Cuba Jr. Gooding, Louis Mandylor
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Anchor Bay
Release Date: August 21, 2012
Running Time: 91 minutes

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1 out of 5 stars

I have to admit with “The Expendables 2” hit theaters this month, I have been on Dolph Lundgren overload. Actually more like 80/90’s action films. I figured throw in Cuba Jr. Gooding how bad can this be…well, I should have stopped at that comment. The film starts off with a powerful opening scene and then literally fails as each minute progresses. Dolph Lundgren still is so bad-ass and totally suave. But it doesn’t save this action-less action movie.

Cuba Gooding Jr. plays Ray Carver, an assassin whose latest assignment has more involved then he has expected. While in Prague trying to resolve a mob conflict, the main target manages to escape. That brings us to meet Soviet assassin, Aleksey Andreev (Dolph Lundgren), also known as The Wolf. The Wolf is sent to clean up Carvers mess, but Carver isn’t going to set another man finish his job. The two face off to see which guy will prove to be the ultimate assassin.

This film is releases as a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, so you have the option to watch this bad movie on either Blu-ray or standard DVD. Unlike the film, the Blu-ray does look decent with its 1.78.1 widescreen transfer. The picture is rather sharp and clean. The Dolby True HD 5.1 track is also solid, it would have worked better with the action if there was actually any in this film. The only extra included is a very short fifteen minute featurette “One In The Chamber: Behind The Scenes”. It is very messy and roughly throw together.


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