Album Review: Coal Chamber – Rivals

585_CoalChamberAlbum:  Rivals

Release Date:  19 May 2015

Label:  Napalm

Songs:  13

Length:  42 Minutes

Genre:  Nu Metal

Previous Studio Albums:  Coal Chamber (1997); Chamber Music (1999); Dark Days (2002)

Location:  California, U.S.

I never thought I would see another reboot of Coal Chamber in any way, shape, or form especially after the way things fell apart over a decade ago.  But, as quickly as Dez’s DevilDriver crumbled and went on hiatus, Coal Chamber resurfaced, got most of the original (or long-time) band members together, and have a new album out now.  Dez surely didn’t waste much time.  Those Coal Chamber reunion shows in Australia obviously sparked something.  Anyway, Rivals is Coal Chamber’s 4th studio album and surprisingly picks things up where they left off.  I say surprisingly because this album sounds like Coal Chamber never broke up at all. 

Groove is the key here. Rivals is catchy.  It starts off with a rhythmic hook in I.O.U Nothing.  It sets up the album pretty well as most of the songs follow suit with a certain Nu Metal simplicity about them.  For those that remember Coal Chamber, they tend to create catchy hook or a vibe and ride that wave until the song is over.  Rivals is no different except that it is new and perhaps a bit more mature and less erratic than some of the songs on their first couple of albums.  Every now and then, there is a glimmer of something that makes a song stand out a bit such as the guitar intro to Bad Blood Between Us, but it is far and few between.  I wish Nu Metal bands utilized individual’s talents a bit more, but then if they did I guess it wouldn’t be Nu Metal.

If you are a fan of the genre or a fan of Coal Chamber, you must know you are getting exactly what you might think…a straight up Coal Chamber album.  While you will not find complicated rhythms, blast beats, lengthy guitar solos, or lengthy instrumental sections (except the slightly over 1 minute Dumpster Dive that stands out like an odd second cousin), you will be beat down with groovy hooks and little things that make your head bob and weave a little bit.  In the end, it’s a solid Coal Chamber album.  Whether or not you like it will have something to do with whether or not you like Nu Metal or liked Coal Chamber back in the 90s.

3.5 Out of 5 

About Reggie

Just a dude writing a heavy metal blog and always on the prowl for a cool metal show. I am also a family man...first and foremost!

Posted on May 26, 2015, in Album Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I listened to the record myself and would absolutely agree with your review, even those songs you highlighted. Some songs stand out a little and to know how to write hooks is anyway to most needed quality if you want to succeed in that genre (I guess from my little knowledge of it). Since the only other songs I knew of Coal Chamber was Loco and Sway and the general bashing the band gets, Rivals was better than I expected, also probably contains nothing that will want to make me put it on anytime in the future:-) Not bad not really good, but decent.
    When it comes to Nu Metal, I like Korn the most, meaning really like some of Korns songs till Take a look in the mirror. But besides that one, with Korn records it’s for me always one third Hits, one third OK, on third shit:-D

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