Album Review: Coal Chamber – Rivals
Posted by Reggie
Release Date: 19 May 2015
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