Coal Chamber – Rivals (Napalm Records)

  Van Muylem    20 november 2015

Coal Chamber is finally back! It took them 13 years! Well, this is not a reboot it’s a continuation of their path with dark and aggressive groove 'n' gouge metal with killer riffs and an amazing bass! Feel the energy and the rage as Rivals is a killer album!

I have no clue if it was hard to stay away from the studio’s since the disintegration in 2003, but it feels as if they never stopped playing and just plugged in again! You can listen back to their old albums and just confirm this or go straight ahead and buy the album: if you are and old school fan you’ll dig it! Rivals opens the album with the pain, the anger, the hate towards an unknown person. The vibe and the energy reminds me strongly of another hero in the history of good music: Max Cavalera! The tempo goes up and down, we hear a bit of a rap sequence quickly followed by the rage. The bass is top (Nadja Peulen), just as the drums (Mikey Cox) and the sharp guitars (Meegs Rascon). It all feels as if the throat of Favara just needed a bit of rest before jumping into the pool of anger and rage with grunting, screaming, rapping … Wait is a track that doesn’t wait for you, feel the energy and enjoy the guitars and the vocals. Sometimes it feels as if you play along with them or jump up and down. I feel this one will be a great one performed live! Dumpster Dive is a short industrial interlude. Over My Head is a mature rager with clear lyrics that will be approved by a lot of people who were in the same situation. It’s another highlight (all tracks are basically, except the interlude). Fade Away (Karma Never Forgets) is an absolute must have if you are a Coal Chamber fan, feel the rage, listen to the music, the ranting and move on the rhythm of the rage! Man, this is pure power! The riffs are finger licking great, just as the hooks! A bit softer is Empty Handed whilst the lyrics are very catchy (just as the guitar). It’s clear that the guys found the right karma and regret nothing, as they lyrics say! I.O.U. Nothing is yet another blast! From the first you’ll be hammered down and forced to move along the sound once you are back on your feet. Once again the lyrics are pretty clear and explains us the reason of the rage. Just as with the previous tracks this will give a big boom on stage! Bad Blood Between Us could have been written for a mafia movie or a dark killer movie! The tempo runs a bit in overdrive, fueled by the darkness and fury! Light in The Shadows is almost an old school Coal Chamber track, played with the needed energy and runs under your veins: it itches and makes you crawl and jump. More fun comes with Suffer In Silence (yummie bass), the vocals sound a bit differently in the beginning, but once it’s full throttle we return to the fire! Simply listen to it and enjoy it as much as I did! It’s razor sharp and can be described as a jewel in its genre! The Brigdes You Burn has the right atmospheric sound and bridges to the previous albums. Once again I feel that this one will be loved by many fans and will be sung all along until the end if performed on stage! Orion is yet another interlude, a soft but dark one. Another Nail in The Coffin is a great end track that will enrage for a last time and explode your boxes as it has to be played very loud! Feel the sound, feel the bass!


Cool thing is that most of the vocals were first take (no cut and copy either), there were no pro tool, no synths or software programs to correct thing, this pearl is a real one and will sound pretty much the same on stage! Once can only applaud for that much bravery and geniality! Both Thumbs up and go see them live if you can, but don’t forget to buy their album If you already have their previous ones or If you are new to this band: try it out, satisfaction guaranteed!