Hearing Aide: Coal Chamber ‘Rivals’

After being away for over a decade plus, Coal Chamber has rediscovered their furious chemistry and unleashed Rivals, released by Napalm Records and produced by Mark Lewis who has worked wonders with bands like Trivium and DevilDriver. This album delivers and lives up to the hype that was brought forth, however, does it enhance Coal Chamber’s legacy even further?

It starts off with a fast stylish track “I.O.U. Nothing” which appropriately opens with screeching guitars from Meegs with a fast nu metal beat from Mikey Cox, and Dez Farara’s brutal vocals hasn’t aged one bit. The second track “Bad Blood Between Us” has a slower tempo but everything gets dark and haunting with “Light In The Shadows” something you would expect from vintage Coal Chamber. I saw an interview with Dez Fafara a few weeks back where he stated that this album isn’t a “throwback album” but honestly to me, it is. I’m not saying it sounds like the previous three albums, but it certainly sounds like classic Coal Chamber and everything you would expect from this band, however, they tastefully made this album for 2015 because it is more mature sounding.

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The track “Suffer In Silence” is a real behemoth track. Ministry’s Al Jourgensen makes a guest appearance on this track to make this one a real stand out. Another real stand out track is “Another Nail In The Coffin” because it’s a heavy and erratic. It speeds up, it slows down, it breaks down and Fafara’s vocal tracks are arranged all over the place. Kudos to producer Mark Lewis for being tactical on mixing this track. After the title track and single “Rivals,” the track “Wait” is a fun and catchy song with a real nice groove to it.

Towards the end of the record “Fade Away (Karma Never Forgets)” is really catchy then it ends hard and fast with “Empty Handed” thus marking an album that is candidate for one of the best albums of 2015. This album proves Coal Chamber is back with a vengeance, picks up where they left off and has us all wanting more. I would highly recommend picking this one up and catch Coal Chamber play these songs live.

Purchase Rivals here.

Key Tracks: “I.O.U. Nothing,” “Suffer In Silence,” “Another Nail In The Coffin”