After a decade-plus of being long thought dead, Coal Chamber have reunited and unleashed a furious album with ‘Rivals’, which is a dirty chugfest of guitars and a new aesthetic that the band has never explored on prior efforts.
Lead singer Dez Fafara has been one of the most active frontmen in the world of metal and in his time between Coal Chamber albums, he’s been releasing a non-stop flurry of Devildriver records while touring at an insane pace. During my interview with the singer he mentioned that ‘Rivals’ was inspired lyrically by his decision to put Devildriver on pause while he cleansed himself of some negative aspects that surrounded his personal and business lives. While listening to ‘Rivals’ you truly get the sense that Fafara has aired out as many old grievances as he possibly can while the rest of the band have matured so much as musicians. It’s hard to believe this much time has taken place between albums.
While Coal Chamber has been an explosive and emotionally charged unit almost to a fault in the past and at the expense of the members’ personally, they appear to have resolved all the issues and are closer than ever. All three previous efforts in the Coal Chamber library sound very distinct from one another and ‘Rivals’ is no different in that sense by being completely different in its final form. The signature sound that Coal Chamber has carried throughout each release is in the slight gothic tinged growls from Fafara and that sweet chugging guitar that sounds almost as if it were covered in Satan’s mud as it spawns a horde of music demons into the fray. ‘Rivals’ isn’t nu-metal – it’s metal and Coal Chamber is back with a fun headbanging record that deserves to be played as loud as possible.