It’s been a long time since I have listened to Coal Chamber. Even at their prime in the late ’90s I was never much of a fan. I never thought Coal Chamber was bad music, it just never appealed to me. Maybe it was that the whole “nu-Metal” thing was oversaturated. I dunno. I listened to the first Coal Chamber album a few times and moved on.

Now 12 years later I sit here writing up this article while listening to a new album by Coal Chamber. Just keep in mind this review really comes from a non-fan. That said, I am however a Dez Fafara fan. After the breakup of Coal Chamber in 2003, Fafara started up DevilDriver. With DevilDriver I was instantly hooked with the first song I heard. But I digress, this is about the new Coal Chamber album “Rivals“.

“Rivals” is most certainly a Coal Chamber album. Fafara has brought back (most) of that more groove centric metal sound Coal Chamber is known for. It’s very noticeable with tracks like “The Bridges You Burn” and “Over My Head“. They’re heavy on the bass lines and thundering drums. All while Fafara growls his signature way. With all the track though there is something…different. You can tell Fafara has injected small doses of DevilDriver into this new Coal Chamber album. This is not a bad thing. He’s even recruited Industrial Metal godfather Al Jourgensen (Ministry) for the track “Suffer in Silence“.

I would most certainly say, “Rivals” firmly sits in a very loud and noisy space (in a good way) between Coal Chamber and DevilDriver. That’s not a bad place to be.

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