Coal Chamber: Chamber Music

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Coal Chamber: Chamber Music
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Coal Chamber: Chamber Music
Alternative Metal
Roadrunner Records
September 7th, 1999
Release length: 55:06
Myspace
Website
Chamber Music, the follow up to the rather poor self titled debut album by Coal Chamber introduces a band that clearly took a step in the right direction. Not only is the production better, but clearly the band has put in some more effort towards their music, as well as decided it would be best to come up with some more complex music compared to the ungodly simple music found on the previous album.

Chamber Music just has a heavier sound, which could very well be the result of the production, such as layering the guitar riffs, which the first album was probably lacking. Either way, there’s no denying that openners “Tragedy” and “El Cu Cuy” will make you want to bang your head in unison with the guitar and the once again barely effective and barely audible bass lines. The riffs are a little more complex, and not as simple as well, and the drumming is more effective, being a lot tighter the on the previous effort. The vocals have also stepped up, utilizing some more harsher vocal styles and drifting away from the somewhat crazy sounding vocal approach. There is also use of some keyboard elements for added ambience, which really helps drive the sound on some of the slower tracks on here, such as “Untrue”, which greatly benefits from a rather melodic chorus that incorporates some singing.

Everything stays about the same until the rather out of place cover song “Shock The Monkey”, which comes after the filler sounding track “What’s In Your Mind?”. This is actually a rather interesting cover, regardless of how obviously different it is musically (even though it’s obvious by the lyrics why the band chose it), and having Ozzy come in and do additional vocals for the song was a nice touch. However, we go head first into filler with “Burgundy”, which is a more ambient track that after your first listen is just going to aggrivate the hell out of you, mostly by the annoying spoken vocals being louder then the cute repetative female vocals in the background, and “Entwined” sounds almost like an extended version of “Untrue” just turned up, and “My Mercy” sounds like the music to “Burdungy”, meaning it would have been better off placed immediately after so it wouldn’t sound as though the band were running out of material. The dueting background male vocals on this song also sound horrendous and clash terribly with it. After a hopeful “No Home”, those hopes are destroyed with the heavy “Shari Vegas” that is destroyed by the vocals. It’s at this point you’d probably just give up.

So, what’s the verdict? Well, even though the music on Chamber Music is better then Coal Chamber‘s debut album, many of the songs on here sound rehashed, repetative, or just flat out bad. It’s clear the band has an idea as to what direction they want to take the band, and hopefully in future albums they will actually figure out a good way to present their sound, and be able to keep at it instead of what seems to be giving up half way through the process. There are some rather good tracks on here if you enjoy the mallcore style, and are worth checking out, and since, at this point in time, this can be picked up for practically just the price to ship it in on-line used CD stores, why not pick up and give it a listen? At least half of the album will make for a good relaxing break from the monotonous and overdone.

01. Mist – 0:42
02. Tragedy – 2:51
03. El Cu Cuy – 4:22
04. Untrue – 3:26
05. Tyler’s Song – 2:49
06. What’s In Your Mind? – 3:55
07. Not Living – 3:49
08. Shock The Monkey – 3:42
09. Burgundy – 2:10
10. Entwined – 3:49
11. Feed My Dreams – 2:55
12. My Mercy – 4:04
13. No Home – 5:09
14. Shari Vegas – 3:16
15. Notion – 3:26
16. Anything But You – 4:41
Overall Score: 3.5/10
Coal Chamber (Band)
Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.