Coal Chamber: Coal Chamber

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Coal Chamber: Coal Chamber
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Coal Chamber: Chamber Music
Alternative Metal
Roadrunner Records
February 11th, 1997
Release length: 49:20
Myspace
Website
The debut self titled album by Coal Chamber met with a great deal of mixed reviews. Many felt that this album was pure garbage, offering nothing new, exciting, or even remotely interesting to the musical world. Others, on the other hand, ate it up, as a simplistic offering to the then coined “nu-metal” movement that was quickly growing stale with rap influenced vocal constructs. But the band’s debut album, well, it’s hard to say that it was awful, and hard to say it was really an important album.

Coal Chamber was an overly simplistic mallcore release. The lyrics were often very simple and often pointless and repetative. What would be a main verse is treated as a main chorus, and the chorus would often be distorted thanks to the flow of the song. The music itself held a slight groove metal feel to it, relying on trying to create a rather dark, crazy ambience. The thing is, it actually succeeded to a certain extent. “Loco” was a great starting track with a sound that could easily get the blood pumping, but then you are bombarded with fast paced lyrics that make absolutely no freakin’ sense, hence the name of the song. “Bradley”, again, simple riffs that could get your blood pumping but lyrics that will absolutely confuse the ever loving hell out of you. And don’t even get started on what “Big Truck” is about, the title should say enough.

The thing is, the riffs aren’t really that great. The thing that would be the draw of Coal Chamber would be the tuning of the guitar on the album, which works out very well for the sound the band pulls off. The drumming works out well with the music too, not being too over the top, and having more effort put in then the bass. The bass on this release is absolutely ridiculous. You can barely hear it because of how low it’s tuned and recorded on the album, sounding pretty much like bones rattling if you actually hear it. The only time it really works is when the band doesn’t even play guitar, or even mess with the drums during the main verses, such as on “Oddity”. And the vocals, well, they are as screwy as the lyrics. Often, such as is the case of “Loco”, “Big Truck” and “Clock”, they work out well, but on this release are much like the bass tracks: Ineffective. Other annoyances that should be pointed out on here would be the almost whispered “Bitch” that starts the track “Big Truck”, the ripped off well known rap phrase “The roof is on fire, but we don’t need no water let the mother fucker burn, burn mother fucker, burn!” that appears in “Sway” at the start and again later on in the song, and then the absolutely pointless spoken word “Amir Of The Desert” which just seems as if the band were trying to waste the label’s money.

Coal Chamber‘s debut album was a nice change of pace, but the band clearly had a lot of ground to work on if they were going to be a bigger band in the then mainstream metal scene. With sometimes erratic vocals and often off-the-wall music, and bass that does pretty much nothing for the music, we’re left with a rather hollow sounding album that had the potential to be something rather big. Anymore, you could find this release on-line used for literally pennies, but even then, it’s questionable as to whether you’d want to get it. Aside a few tracks that just sound intense due to the sound of the guitar, Coal Chamber really isn’t worth your time.

01. Loco – 4:14
02. Bradley – 3:03
03. Oddity – 3:18
04. Unspoiled – 2:59
05. Big Truck – 3:31
06. Sway – 3:35
07. First – 4:12
08. Maricon Puto – 0:46
09. I – 3:49
10. Clock – 2:59
11. My Frustration – 3:59
12. Amir Of The Desert – 0:45
13. Dreamtime – 3:43
14. Pig – 8:27
Overall Score: 3/10
Coal Chamber (Band)
Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.