Coal Chamber - Coal Chamber


Not blessed, or merciful
Apr 11, 2001
Sarf Lundin, Innit
Coal Chamber - Coal Chamber
Roadrunner - 1998
By Phil Whitehouse

With the rising prominence of nu-metal acts these days with stunning visual elements to their music, it is easy to forget the band that revived the idea of having a look as uncompromising as their sound, Coal Chamber.

However, as a retrospective look at their debut album reveals, this widespread lack of recall could be down to the largely uninspiring sound that the band made. Critically lauded upon its release, the debut several years on reveals little to grab the listener.

Admittedly, the combination of funky slap-bass, down-tuned guitars and gravelly vocals over a pounding drum-beat does sound attractive to the Korn/Slipknot train of thought. But unfortunately, the tunes on the album are almost indistinguishable from one another when listening casually. This is a case of a band sticking too stubbornly to their signature sound and suffering because of it.

That's not to say the music is unlistenable - 'Sway' is an excellent mosh-pit anthem, and 'Bradley' has a cool riff driving it forward, but unfortunately there's little to really hook the listener in.

If you're an avid nu-metaller, then the album is by all means worth a listen. Just don't expect to have it spinning in your player six months down the line.