by Sgt Deth

I was not a big Coal Chamber fan until I listened to this latest gem. I must say, they have truly impressed me with this release. It is a mosher’s delight to say the least. There is some really catchy tunes here that I find myself playing over and over again. I feel they have finally achieved the sound they were always trying to produce over the years. The overall sound is brutal and groovy at the same time. This new material will surely get the crowds jumping at their live shows.

After they released their third full length album, “Dark Days” in 2002, front man Dez Fafara and guitarist Miguel Rascón had an altercation on stage, and Fafara proclaimed it would be the end of Coal Chamber. At that time bassist Rayna Foss had also left the band to raise her daughter. Then after they released the best of Coal Chamber album in 2005 Fafara officially left the band and went to sing for Devil Driver. Everyone thought that was the end of Coal Chamber, and now after almost exactly 13 years, they have set aside their differences and came back with a really good CD. But, I don’t think it is the end of Devil Driver either. This could just be a last hoorah for Coal Chamber, you never know.

There are a couple filler songs, “Orion”, and “Dumpster Dive” that kind of indicate to me they were running out of ideas. Those could have been excluded. But, there are other gems like the title track and “Over My Head” that will make this a hardcore classic. Then this CD ends with “Empty Handed” that does remind me a lot of the original Coal Chamber sound, but with better production. Fafara proclaims in that last track that “I regret nothing that I’ve done in this life”. The bass guitar and drums mix so well throughout. It serves up a gurgling thump that just screams hardcore metal. Pair that sound with Fafara’s brutal and angry vocals, and it is a hardcore fans dream.