Coal Chamber Rivals 01Since the dawn of man, humans have tried to prove or disprove the existence of a higher power. Believers have cited the beauty of nature and the intricacy of the human body as evidence, while the skeptics can point to tragedies like cancer-stricken children and the Holocaust to make their case. My personal moment of truth hits a little closer to home: Coal Chamber have reunited, and I am reviewing their new album Rivals. There is definitely no god.

Since their arrival in the late ’90s, Coal Chamber has fused lowest-common-denominator Ozzfest-core to the worst of goth fashion. After somehow releasing 3 albums on Roadrunner, the band dissolved in the early 00’s amidst drug use and inter-band strife. Frontman Dez Fafara then started the more metal-leaning DevilDriver, a band that was hardly groundbreaking but allowed him to reinvent his image somewhat. I’m not sure why Fafara would willingly re-enter the nü-metal arena after publicly avoiding it for the past decade, but here we are.

Longtime Coal Chamber fans (a.k.a. “dudes with ankle monitors”) will be pleased to learn that most of the band’s sound remains intact. Guitarist Meegs Rascon remains dependably below-average, still blissfully unaware that the guitar has five other strings. Drummer Mike Cox holds down the all-important groove in a professional yet unobtrusive manner, assisted by bassist/token female Nadja Peulen. Fafara wisely tones down the rap/scat elements from the early albums, although the “whisper the same thing a bunch of times and then yell it” approach still features prominently. Oddly, his vocal technique, which improved somewhat during the DevilDriver era, has regressed almost completely.

Coal Chamber Rivals 02Opener “I.O.U. Nothing” is exactly what you’d expect: A song based upon a one-note riff and the repetition of the song’s title, catchy while it’s playing but possessing no real replay value. “Bad Blood Between Us” begins with what may or may not be guitar tapping, a surprising display of virtuosity from Rascon. For what it’s worth, Fafara certainly sounds pissed off, and the album and song titles suggest a bitterness towards a specific person. I sincerely hope he’s trying to reignite the Coal Chamber/Sevendust feud, for old times’ sake.

Occasionally, the band does stumble onto a catchy hook or an interesting piece of music. I can admit that “Bad Blood Between Us” has a strong groove, and the title track is a culmination of all the things Coal Chamber does well. But as the album drags on, it’s clear that these small victories are a product of luck, not skill. Also, Ministry‘s Al Jourgensen guests on the track “Suffer In Silence,” proving absolutely nothing except that Al Jourgensen needs money. Other than the spoken-word piece “Orion” and pointless instrumental “Dumpster Dive,” most of the songs here are painfully similar to each other. In fact, other than a slightly beefier production, Rivals could easily pass for any of the other three Coal Chamber albums.

So there you have it. New Coal Chamber record sounds pretty much like Coal Chamber. As always, the band lacks the lyrical gravitas of Korn, the party vibe of bands like Limp Bizkit, and any songwriting instincts whatsoever. It is the very embodiment of “nü-metal” as a pejorative term. Children of the 1990s, mark my words — now that you’re in your 30’s and have disposable income, miserable shit like Rivals will continue to be hurled at you. Prepare for a (Hed) P.E. gig on a cruise ship, or perhaps a Tupac-style hologram of Wayne Static. You have been warned.


Rating: 0.5/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Napalm Records
Websites: CoalChamberOfficial | Facebook.com/CoalChamber
Release Dates: Out Worldwide 05.19.2015

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  • Luke_22

    Very entertaining review of one of the more perplexing comebacks in recent memory.

  • Best review eva, brah!

  • At least they didn’t crowdfund it.

    • I’m not sure that speaks well of the record labels’ wisdom.

  • BaboonKing

    How comes negative reviews are always so entertaining? It almost feels like you didn’t type these words with a keyboard, but rather unloaded them from a thousand cannons in a massive barrage of systematic, brutal and merciless honesty. Great stuff!

    • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

      Here at AMG we’re all trained professionals, and we call it like we see it.

      • sir_c

        then where did all the expletives go?

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      Thats not entirely true.
      it’s probably 50/50 for me…Its always going to be the extremes that grab the most attention.

  • T.A.R.

    Big Truck…

    Yeah, not the first band that springs to mind, regarding the need for a comeback album.

    • Were you thinking about P.O.D.?

      • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

        But they’re not, they’re not the youth of the nation anymore, so they can’t…can they?

        • Can’t they be the bitter middle aged guys of the nation?

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            Don’t give them ideas! They may end up inventing nu-Swans-core if they go that route and nobody wants that!

        • brutal_sushi

          I sincerely hate you right now, because I read that exactly as the song goes, and now its in my head.

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            Oh I’m so sorry, please forgive me. I’m new on the scene, but it’s alright, it’s alright.

      • Man, I’m really just looking forward to the Hoobastank reunion.

  • “Since the dawn of man” — You call that a lede? See me after class, Mr. That Andrew Guy.

    • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

      What’s a “lede”?

      • It’s the first sentence of an article, actually.

        • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

          Oh. Well, in that case, you can’t really get more epic than “Since the dawn of man…”

          • Yeah, if you’re a college freshman who hasn’t exerted a single iota of effort.

          • Kronos

            I take offense to this, seeing as I’ve spent much less effort on much better ledes.

          • Excentric_1307

            I think that lede is quite appropriate for a CC review.

          • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

            I’m not even sure if that was an insult or not!

          • That’s because you’re a precocious undergrad, Isaac.

          • Kronos

            (don’t tell them I’m not actually a fearsome Titan.)

          • Monsterth Goatom

            An appropriately epic opening for a review of an epic failure.

            Let’s look at the first paragraph. Introductory sentence? Check. Further sentences exploring the introduced subject matter? Check. Pithy, final sentence with concluding position stated on subject matter? Check.

            Me likey. From the universal to the specific; from the airy to the concrete; from perfumed fog shot through with lightning to a slap in the face.

          • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

            I like this guy!

          • CITE YOUR SOURCES AND READ THE SYLLABUS!

          • Monsterth Goatom

            CMS format, I suppose?

          • sir_c

            Did someone not get “lede” last night?
            Spare this man, who actually had to *listen* to this… uhm… record.

          • Pronounced leed. So that joke only works if you’re from New Zealand.

          • Eryops

            The lede is perfect when taken in context: It wasn’t cool in the ’90s, and it isn’t now. Just like Coal Chamber.

          • Zing.

  • Wilhelm

    Yeah nu-metal doesn’t age well, I could have told you that when I was 18 (in the 90’s). New nu-metal therefore is pointless, Coal Chamber still suck ass.

  • RuySan

    I’m also shocked that Dez wanted to destroy the “true metalhead” image that he tried to build over the last 13 years or so. He probably thought that there was going to be a huge nu-metal revival and that the money was going to be worth it.

    Obviously he’s wrong, and while some upper tier bands of the era like Deftones and System of a Down can build a legitimate career, Coal Chamber was among the most derivative and its sound incorporated the worst tendencies of the era.

    I’m baffled why would anyone would ever hear “loco” again.

    • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

      Yeah, I was wondering that too. After CC broke up, Dez basically raided Phil Anselmo’s closet and tried to pass himself off as the real deal…which is obviously all out the window now.

      • In Mexico we have a saying: “Aunque la mona se vista de seda, mona se queda.” Literally translates to “Even if the (female) monkey dresses in silk, a monkey it stays.” ?

        • sir_c

          In Dutch very similar expression, translated:
          Even if a monkey wears a golden ring,
          It still remains an ugly thing

          But your analogy passes as an insult to monkeys.

          • Well, it’s an old saying, they didn’t really care much for animal feelings back then.

          • Nerve Damage

            What? lol. His analogy just says essentially, you can dress a monkey up, but it’s still a monkey. Yours says, “monkeys are ugly no matter what you do to them”. Yours is DEFINITELY more insulting.

        • eloli

          That saying is very old, it originated in Spain in the XVth century, and it’s quite ubiquitous in all of Latin America.
          There is a very similar (and older) expression, “Lo que natura non da Salamanca non presta”, which also means “you can’t polish a turd”. :D

      • Nerve Damage

        I’ve never understood the hate for trying different things. How is he “fake” for being in 2 different bands whose styles are different. You want to talk about somebody hugging Pantera’s nuts… talk shit about Chad’s stupid ass from Mudvayne. Pretending he’s a fucking rebel cowboy because he got Vinnie Paul to play drums for “Hell-No”. Honestly, if you think Dez changed much for Devildriver look more closely. He pretty much writes/sings the same for both bands. Obviously he changed in some ways to compensate for the musical differences but not to the point where “OHHH HE SOUNDS/LOOKS LIKE A NEW SINGER!!!”… Nope, still sounds like Dez no matter what he does. The bigger differences involve the string department. Coal Chamber are fairly awful songwriters. I honestly enjoyed several of their older songs… 2-4 off of each album, but that’s not saying much when each album has 12-14 tracks.

        • Dr_Fisting

          Agreed, the Mudvayne guy is definitely a tremendous poser and an Anselmo wannabe…but that doesn’t make Dez any less of one. Go compare CC’s final promo pics (pre-breakup) to DevilDriver’s first ones, and you’ll see what I mean.

          No one’s ripping on Dez for trying different things. We are ripping on him because those things suck. There’s a difference.

          • Nerve Damage

            I’m not sure exactly which two pictures you are referring to, but if the ultimate point is that the band pictures “look similar”… it wouldn’t surprise me because pretty much all metal bands look exactly the same in their photos… as “badass” as they can possibly make themselves look. They usually pose in some “heavy/dark/industrial” location and try to look as sinister as they can. At the end of the day (and this is speaking from being in a band), it’s mostly all an act. You are putting on a show, so you put out the image that best represents your sound… and given that metal is a heavy music, most heavy bands look alike. I can’t really say that someone’s “image” is too much like another’s because the metal style is all about the same (except for black metal and such). Vocally he’s unique as well… I don’t think he tries to sound like anyone else specifically… he just has a good heavy voice… which is quite distinguishable… just like Phil’s. I don’t know… I get that a lot of bands can look and/or sound similar but he simply has two different stage personas. He dresses/acts a certain way for Coal Chamber and dresses/acts a certain way for Devildriver, but the voice is essentially the same. It’s all part of the show my friend.

    • herrschobel

      hah…a nu metal revival..how would anyone believe something like this could happen ….ever ?

  • De2013

    “still blissfully unaware that the guitar has five other strings.”

    Epic.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Who let the bird out … The canary should have been strangled and stuffed for this coal chamber…

    Mr Fisting… A brutally truthful and entertaining review. You’re becoming the Lou Reed of metal reviews. Too many good lines to pick from here.
    A definite contender for my ‘a readers’ top 10ish of 2015 AMG review list

    • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

      “Lou Reed of metal reviews”?! Ha! Is that even a good thing?

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        you betcha…just don’t pick up a guitar once you hit 40

        • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

          Too late (the guitar thing, not the turning 40 part).

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            Not to worry, I meant 50 anyway :)

  • brutal_sushi

    I was wondering yesterday if there have been 1 or lower reviews on AMG :)

    • Grymm

      Oh, has there ever.

  • Alexandre Barata

    Thanks for this, here I was not expecting a new-born from 2000 and, can I say, it is born ugly, with a beer belly and old as a turtle (but I dare say it still is better than 99% of Deathcore, I loath Deathcore).

  • Selim Baradan

    Hilarious and smartly written review. I loved “whisper the same thing a bunch of times and then yell it” description.

  • Tom Hardy

    I wonder. Was anyone (reviewers or users who comment) seriously ever going to listen to this band or album? I don’t see the point of this review. There could have been room for something worthwhile.

    • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

      We briefly debated the merits of even wasting space on this album, when there are so many up-and-coming bands that are actually good.

      • Your fault if the internet runs out of bits.
        Negative reviews with entertainment value are good stuff. Many reviews here are funny in a very off-handed way, something I never seem to be able to produce. So yeah, I’m here for these wastes of space, good job. (Does waste even have a plural form. I suspect not.)

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      No reason why both can’t happen. It deserves critique as much as the next release.
      Artists should be serious when releasing work, if you go in for a lazy cash grab…People will call it for what it is.

    • It’s a noteworthy comeback by a big name. We need to cover those along with the obscure and unheralded.

    • It should be noted that the behind-the-scenes doling out of justice is none of your business, but let’s just say that justice was done.

    • basenjibrian

      “room”? This is the internet. There is no limitations on space. Plus, the review was entertaining as hell!

    • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

      1. 100+ comments in one day
      2. Hed(p.e.) jokes

      Whattaya need, a road map?

  • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

    First Ghoulgotha, now this…making a Top Ten is going to be hard this year.

  • Kronos

    Excellent review.

  • Lasse Momme

    whoah!!!

  • Vice-President of Hell

    But Devildriver still good. Wrong choise, Dez

    • I’m not a fan, but they’re way better than Coal Chamber.

  • sir_c

    I’d rather rip cling-ons from my hairy buttocks with a glowing meat fork than having to listen to this.

    Must say I like the symmetry in your rating though :-)

  • Danny Becker

    that bad, huh? I can see to it that this album is really bad, but I want to point out that angrymetalguy has biased to mainstream appeal, especially ones where bands take a different direction: ie. The Haunted’s Unseen; Opeth’s Heritage; In Flame’s Sounds of a Playground Fading; Iced Earth’s Plagues of Babylon; Ghost Infestissuman; Baroness–Yellow and Green. Not saying you guys got this review wrong, but there are numerous occasions where you guys seem to lambaste the more commercially successful bands.

    You guys praise too many death metal and black metal bands. Aside from Opeth, Emperor, and Agalloch, Black metal/death metal bands are interchangeable–and the songwriting in its triteness can be hammered out within days.

    The aforementioned bands, create songs, with FANTASTIC structure. To deny this, is to deny reality.

    As a side note, the still blissfully unaware that the guitar has five other strings was very funny :)

    • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

      You might have us confused with someone else. The Baroness record was given a glowing review by yours truly, and it also made my year-end list. AMG may have been let down by Heritage, but heaped tons of praise on Pale Communion more recently. In general, we’re extremely analytical about the music we review, and when we give bands bad reviews, it’s because they earned it — regardless of popularity.

      We review a lot of death/black metal because those are the bands that send us promo. Sadly, that’s just the way it is. (also: what about Morbid Angel, Carcass, Darkthrone, Bolt Thrower, Immortal, Deicide, Thorns, Satyricon, etc etc?)

    • I fucking fawned over Nightwish’s Imaginaerum. I gave Amorphis’ Skyforger a 5/5. I gave Sabaton’s Carolus Rex RotY for 2012, and included Diablo Swing Orchestra on that. We gushed over Ghost’s debut record, and I’m a huge fan of Turisas’ new direction. I love Anathema and Katatonia’s respective new directions and you might have noticed that I loved Pale Communion from last year.

      I think the idea that somehow we skew against big time releases is false (see: Record o’ the Month from Steven Wilson—a bigger name in progressive music simply does not exist). I am far more likely to put the blame at the feet of a recording industry that pressures bands to put out albums too quickly (see: Orphaned Land), rather than blaming reviewers who listened to albums that were half-baked and called ’em like they saw ’em.

      Also: it sounds to me like one of your big complaints is that we don’t praise the music you like, not that we’re biased. It’s been a while since I broke this out, but I think you should check out this here post.

    • Grymm

      Dude, PALLBEARER! 4.5 out of 5!

      They aren’t black metal at all.

    • Bullshit, come every bimonthly Records o’ the Month post (I had to do it) and you will find the same amount of people arguing about AMG having some sort of anti-black metal bias just because their favorites weren’t mentioned. ALL AMG writers will do is call it as they see it and if their POV doesn’t align with yours then surely it’s not a problem with the POV of the site YOU’re deciding to lambaste.

  • Óðhinn

    Not my cup of tea.

  • Norfair Legend

    I…like the album…but I’ve always had a soft spot for Coal Chamber. Saw them open for Grip Inc. at the Empty Bottle in Chicago and Dez was hanging from the rafters, flipping himself from a standing position onto his back, just the whole band was crazy.

    I grew up on punk, went to plenty of hardcore shows with friends who were into that and saw The Plague enough times but never had I seen such energy in a room of like 12 people before. They were down to Earth and chilled with us after the show and remembered us at the next one.

    Musically it’s not Yngwie but it is fun, at least for me. Still, great review and I see where you’re coming from. Our tastes take different paths and that’s totally ok, lol.

    • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

      What’s up, Chicago neighbor! Bonus points for mention of The Plague.

    • Mr. Nerve Damage

      I liked some of the stuff they did over the years. Loco, Big Truck, Bradley… several songs from their first album, 2nd, and 3rd. This new one though… there isn’t a single song that stands out to me from a sonic standpoint. Obviously as a songwriter and someone who listens to many genres every day… it takes a lot to impress me, and this album wasn’t even close. I was hoping it would have some original really well written stuff (since they’ve had so long between albums and time to mature), but it didn’t turn out that way.

  • eloli

    “Longtime Coal Chamber fans (a.k.a. “dudes with ankle monitors”)”

    Considering the notorious criminal activity of some of black metal’s most praised and über troo practitioners, this joke is beyond pointless and stupid.

    See, this kind of “we’re better and smarter than other people because we listen to music nobody cares about” mentality, is what makes underground metal a joke to most people, and that’s why they view our kind as stupid, violence obsessed yokels who like to use big words to impress people. As much as “troo kvult” types want to deny it, nu metal is a part of metal’s history, at some point it was really innovative and different from the cookie cutter tripe death, thrash and groove metal had become at the type, and it left a bunch of great albums and a lot of shit, like most subgenres do. If you don’t like it, that’s great, but nobody can claim with a straight face that objectively, nu metal as a subgenre is inherently shittier, cornier or less original than 95% of the bands that are praised in underground metal.

    About the review… eh, I never liked Coal Chamber, and even if the album is this bad, insulting their fans is totally uncalled for and unnecessary.

    I’ve been listening to heavy metal for four decades now, and the insularity and self congratulating stupidity of our scene never ceases to amaze me… maybe it’s an age thing, but at this point, in my books, only idiots judge people based on their taste in entertainment. Newsflash: listening to underground bands or having a militant stance against the mainstream doesn’t make you any smarter, it just makes you really boring at parties.

    Really, I figured out at 12 how idiotic the whole “true metal” concept is and how ridiculous our subculture is to outsiders… I kind of thought this blog was a little smarter than your average metal site, but this review proved me so wrong it hurts.

    • It was a joke, man. You’re taking the review and yourself way too seriously.

      • eloli

        Considering how much praise racist cunts who are convicted criminals with literal ankle monitors to boot receive from our subculture and how they always get a pass because “they make great music” it’s not a joke I can take with ease.

        Also, that “we listen to music nobody cares about so we’re better than you” vibe this review exudes irk me to no end, really, that’s not a metal thing, that’s more of a punk/hardcore/indie rock thing, IMO.

        And, I don’t really take myself too seriously.
        If you make me choose between listening to Poison or Portal, I’d go for Poison about 99% of the times, since they’re a blast to listen to, while Portal, as good as they are, are so artsy fartsy that their music is mostly a chore to listen.

        I got on board in metal to have fun, you know. :D

        I don’t care that much about Coal Chamber, but that whole “metal nerd” trip really annoys me to no end… kind of perpetuates the immature, sexually frustrated beta male stereotype we serious metalheads have to live with. :D

        • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

          Seems like you’re making a value judgment about certain music, as well as the people who listen to it. Just like I did in the review.

          This site has no bias against “commercial” metal (whatever that even means in 2015). We give positive reviews to melodic/accessible/popular music all the time, as well as bad reviews to underground stuff. Our only criteria is whether it’s good to listen to, and as you can imagine, that is a totally subjective thing.

          (I agree with you that Portal completely sucks though).

          • eloli

            I’m not objecting your review, I’m just objecting the “people who listen to nu metal are morons while people who listen to underground metal are not” vibe palpable on it.

            And yes, I’m making a value judgement about underground metal and the people who listen to it. My value judgement is: “underground metal is not specifically better, more artistic or less commercial than any other music genre, and a large portion of its audience think they’re somehow smarter and special compared to other music fans, when they’re not”.

            And while we’re at it, I find someone who writes mostly about underground metal on a mostly underground metal site that prides itself on exposing lesser known music making fun of the supposed lowlife/criminal tendencies of any genre’s or subgenre’s artists and fans pretty dumb, taking into account how many lowlife and criminals we, the underground metal scene have among us. Also, I find said joke even stupider, taking into account that neither Coal Chamber toyed with a thuggish image nor their fans have ever been associated to criminal behavior (1) like it has happened a lot with some very notable underground metal artists and their fan bases.

            I mean, if we live in a glass house, at least we should be expected to be smart enough as to not starting throwing rocks to our neighbors, and if we do, at least we shouldn’t get angry when people treat us like idiots.

            As grandpa used to say, “if you go around acting like a cunt, don’t be be offended when people try to fuck you”. :D

            (1) At least as far as I know, I might be wrong on that one.

          • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

            Nobody said that “people who listen to nu metal are morons while people who listen to underground metal are not.” If that’s been your experience in life, than that sucks, but no one in this review or this website ever said that.

            I was merely using my imagination to picture someone who still lives and breathes Coal Chamber in 2015, and what that person’s life might be like.

          • eloli

            Please explain me how this phrase doesn’t imply heavily that people who listen to nu metal are morons while people who listen to underground metal are not:

            “Children of the 1990s, mark my words — now that you’re in your 30’s and have disposable income, miserable shit like Rivals will continue to be hurled at you. Prepare for a (Hed) P.E. gig on a cruise ship, or perhaps a Tupac-style hologram of Wayne Static. You have been warned.”

            IMO, it’s a very transparent and clear jab both at the supposed low intelligence level of nu metal fans, their gullibility, and how they’re not better than pop fans.

            Regarding “I was merely using my imagination to picture someone who still lives and breathes Coal Chamber in 2015, and what that person’s life might be like.”, I think it isn’t that different from the life of someone who still lives and breathes Darkthrone in 2015… I don’t know any Coal Chamber fans, but I do know both Korn and Darkthrone metal fans in their early 30s, and they’re all pretty normal, in fact, you wouldn’t tell them apart outside of a metal gig or without checking their playlists. :D

          • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

            The “children of the 1990s” bit was a jab at the music business that will milk nostalgia for financial gain, and how nu-metal fans are reaching an age where they’ll be a target of that.

            This is turning into a very one-sided argument, and it’s not fun for me anymore. Best of luck to you, sir.

          • eloli

            If that was your intention with that bit, I concur I misread it and I apologize.
            I’ll wait for this same bit to be reproduced when the inevitable Unearth comeback album is released in a few years, then. :)

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            The Unearth comeback was released last year, it was pretty good stuff.

          • eloli

            You’re right, I meant God Forbid, keeping track of those early 00s metalcore bands nobody cares about now can be a real chore, I wonder who’s still listening to this stuff in 2015?
            Well look at me, I’m being the unbearable metal snob now! :D

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            Disliking God Forbid is like disliking stale beer, no snobbery there!

          • If you find that harmless offhand joke so offensive and inflamatory, you may want to find another review site to spend time on.

          • AndySynn

            I think this is more about self-aggrandizement, ultimately.

            Note how many times he uses the words “smart” and “dumb”, and the (not so subtle) implications that he’s the smart one, while also implying that this site is actually the dumb one for… erm… saying things he’s desperately trying to read into.

          • eloli

            I’m probably smarter than you. :D

          • You want to regale us with your bench press stats too?

          • eloli

            What’s a bench press? I don’t go to the gym, I’ve always been more of into aerobic exercises. I do play football pretty regularly, but I’m a very bad midfielder, by the way. :D

          • eloli

            I don’t find it especially offensive, I find it stupid, and I find the whole “we underground metal people are better than mainstream metal people” vibe very off putting. Maybe it’s an age thing, but having gotten into metal just after the NWOBHM took off, the idea that “only underground metal is true metal and metal should be an exclusive club” is completely opposite of my conception of metal.

          • Well, I suggest you go start a blog that conforms to “your conception of metal” and we’ll continue to run things our way here. You’re free to read into that whatever you wish.

          • sir_c

            whilst gazing at your Poison record sleeves, ain’t it time to do your hair?

        • Gonzalo Salazar

          Well… I actually started being uncool before it was cool.
          And the fact that I’m better has nothing to do with the inaccessible music I like: it’s a coincidence.

          • eloli

            Well, at least you know correlation and causation are not the same thing. :D

          • Gonzalo Salazar

            Yeah. On account of how smart I am. Probably because of the awesome music I listen to.

      • AndySynn

        It’s definitely worth listening to anyone who prefaces things with “Newsflash”, as they have important things to tell you.

        • eloli

          Well, I personally consider that “listening to underground bands or having a militant stance against the mainstream doesn’t make you any smarter, it just makes you really boring at parties” is a piece of advice about 99% of serious metal nerds should get at some point. It won’t save lives, but I guess it will save a lot of sexual frustration in the long run. :D

          • When did we demonstrate a militant stance against the mainstream? You’re just talking nonsense and looking for people to argue with.

          • eloli

            This particular site, never, I can agree about that, the underground metal scene and most metal sites I read, as long as I can remember.
            Also, arguing about metal is fun.

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            “only idiots judge people based on their taste in entertainment”

            “listening to underground bands or having a militant stance against the mainstream doesn’t make you any smarter, it just makes you really boring at parties”

            I’ll take Cognitive Dissonance for $400, Alec.

          • eloli

            The “listening to underground bands or having a militant stance against the mainstream doesn’t make you any smarter, it just makes you really boring at parties” is not a judgement, its a conclusion brought forth by countless years of observation and research. :D

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            Uh oh, does Demoncy count as “underground”? I just listened to one of their songs and I’m invited to a party tomorrow night and I need to know if I should bother going anymore.

          • eloli

            You can find out for yourself. During the party, just blast your favorite “Demoncy” track on the sound system, if people ask you to change it, it’s underground. I tested Fjordskinsniffer’s new demo tape (1) on a party I was recently invited to, and I got myself kicked out.

            (1) Don’t even bother to try to get Fjordskinsniffer’s demo. They don’t have a web page, they don’t upload mp3s, and they only made six tapes copies of their demo, one for each bandmember, one for the drummer’s mum, and one for me. The only band I know about that’s actually more obscure than Fjordskinsniffer is Thorr’s Shittesjövel, a band that buries their demos after recording. You’ll never get any more underground than that!

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            It’s like you’ve never hosted or attended a successful party before. Allowing anyone (including yourself) to be kicked out because of differing musical tastes? Fail. No mentions of a quality assortment of veggies, meats, crackers, and cheeses? 0/10. Not playing Sarcofago at earsplitting volumes when everyone is arriving and thus ensuring that falses do not entry which would have prevented the first thing from happening in the first place? Absolutely amateur. Come on, dude.

          • eloli

            Well, I might be an amateur, but at least I know a real metal party only needs beer and some raw meat. What’s all that veggie, cracker and cheese nonsense? Add some home brewed ale to those three things and you have a hipster gathering going, dude!

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            Hey now, some people like Cattle Decapitation so it’s smart to have veggies on hand in case they show up! The cheese is for those who want to sit quietly with red wine and talk about Satan in the cellar, and crackers are palate cleansers.

    • Kronos

      You misspelled “trve”.

      • eloli

        I’m not trve enough. :D

    • Haven’t you already used that “hey you metalheads can’t pass any judgment on anyone because you support Varg Vikernes” argument around here before? If it wasn’t you, then boy do people really like to use that one to get on their high horse and pass judgement on the “subculture” as if it were a single monolitic entity that it’s incapable of self-criticism.

      • eloli

        Yup, I use that argument a lot.
        And it’s not only Burzum, we’ve got also got Mayhem, Emperor, Dissection, Lamb of God and Absurd when it comes to criminal behavior.
        As a metalhead that’s been in the subculture for more than three decades now, I honestly believe we cannot really pass judgement on anyone because of those (and other) guys. Also, even if we’re not “a single monolithic entity that’s incapable of self-criticism”, the fact that many musicians with extremely deplorable views (Burzum, Arghoslent) get a pass from most of the scene because they supposedly make great music does convey that vibe, especially towards outsiders.

        • Nope, sorry but to say most of the scene gives a pass to criminal behavior is just a gross generalization. Pretty much all the people I know on the scene agree that Varg is a shitty human being, that Arghoslent is racist as fuck, and while many will joke about church burnings, that doesn’t mean they support arson. If “outsiders” think that, well that speaks more about them than it does about the people who decides to say that they like metal.
          You will find that every form of entertainment has its own fair share of Shitty People™ and every fandom has its own set of apologists who defend them. If you honestly believe that this leaves every person that identifies inside that fandom unable to even crack a joke about anyone else, then I have very sad news about what constitutes humor.

          • eloli

            It depends what “give a pass” means to you.
            The scene may agree that Varg is a shitty human being (and a convicted murderer to boot), yet metal sites still tear their eyes out to get interview him, and the same sites that interview give, some lame ass apology for being a mouthpiece for his hatemongering. Truth is, the guy is very popular, if the scene as a whole really gave a shit about condemning criminal behavior, this cunt would’ve been silenced long ago. Same with Arghoslent, they may be racist cunts, yet every underground metal site I know hails “Hornets of the Pogrom” as as some kind of metal masterpiece.

            Also, Blake Judd, hello?

            Besides being a junkie douche, this guy’s biggest crime’s mail order fraud.

            Now, compare his reputation within the scene with Varg’s… here we got a convicted murderer, a public supporter or racial hatred and genocide, yet I personally know a lot of people within the scene that defend him and his right to live his life in peace, some of them have actually donated to his defense fund… yet this same people consider Blake Judd an undesirable pariah within the scene who should never be talked about again.

            Anyone who takes the time to check Varg’s and Blake’s bio on metal-archives (or any metal site for that matter) will attest what a warped view on morality the scene has.

            As much as I can agree that “you will find that every form of entertainment has its own fair share of Shitty People™ and every fandom has its own set of apologists who defend them.”, I also have to say that only heavy metal as far as I know, is the only music genre that has a subgenre devoted to racial hatred that’s pretty popular. Say what you want about racist skinhead punks, but we have to acknowledge that not only punk subculture have dedicated antifascists movements within itself and have mostly weeded out this elements over the year, something that heavy metal fans simply don’t bother to do.

            My sense of humor is quite good, thank you for caring. Again, the problem is that if we live in a glass house, we should be smarter before throwing rocks at our neighbors.

          • But here’s the thing: it was an offhand joke that triggered all your tirades. We are going to make the jokes we want to make and we use humor a lot in our reviews. If you need trigger warnings or some sort of cyber safe room to keep from being offended or whatever, this may not be the site for you.

          • eloli

            You can make all the jokes you seem fit to, and I can make all the comments I want if I find some of those jokes stupid. Not offensive, I find it very hard to get offended, if I was so easy to offend, I would’ve bailed on metal more than 15 years ago. :D

            Freedom of Speech, what a concept! :D

          • Yep, we all love freedom of speech. We don’t love trollery though and at times it seems that’s the road you’re heading down.

          • eloli

            The fact that trying to address some very serious issues that plague our subculture yet seem to be routinely swept under the rug can get so easily conflated with trollery speaks volumes about the health (or lack thereof) of the metal scene, doesn’t it?

            This reminds me that time some metal blogger called me a hipster simply because I objected to his casual defense of white power bands and racist musicians.

            His words were something along the lines of “only hipsters who just discovered metal through Sunbather can’t handle a band that covers Skrewdriver”, as if not being comfortable with defending racist cunts was some kind of moral failing.

            Funny thing, said blogger’s significantly younger than me. :D

          • I stand by my statement and I think you’re just here to argue pointlessly.

          • eloli

            And I stand by my statement that heavy metal as a subculture, especially underground metal, is not exactly in the best position to start pointing fingers about the inherent shittyness of other music genres or fans as human beings.

          • You see we’re getting somewhere. It most likely*is* an age thing because I’m 40 and also have a very low tolerance to bullshit, which is also most likely why I decided to engage in this argument in the first place.

            You see, I find disingenuous and as somebody else said, a bit dissonant that you decide to qualify your examples with “the underground” “metal sites” and “sub-genre” and not realize that you’re talking about sub-sections of the so-called “metal community” and decide to judge it as a whole for it. To say that NSBM is popular beyond the actual popularity of the deplorable “politics” behind them is also a flawed argument, it’s not the metal community that fosters their popularity. I don’t presume to know the social phenomena that’s behind it, but it’s clear to me that it’s popular with the people that are already engaged with the extreme right mindset and not the other way around.

            Now, to silence this “cunts” (hey, your misogynistic remark, not mine) I believe there is more than just keeping mum about’em, I believe is worth in bringing out to light their ridiculousness, and with that, some of our own, as a whole. Do I think it was a great joke? well, no (sorry Kronos, it made me smirk, I wasn’t gasping for air, but I don’t think that was the objective.) But if I was able to laugh about it was not because of some warped sense of superiority based in my immaculate music taste. And if you even think the writers of this site think that nu-metal is inherently an inferior kind of art, I would like to poll their opinion in the latest Body Count.

            Right as I write this Jeff Treppel, one of the best and funniest metal reviewers I know, is writing a piece for metalsucks about the RPG made by Varg, and I’m pretty sure it’s not to give him a platform. While Kim Kelly, one of the people with the most accurate readings of the pulse in extreme metal that I know, and probably more influential and with more pull in her pinky finger than all of the people in this comment box, being that she writes for Rolling Stone, Noisey and Pitchfork, is trying to setup an event to help the Nepali disaster relief that not even Bob fucking Geldof can taint. All the while about 500 people that probably don’t know Phillip K Dick beyond his Steel 4 Brains and other metal writing exploits have given enough money to cover some of the medical expenses of his little daughter.

            You can decide to see whatever you want in this community. I don’t see just angels, and I don’t see just assholes. I just see people with similar (never identical) musical interests to mine. As diverse as any other group of people. And the way you decide to see them speaks more about yourself than it does about them.

          • eloli

            I’m really glad you feel the positives within the scene outweigh the negatives, but I guess we’ll never agree on that: it seems that where you see a lot of angels, I see a lot of assholes.

            This doesn’t mean that the scene as a whole gravitates to one side or the other, IMO, most metalheads are pretty normal people, what happens is that the assholes seem to be a lot louder.

            That said, as much as I love the music, I feel that there’s a lot of extra musical crap within the scene that I’m too tired to take at this point in my life, be it insularity, racism, misogyny, homophobia, immaturity or needless conflict, and said crap seems to come inevitably with the territory.

    • Óðhinn

      You lost? This isn’t MetalSucks. As a reader, I don’t find that Angry Metal Guy has an intentional preference for “underground bands.”

      • eloli

        Hey, don’t even get me started on Metalsucks, that’s not even a blog, that’s TMZ for bored metalheads. :D

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      I thought it was funny…it was still funny when you reposted it…

      This record gets panned cause it’s shit, not because it’s not “underground” (what ever you think that is).

      ha my favourite bit
      “only idiots judge people based on their taste in entertainment”
      followed by
      “listening to underground bands or having a militant stance against the mainstream doesn’t make you any smarter, it just makes you really boring at parties.”

      NEWSFLASH
      It’s bedtime…

    • sir_c

      I usually do not bother getting into this kind of discussions, but I find your tone pretty condescending.

      As if your four decades of metal experience (whatever that is) proves anything. My granny is 92 but I won’t let her drive my car, despite her 40+ years of driving experience…

      If some band can do their utmost best to make a bloody fool of themselves, then we can do our best to make a bloody laugh, now can’t we?

      Newsflash: drinking IPA beer: if you do not like it, then do not f’ing drink it. Visiting websites? … you catch my drift.

      I’ve got a corpse-painted rattling washing machine to listen to, goodbye.

    • “If you don’t like it, that’s great, but nobody can claim with a straight face that objectively, Coal Chamber is inherently shittier, cornier or less original than 95% of the bands that are praised in underground metal because they growl, sound like a broken washing machine or like a 70s band who never made it out of the delete bin, or don corpsepaint and use a boom box to record the same lame wannabe non riffs everybody’s been copying since 1992…”

      Well, aside from the fact that I can claim that most of the bands in the underground show a greater musical mastery than Coal Chamber has, I think more problematic is your expectation that this is going to be anything other than opinions. You don’t have to agree, but your opinion on Coal Chamber isn’t anymore valid than our opinions on Coal Chamber.

      What separates us from you, then? We run a website and get promotional material from labels on the off chance that we’ll gin up sales if we like a record (which, btw, we do well). Have some light reading about your expectations for objectivity from music reviewers.

      PS: The joke was funny even if it was unfair.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    For a one-string guitar instructional video, google “Video: Heavy metal that is truly one-note”.

  • Barbacuprum

    was expecting at least a 4,5..

    so much disappoint

  • Markus Ihmor

    This is probably the lowest rating I have ever seen on this site. And its well deserved. Although I never was a huge fan of say Korn, Rob Zombie or Manson – the aforementioned had a lot going imho in terms of genre-defining, musically etc. But CC were always ripping off all those NuMetal cliches in the most pathetic way, so… goodbye.

  • Thomas W. Laskey Jr.

    U know what the hell is wrong with u people… You guys want all bands to sound the same ?? I really injoyed Coal Chamber I got into them after they broke up .. But still have their CDs and spin them regularly along with a lot of other metal CDs.. But I like out of the box type bands and artist who are not scared to try and do something new.. And as far as doing it for the money don’t we all do things for the money ?? Why do people have to be so judgmental… U don’t like them well don’t listen to them… But for those of who do and not afraid to admit it Coal Chamber rocks! And just so u all I am not some new teenage punk tweet I am a 43 year old married man who loves all kinds of music….. Just saying my peace !

    • Glad you like Coal Chamber. We’re judgemental because that’s what we do here: it’s a review blog.

  • george

    i really like your blog, wish you the best!
    i skipped all (really funny) negative stuff about CC and read the substance. This doesn’t read like a 0.5 for someone that likes CC but like a 2,5 or even a 3. Or you don’t really care about those that like CC?
    And i am really curious, how does a good music idea come as a product of luck? Like the guitarist faks around with his guitar, while taking a dumb and a nice riff comes along?
    And why this “best review eva, brah”? Really, best reviews don’t come by smart ass lines imo, but by having an open mind and by being as objective as you can. And there a lot of good riffs written in only one string you know!
    Anyway i dont want to bust your balls here, but bashing out nu metal is a bit old.
    Thanks for listening brahs!

  • Ben Armströöng

    Not going to chime in on the big Burzum debate below but personally I find it hard to distance Varg from his music. Personal choice. A lot of people I’m friends with love Burzum and I have no issue with that.

    Okay so I expected nothing from Rivals but I found it to be a fun, aggressive nostalgia trip. Meegs is actually quite a talented guitar player too IMO. Great presence on stage and inventive flourishes.

    I liked Dez’s vocals too, and I honestly think coal chamber have a bit more to say here than the last few lacklustre Devildriver releases.

    Probably a 3.5/5 for me, for the same reasons I quite like watching Die Hard after a dialogue heavy art house film.

  • Iñaki

    I actually really like the album, but because i like simple and strong riffs and the rotten voice of Dez Fafara. I also really love the bass sound that Nadja creates and Cox’s strange groove.