home Album Review Coal Chamber – “Chamber Music ” CD Review

Coal Chamber – “Chamber Music ” CD Review


With the onslaught of so many “new metal” and “hardcore” bands melting together, Coal Chamber, as a band, are indeed one of the few “defined” talents of today. The self-labeled, “spookycore” foursome have truly come into their own with “Chamber Music.” (Roadrunner Records) With yet another image mutation, it looks as if Coal Chamber have become the monsters under the bed that the end of the 90’s fans are no longer afraid of.

“Chamber Music” audibly softens, ebbs and flows. Instead of searing the skin from your face, the songs from Chamber Music quietly creep into your brain through your ear and gently infect your thoughts right on into the next day. This cd bends like a willow, then angrily grabs at your clothes like those dead, scary trees that come to life in fairy tales. And it doesn’t let go.

On tracks like “El Cu Cuy” and “My Mercy,’ frontman Dez Fafara sings with a voice that is at one moment, crystal clear, the next turning black as quickly as pouring ink into a glass of water. Definitely not the first Coal Chamber cd, there are no catchy mosh pit sing-alongs Like “Loco” or “Big Truck”. Chamber Music offers a more lyrically luring, lush and layered feel. Some skillful guitar work by Miguel “Meegs” Rascon) on “Not Living” lets you meander down a stream for a few tranquil moments (as tranquil as Coal Chamber will allow, that is..) then with no warning, you’re screaming over the edge of a raging waterfall. Youngest member and drummer, Mikey “Bugs” Cox, backs up the band like an L.A. street gang while new mother, Rayna Foss-Rose’s heartbeat of a bass line feels familiar and almost soothing, yet ridden with anxiety. Kind of like that throbbing ache in your stomach after seeing someone in the road after a fatality accident on the freeway.

If I had to pick a band to get my bones broken to, it would be have to be none other than Coal Chamber. (After getting the gift of a couple of cracked ribs at the last performance I attended, I was convinced that Dez, himself, must have wanted me dead.) All things considered, however, the hypnotic and deranged personalities on stage are far from the real life characters that descend afterwards and become human to the rest of us.

The band members have collectively grown and creatively matured in leaps and bounds. This is a much more polished collection. The influence of children and “doing the right thing” is very evident in several songs, such as “Tyler” – which was written for Dez’s little boy – turns out that Dez isn’t such a scary guy after all! With the ominous foreshadowing of what the future has to offer today’s youth, perhaps Coal Chamber are the guardian angels (however twisted), coming with messages about how to save us from ourselves and grant our wishes. Just be careful what you wish for.

There is something about Chamber Music that haunts every crack and crevice of the room for long after you’ve turned off your stereo and gone to bed. So don’t be surprised if those shadows you see in your window come in the shape of four musicians with tattoos and piercings. They’re only there to lull you into a fitful sleep. Nighty night. Don’t let the bedbugs bite!

Lesa Pence

(Lesa Pence spends her free time dreaming horribly gory and twisted nightmares and trying to figure out how to get them up on movie screens for the rest of the world to be horrified by.)

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