4 of 4 thought this review was well written
The 4th and final release by the well known nu-metal band, Coal Chamber, Giving The Devil His Due
is a compilation of rare Coal Chamber tracks, B-sides, and demos never before released, and is a little less then what the doctor ordered. As far as the album goes, it is perfect for anyone who is a die hard fan of Coal Chamber, for everyone else, fans or not, the album is nothing but another compilation of poorly produced songs (with the exception of Headstones And The Walking Dead
and the remixes) and unappealing B-sides. One way or another, this album shows definite proof as to why Dez Fafara left Coal Chamber and created the band Devildriver, which walks curves around Coal Chamber.
Dez Fafara, the vocalist for Coal Chamber, uses a unique style of psychotic talk/ growl and nu-metal roars. Dez Fafara is a good vocalist, and is very original, but compared to his death growls in Devildriver, Dez Fafaraís Ďsingingí in Coal Chamber reduces him to just another nu-metal vocalist. Meegs Rascon, the guitarist, is fairly talented compared to other bands similar to that of Coal Chamber. Delivering catchy riffs and (sometimes) haunting atmospheres, Meegs serves the band well. Rayna Foss-Rose, the bassist, is also rather talented, but her bass skills fail to catch much attention in most of the songs due to the constant blasts of catchy riffs from Meegsí guitar guitar. Finally, Mike Cox, the drummer, uses a lot of acoustic drum lines in the songs on this album, and is not a bad drummer, but again, when compared to other drummers, his drum skills will only be seen as mediocre. Overall, Coal Chamberís music relies on only one thing: catchiness.
B-Sides From Coal Chamber
Headstones And The Walking Dead
starts off the album with steady beats and Dez Fafara doing his psychotic growls. The song then picks up into a really heavy number, and slows down again during the second bridge. The song was originally recorded for Coal Chamberís self-titled debut, was for some reason was never finished. Dez Fafara went back and rerecorded the vocals on the track, and in the end, making it one of the most worthy tracks on the album.
The next track, a remix of Coal Chamberís Big Truck
begins with catchy riffs and keeps a similar flow throughout the track, however, the song is one of the many examples of how bad a lyricist Dez Fafara was for Coal Chamber. The remix was a great step foreword from the original song, but itís ability to standout on this album is not so good. The original version of Coal Chamberís Pig
follows with sudden, slow paced riffs and Raynaís well done bass work. The songís catchiness compared to the self-titled album track and the rest of this album is weak, and in general is a weak song.
The remix of Bradley
is the first shine of light for this album since Headstones And The Walking Dead
. Starting with a steady drum roll and then bursting into a light, catchy riff. The remix is a lot darker then the original song, which fits since the song is about Dez ĎBradleyí Fafaraís amnesia before Coal Chamber came to be. The last track from Coal Chamberís self-titled recording, is the remix of the song Sway
. Starting off with Dez Fafara repeating the lines to the song ďThe Roof Is On Fire" before blasting into catchy riffs. The chorus is also a piece of work, although gets very repetitive at points. This remix marks the greatest point on the album, and probably Coal Chamber in general.
B-Sides From Chamber Music
The remix to El Cu Cuy
is by far the second-to-last upside to this album as a whole. With a very catchy intro and a strong flow, again, the remix succeeds itís original version. Wishes
, an out-take from Chamber Music
, has a rather strong chorus, but falls apart terribly in several points on the track. It is also one of the least catchy songs on the album, and without catchiness, Coal Chamber s not much of anything but another nu-metal band.
is another out-take from Chamber Music
. With a very slow paced flow and even the use of a piano makes this track a promising song. However, the track falls apart when Dez Fafara comes in with some of the worst lyrics probably ever written for a chorus:
And inside it was just black and I just... had to laugh...
Ha-ha-ha-ha Ha-ha-ha-ha Ha-ha-ha-ha Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha
Musically though, the track has a good atmosphere, but, again, is ruined by Dez Fafaraís lyrics.
B-Sides From Dark Days
, an out-take from Coal Chamberís third and final album, Dark Days
, begins with crushing heavy guitar and bass riffs before calming down as Dez Fafara comes in with his usual psycho-babble. The song stands-out on the album, but is, overall, not a good track, especially when compared to Headstones And The Walking Dead
and the remix of Sway
, which are both insanely more catchy then this track.
is another out-take from Dark Days
. The song comes in very slowly, but makes it up by being one of the heaviest tracks on the album vocal wise. A highlight for Dez Fafara, and most likely the song that tempted him to steer towards what is not Devildriver. Save Yourself
is also the last highlight of this CD. The remix to Coal Chamberís One Step
as a whole is a fairly decent track. Both the music and Dez Fafaraís vocals are a lot more refinished on this track when compared to the original version on Dark Days
Demos & Other Tracks
The original recording of Not Living
, recorded between the time of Coal Chamberís self-titled debut and their sophomore album, Chamber Music
, was made for soundtrack purposes. The original version is a lot stronger and better produced the soundtrack recording, containing mostly heavy bass lines and a decently catchy chorus, it makes out to only be a descent song. Blisters
is the other soundtrack based track, and is a lot more melodic then the other songs. The song flows with mostly bass riffs, and holds out to be probably the third best track on the album.
The live version of Big Truck
is probably the most useless and unnecessary track on this CD. Dez Fafara does not sound good live, and his talking to the crowd at the beginning and end of the song makes him sound like heís on a heavy dosage of drugs, especially at the end when he says to the crowd abruptly ďThank you all for listening". The song itself is very poorly produced, and, letís face it, Coal Chamber is not good live.
Finally, the 5 demos that end the album, also ruin it to the point of no return. All 5 tracks, which are original demos of the songs I
, and Babbit
made back in 1994-1995, are for one, poorly produced even by demo standards. Two, all the guitar work for the most part sound like scratching of the guitar strings. Three, Dez Fafara obviously was the only one who thought he could sing at the time. Overall, Giving The Devil His Due
has itís moments, but the bad on this album greatly outweigh the good.
-- Coal Chamberís music is insanely catchy
-- This album is perfect for any diehard fan of Coal Chamber
-- Coal Chamberís music relies solely on itís catchiness
-- A lot of the music is poorly done
-- Bad production
-- Lack of flow throughout most of the CD
-- Horrible lyrics
1. Headstones And The Walking Dead (5/5)
2. Big Truck (Hand-On-Wheel Mix) (2.5/5)
3. Pig (Original Version) (2.5/5)
4. Bradley (Going Postal Mix) (3.5/5)
5. Sway (Hypno-Submissive Mix) (5/5)
6. Not Living (Original Version) (3/5)
7. Blisters (4.5/5)
8. El Cu Cuy (Man-To-Monster Mix) (4/5)
9. Wishes (2.5/5)
10. Apparition (2.5/5)
11. Anxiety (3/5)
12. Save Yourself (4/5)
13. One Step (Chop Shop Mix) (3/5)
14. Big Truck [Live] (1/5)
15. I (Demo) (1/5)
16. Oddity (Demo) (1/5)
17. Sway (Demo) (1.5/5)
18. Unspoiled (Demo) (1/5)
19. Loco (Demo) (1.5/5)
20. Babbit (Demo) (1/5)
Diehard Fans Of Coal Chamber: (3.8/5)
Everyone Else, Fans Or Not: (2.6/5)