Coal Chamber is a popular nu-metal band that debuted in 1997 with the release of their self-titled debut. Coal Chamber disbanded in 2003 after a a rather unfriendly dispute between bassist Rayna Foss-Rose and vocalist Dez Fafara regarding Dez Fafaraís wished to no longer be apart of the nu-metal scene (also the firing of Sharon Osbourne from being their manager had something to do with the breakup as well). The end of Coal Chamber marked what many people called the death of nu-metal. During their early days, Coal Chamber created the standards for basic nu-metal, such as rap-like and sometimes psychotic vocals, bass driven music, and catchy choruses that follows crappy lyrics written for the soul purpose to dawdle on. Coal Chamber is a band that relies almost solely on their catchy repetitiveness and funk based riffs and very rarely follow a distinctive song structure.
Vocalist Bradley Dez Fafara brought to Coal Chamber the personality that made the band different from most other nu-metal bands. Using a style of psychotic chants, rap-like growls, and just an overall bizarre style of singing, Dez Fafara is definitely one of the most unique vocalist in metal. Coal Chamberís guitars, played by Meegs Rascon, are rather boring and donít show a lot of real talent on this album, and are used mainly to play along with the dominating bass rather then stand off as itís own instruments. The bassist, Rayna Foss-Rose, is musically the most talented member of Coal Chamber (as well as Nadja Peulen, who is Coal Chamberís touring bassist). Raynaís awesome and catchy bass riffs dominated almost all of Coal Chamberís music. Coal Chamberís drummer, Mike Cox, is also rather talented, but is overall rather forgettable as a member of the band. Overall, Coal Chamberís music is simply put as simple, catchy, bass driven, funk influenced nu-metal.
The first and probably the most popular Coal Chamber song, Loco
, begins with some dark riffs before blasting into a Korn-like bass rife and Dez Fafara rap growling a rather catchy tune. The chorus to the song can get a tad annoying with Dez Fafara constantly screaming ďLoco!Ē, but otherwise is a good song by nu-metal standards. The song also sets the stage for the rest of the album, which is fast, hard, funky, and quiet strange, and gets the listener prepared for a rather wacky ride. The next track is Bradley
, which is about Dez Fafaraís experience with amnesia in his earlier years before the band. The track has some really catchy riffs that start and end the song, and even though the lyrics (as are most of the albumís lyrics) are absolutely ridiculous, Dez Fafara manages to put an interesting mood to the song with his unique voice.
is next, with very strong bass riffs and a structure similar to that of Loco
, the song is above average compared to the rest of the album. Another standout track is Unspoiled
, with more simple, chuggy riffs and catchy vocal work from Dez Fafara. The song doesnít compare to Loco
, but is a very good song for anyone who is interested in the bandís basic sound. Another personal favorite track, Big Truck
, is next, beginning with one of my favorite bass lines after a moment of high pitched sampling. The songís lyrics are horrible as always, but are suppose to be about Dez Fafaraís job as a mailman. Sway
is next, with the famous phrase ďThe roof, the roof, the roof is on fire, and we donít need no water let the mother f*cker burnĒ in which Dez Fafara sings as the song begins in a very catchy way. The songís remix is by far my favorite Coal Chamber song, but this original version is slightly less appealing. Still a recommended track, with a swinger like sound added to Coal Chamberís bass driven music and a catchy chorus as well.
begins with a very funky bass riff and keeps a very slow pace throughout most of the song, aside from the heavy breakdown in the chorus. The song is pretty catchy s well, but marks the slow decline of the album. The next track is a 46 second filler track, Maricon Puto
, in which contains some weird guitar and bass riffs and some chanting in the background. My least favorite song on the album, I
, is an almost all bass and doesnít contain the catchy choruses that drives Coal Chamberís music. Clock
starts with Dez Fafara ranting into the mike before bursting into some chuggy guitar riffs. The song is only average compared to the rest of the album, and, like I
, doesnít have the catchy drive that is essential to Coal Chamber's music.
begins with more rants from Dez Fafara, with heavy guitar and bass riffs kept at a rather slow pace. Lyrically the song is the most emotional on the album, but still lacks the awesome catchy choruses. Amir Of The Desert
is a hilarious 45 second filler in which Dez Fafara does a funny sketch as an Arabian headhunter who wants to apparently circumcise someone. Dreamtime
is another pass over track, with a boring riff and no catchy chorus. The last track, Pig
finally redeems the album, with slow and heavy riffs and what sounds like Dez Fafara squealing like a pig. The song recovers with a more standard structure, and actually has some good lyrics (for Coal Chamber that is) and a catchy chorus. The end of the song contains a couple minutes of the band goofing off, with Dez Fafara making weird noises and bringing up random conversation throughout the ending bonus. Overall, the CD is rather good by nu-metal standards, and is the the first album by the band that brought the name nu-metal into a more definitive form.
-- Awesome vocals
-- Extreme catchiness in the choruses
-- Dez Fafara has a great since of humor
-- Extremely simplistic music
-- Horrible lyrics (what would you expect?)
-- The second half of the album is rather boring
1. Loco (5/5)
2. Bradley (4.5/5)
3. Oddity (3.5/5)
4. Unspoiled (4.5/5)
5. Big Truck (5/5)
6. Sway (4/5)
7. First (3/5)
8. Maricon Puto (NA/5)
9. I (1.5/5)
10. Clock (2.5/5)
11. My Frustration (2.5/5)
12. Amir Of The Desert (NA/5)
13. Dreamtime (2/5)
14. Pig (4/5)