With Y2K approaching at a rapid pace, many bands are trying to release that revolutionizing album that nobody will forget. Coal Chamber’s Chamber Music, their second opus on Roadrunner Records, is a new twist on their patented spookycore sound. It’s evil in an odd way, and, more strangely, it’s eloquent. They stick to their popular down-tuned guitars but incorporate into their sound a deeper ambience, with more keyboards and spacey effects present.
There’s no “Loco” or Big Truck”, but the tracks hit hard, especially “El Cu Cuy”, the second full track on the album, but the first with Coal Chamber’s monstrous groove. “Tyler’s Song” continues in the heavy direction, while “Feed My Dreams” has that “Sway”-like riffage that rolls and pounds, distinguishing itself with tighter vocals, sans Dez’s scream. The most interesting track is a cover, Peter Gabriel’s “Shock The Monkey”. Covers are a bit outdone these days, but a guest appearance by Ozzy on both the single and the upcoming video shows Coal Chamber’s presence in the heavy music scene. Had it not been for Ozzy, his wife Sharon, and three Ozzfest stints, Coal Chamber might not be where they are right now, looking out at the heavy metal world from the top.
In the first week of its release, Chamber Music has surpassed all expectations by hitting #22 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart, the highest peak ever of any Roadrunner act, selling forty-one thousand copies. The Living La Vida Loca tour with labelmates Machine Head, Slipknot, and AMEN is one of this year’s best metal tours, and Coal Chamber promises to keep going once that is done. Their latest cd’s sound may not be revolutionary, but it does stand out among 1999’s best heavy releases. Chamber Music is your deepest, darkest, and spookiest music and Coal Chamber is the answer to the age-old question, “What will they come up with next?”
+ rick hinkson