Coal Chamber

Performers Coal Chamber

Roadrunner Records | January 7, 2009 | Compact Disc

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In 2005 Roadrunner Records reissued a series of records from its catalog to celebrate the label's 25th anniversary. The updated version of Coal Chamber's self-titled 1997 debut features the usual -- it's fully remastered, includes demos and bonus tracks, an additional DVD with concert footage and videos, and expanded liner notes. (A band history told in their own words is particularly nice.) However, it's questionable whether this reissue was even necessary. It shares demo material with the confusing Giving the Devil His Due set from 2003, and Roadrunner put out a quickie Coal Chamber greatest-hits set in 2004. And yet, Coal Chamber might still be the band's definitive statement. While there are highlights on their latter albums, there's no denying the mixture of intensity, heady nu-metal vitality and sheer loopy fun that Coal Chamber embodies on tracks like "Loco," "Sway," and "Oddity," and these songs remain classics of a late-'90s L.A. metal scene that included Korn, Deftones, Fear Factory, and System of a Down. Coal Chamber couldn't keep it up for a whole album -- Jay Gordon and Jay Baumgardner's enveloping production couldn't hide the limitations in Dez Fafara's lyrics, or the unimaginative two-note guitar riffs. But it's still an interesting listen, especially in relation to what they did differently from their peers. Fafara often sounded like a mascara-eating hybrid of Perry Farrell, Peter Murphy, and Phil Anselmo, and the band's bludgeoning, "when in doubt, amplify it" approach was kind of endearing. In the end, hearing the roar and ragged energy in demos for "Loco" and "Unspoiled," it's clear why Coal Chamber was originally signed. ~ Johnny Loftus

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: January 7, 2009

Genre: General

Style: Heavy Metal

Number of Discs: 2

Stereo/Mono: Stereo

Studio/Mixed/Live: Studio

Originally Released: 1997

Label Name: Roadrunner Records

UPC: 016861811822

Found in: Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal

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– More About This Product –

Coal Chamber

Performers Coal Chamber
Producer Jay Baumgardner, Jay Gordon
Engineer Amir Derakh

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: January 7, 2009

Genre: General

Style: Heavy Metal

Number of Discs: 2

Stereo/Mono: Stereo

Studio/Mixed/Live: Studio

Originally Released: 1997

Label Name: Roadrunner Records

UPC: 016861811822


Title Track Time
1.Loco --
2.Bradley --
3.Oddity --
4.Unspoiled --
5.Big Truck --
6.Sway --
7.First --
8.Maricon Puto --
9.I --
10.Clock --
11.My Frustration --
12.Amir Of The Desert --
13.Dreamtime --
14.Pig --
15.Headstones And The Walking Dead --
16.Big Truck - (Hand-On-Wheel mix) --
17.Pig - (demo) --
18.Sway - (demo) --
19.Unspoiled - (demo) --
20.Loco - (demo) --

Editorial Notes

In 2005 Roadrunner Records reissued a series of records from its catalog to celebrate the label's 25th anniversary. The updated version of Coal Chamber's self-titled 1997 debut features the usual -- it's fully remastered, includes demos and bonus tracks, an additional DVD with concert footage and videos, and expanded liner notes. (A band history told in their own words is particularly nice.) However, it's questionable whether this reissue was even necessary. It shares demo material with the confusing Giving the Devil His Due set from 2003, and Roadrunner put out a quickie Coal Chamber greatest-hits set in 2004. And yet, Coal Chamber might still be the band's definitive statement. While there are highlights on their latter albums, there's no denying the mixture of intensity, heady nu-metal vitality and sheer loopy fun that Coal Chamber embodies on tracks like "Loco," "Sway," and "Oddity," and these songs remain classics of a late-'90s L.A. metal scene that included Korn, Deftones, Fear Factory, and System of a Down. Coal Chamber couldn't keep it up for a whole album -- Jay Gordon and Jay Baumgardner's enveloping production couldn't hide the limitations in Dez Fafara's lyrics, or the unimaginative two-note guitar riffs. But it's still an interesting listen, especially in relation to what they did differently from their peers. Fafara often sounded like a mascara-eating hybrid of Perry Farrell, Peter Murphy, and Phil Anselmo, and the band's bludgeoning, "when in doubt, amplify it" approach was kind of endearing. In the end, hearing the roar and ragged energy in demos for "Loco" and "Unspoiled," it's clear why Coal Chamber was originally signed. ~ Johnny Loftus
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